Hari Raya Puasa Vs Hari Raya Haji, And Other Calendar Dates To Note

If you’ve ever wondered why holidays keep shifting dates while planning for your annual vacation leave, Challenge has some answers. Here are the differences between Hari Raya festivals, and a look at other important dates, official and unofficial, for the curious Singaporean.
Gain a deeper understanding of Hari Raya festivals and learn to differentiate between Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji.
Hari Raya Puasa
Hari Raya Haji
What it’s for Celebrating the end of the Ramadan fasting month Marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia
When it happens The first day of the 10th month in the Islamic calendar (after the Ramadan fasting month). The 10th day of the 12th month in the Islamic calendar (about two months after Hari Raya Puasa).
How it’s celebrated For a month, with morning prayers, house visits to family and friends, wearing new clothes, and feasting. Up to four days for this more sombre occasion, with morning prayers, the ritual slaughter of livestock, and smaller-scale social engagements.
Also known as Eid Fitri
(Festival of Breaking The Fast)
Eid Adha
(Festival of the Sacrifice)
What to say “Selamat Hari Raya Puasa”, or simply “Selamat Hari Raya” “Selamat Hari Raya Haji”
Giving to others Green packets are given to parents, elderly relatives, children and young unmarried adults.
Muslims also give alms during the holy month of Ramadan.
Meat is donated to the less fortunate.
This meat comes from sheep, lamb and other livestock in a korban ritual, or sacrificial slaughter, which commemorates the prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail.
Muslim holidays typically rely on the phases of the moon to measure time.

Fun Facts About Cultural, Religious and Racial Holidays in Singapore

The only religious holiday with a fixed date is Christmas, on December 25.

All other holidays move dates:

  • Muslim holidays follow the lunar calendar, which uses the phases of the moon to measure time.
  • Chinese holidays and many Hindu holidays follow the lunisolar calendar, a combination of a lunar calendar and a solar calendar (which has 365 days).
  • Easter Sunday, the Christian holiday marking the resurrection of Jesus, is also determined with a lunisolar calendar.
  • Lunar months are shorter than solar months at about 29.5 days, creating an 11-day difference between lunar and solar years. This is why Muslim holidays shift to be earlier with each passing calendar year, and can coincide with other cultural holidays such as Chinese New Year or Deepavali after a cycle of several years.
  • Many cultural holidays celebrated in Singapore fall on days of the full moon or the new moon.
  • In Singapore, Vesak Day is celebrated on the first full moon of the fourth lunar month in the Chinese calendar. Other countries mark the day on the 8th or the 15th day of the fourth lunar month.
  • Deepavali, or the Festival of Lights, celebrates the triumph of good over evil and light conquering the dark. It is celebrated on the darkest night, or new moon, in the seventh month of the Hindu calendar – usually in October or November.
  • Thaipusam is celebrated on the full moon in the tenth month of Thai in the Hindu calendar, usually in January or February. “Pusam” means the brightest moon.
  • New Year’s Day, a secular holiday, goes according to the Gregorian calendar, which follows a solar year.
  • Among the official public holidays of Singapore, only the Chinese New Year holiday celebrates a cultural new year.

Now that you’re more aware of why certain holidays don’t have fixed dates, go ahead and optimise your leave dates with the official public holiday dates from the Ministry of Manpower.

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    Jul 19, 2021
    Siti Maziah Masramli
    Ryan Ong
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