DeepaRaya is a name for the Deepavali and Hari Raya festivals, which are traditionally celebrated by ethnic Indians and Malays respectively in Malaysia as well as in Singapore. The word came about because of the occasional coincidental timing of the Hindu festival Deepavali and the Muslim festival of Eid ul-Fitr, referred to in the Malay language as Hari Raya Aidilfitri. In this sense, it is similar to the portmanteau of Kongsi Raya, which combines the Chinese New Year with Hari Raya.
Although the word "DeepaRaya" has been in use for some time, it came under criticism in the run-up to Deepavali and Eid ul-Fitr of 2005, when the mufti of the state of Perak criticised it and labeled it as "haram" or "illegal". A few Muslim Malay bloggers also criticised its usage.
Hari Raya[edit | edit source]
In Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, Eid is more commonly known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Hari Raya Idul Fitri or Hari Raya Puasa. Hari Raya, which literally means 'Celebration Day'.
Idul Fitri is the biggest holiday in Indonesia and Brunei; and one of the biggest in Malaysia and Singapore. Shopping malls and bazaars are usually filled with people days ahead of Idul Fitri, which creates a distinctive festive atmosphere throughout the country, along with traffic mayhem. Many banks, government and private offices are closed for the duration of the Lebaran festivities.
Deepavali[edit | edit source]
Diwali (also spelled Devali in certain regions) or Deepavali, popularly known as the "festival of lights", is an important five-day festival in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, celebrated for different reasons, occurring between mid-October and mid-November. For Hindus, Diwali is one of the most important festivals of the year and is celebrated in families by performing traditional activities together in their homes. For Jains, Diwali marks the attainment of moksha or nirvana by Mahavira in 527 BC.For Sikhs, Diwali is important because it celebrates the release from prison of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind, who also rescued 52 Hindu kings held captive by Mughal Emperor with him in the Gwalior Fort in 1619.