This year's Hari Raya is going to be very different from what we're used to, but that doesn't mean we can't make it as happy and meriah as possible, even under the unique circumstances we find ourselves in this year.
The government have come up with a set of rules for the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) that applies during the festivities, sadly. But since it's for our own safety, we should follow it.
After all, it will only be temporary...as long as everyone cooperates.
1) Balik Kampung
We can all agree that this sucks the most. Not being able to go back to spend the festival with family, friends and relatives sure puts a damper on Hari Raya, but interstate travel is still banned.
If you're unlucky enough to be living outside the state where your kampung is, stay put. As difficult as it may be, remember that ultimately, you're ensuring the safety of your loved ones by not visiting them.
2) Have open houses
Now, one of the ministers did say that you can have up to 20 people visiting your homes at a time during Hari Raya, BUT you have to ensure social distancing, which is quite difficult to do if you live in smaller houses or apartments.
Plus, if one person visits ten homes with 20 person in each house, how many have the person has come into contact with within a day? Even if one asymptomatic person is among the guests, this could spell disaster for the whole effort against COVID-19.
3) Physical contact
To be honest, we're not sure which is worse. Not meeting your loved ones on Hari Raya or not even being able to salam or hug them.
Staying at least one away from each other means the usual greetings is not possible. But at least there will be some form of communication and interactions, we guess.
4) Hanging around outside mosques after prayers
Religious affairs minister Zulkifli Mohamad announced that congregational prayers, including for Hari Raya, can be held in places of worships in green zones, but only 30 people can be inside the building at any given time.
Leeways have been given, but don't abuse it by hanging out with your friends after. Make sure you follow the SOPs set at all times.
1) Call your loved ones
Just because you can't be physically present with your loved ones this Hari Raya doesn't mean you can't spend some quality time, virtually, with them.
Thanks to technology, there are many ways this can be done - just a call, video call, conference calls, etc.
Make sure you check in on your elderly parents and relatives especially during this time.
2) Visit family and friends living close to you
This may sound like it contradicts our don'ts point above, but provided you limit the number of people and only visit very limited places, you can still make this work.
Have your best friend or one or two close families visit you or go over to their place. But be sure that the crowd is small enough that you can maintain at least one-metre distance at all times, you haven't been visiting high-risk places before visits, wear masks and wash your hands often.
3) Use e-wallets to send duit Raya
Just because you can't go home to celebrate doesn't mean you have to forgo all the usual Raya tradition.
Use technology to send some duit Raya to your parents and whoever else you usually distribute money to during the festival.
You could even do it a little differently this year and donate to the many organisations that are helping those impacted by COVID-19.
Don't forget to have fun
It's been a difficult year so far, but let's not let that stop us from celebrating life, seeking forgiveness from those we may have wronged and be grateful for all that we have.
Selamat Berpuasa and may the coming Hari Raya holiday be a happy one for everyone.