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Tips for Celebrating Hari Raya Puasa at Work

1 April 2024

10 min read

Amanda Chua
Amanda Chua

Eid al-Fitr, also known as Hari Raya Puasa or Hari Raya, is celebrated by Muslims worldwide, and if your goal is to embrace workplace diversity, this is your perfect opportunity to do so. Your employees wouldn’t want to miss out on this important holiday celebration, so why not join in and make them feel appreciated and welcomed?

You must now be wondering how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work, and that’s precisely what this guide is for. Below, we’ll provide you with plenty of ways to celebrate Hari Raya Puasa with your employees. Best of all, they’re easy, affordable, and can help build a stronger and more inclusive workplace culture.

What and when is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and Muslims around the world observe it by fasting from dawn to sunset. It’s a month of spiritual reflection, self-discipline, and empathy towards those in need.

This year, Ramadan began on 12 March 2024 and is expected to end on the evening of 9 April 2024. The date is subject to change each year as the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle. As such, Ramadan may end up being either 29 or 30 days long, depending on the sighting of the new moon.

What and when is Hari Raya Puasa?

Hari Raya Puasa, also referred to as Hari Raya or Eid al-Fitr, is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, the tenth month in the Islamic calendar. Given that the literal translation of Hari Raya Puasa is “celebration of fasting”, it marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and the beginning of a new month filled with joy and celebration. 

New clothes, decorated houses, delicious food, and family gatherings are just some of the highlights of Eid al-Fitr. It’s a time for forgiveness, gratitude, and strengthening relationships with loved ones.

This year, Hari Raya Puasa is expected to fall on the evening of 9 April 2024. This will depend on the sighting of the new moon, so it’s important to check for updates closer to the date. For instance, if it turns out that the moon isn’t sighted on 8 April, then Hari Raya Puasa will be celebrated on 10 April instead and Muslims would fast another day for Ramadan.

It’s also worth noting that different countries and communities may celebrate Hari Raya Puasa or Eid al-Fitr for different durations. For example, in Singapore and Malaysia, festivities may extend to a whole month, while in other countries, like Egypt, it may only be celebrated for three days.

There are three misconceptions that often arise when it comes to Eid al-Fitr. The first is that it marks the Islamic New Year, which isn’t accurate. The Islamic New Year falls on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar.

Secondly, some people confuse Eid al-Fitr with Eid al-Adha, another important holiday in Islam that takes place about two months later.  While both Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are celebrated with prayers, feasting, and charity, they have different origins and meanings.

Lastly, some think Eid al-Fitr is another fasting period. However, fasting is actually prohibited on the day of Eid al-Fitr in Islam, and it’s meant to be a day of celebration and gratitude.

Why Should You Celebrate Hari Raya Puasa at Work?

Before planning how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work, it’s important to consider the reasons behind it. Celebrating Hari Raya Puasa/Eid al-Fitr at work can bring numerous benefits to both employers and employees, extending beyond just a day off. Here’s why you should start thinking about how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work:

Fostering diversity and inclusion

The first reason that makes celebrating Hari Raya Puasa at work such a great idea is that it promotes diversity and inclusion. Just like how companies have started to recognize other holidays, such as Christmas or Diwali, celebrating Eid al-Fitr shows that the organization values the different cultures and beliefs of its employees.

Considering that more than 76% of job seekers say that “a diverse workplace is an important factor when evaluating companies”, celebrating Hari Raya Puasa can help not only retain but also attract top talent.  

You’re sending a powerful message simply by acknowledging and celebrating the holiday at work – that everyone, regardless of their background, is welcomed, respected, and valued.

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Strengthening team relationships

When you think of how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work and fully embrace it, you’re not only including your Muslim colleagues but also giving everyone in the office an opportunity to bond and get to know each other better.

This is because the holiday isn’t only about fasting and praying, but also about spending time with family and friends, enjoying delicious traditional food, and exchanging gifts. 

By incorporating these activities into your workplace celebrations, you’re creating a social atmosphere that encourages employees to interact and build relationships beyond their usual work interactions.

Boosting employee engagement and morale

Finally, thinking of how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work can help boost employee engagement and morale. When your Muslim employees feel that you’re going the extra mile to make them feel included and appreciated, they’re likely to be more motivated, committed, and loyal. This can lead to improved team dynamics, increased productivity, and better overall performance.

Moreover, when non-Muslim employees are involved and also think about how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work, they feel more connected within the workplace. This can create a sense of unity and strengthen the overall company culture.

Ideas to Celebrate Hari Raya Puasa at Work

how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work

Now that you know the impact that celebrating Hari Raya Puasa at work can have on your team, the question is still how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work. Whether your team is in-office or virtual, here are some ideas to make your Hari Raya Puasa celebration a success.

For Office Teams

With in-office teams, there’s more opportunity to engage in physical activities and traditional celebrations. Some ideas to consider if you’re thinking about how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work:

1. Light up the office and decorate common areas

Lighting up the office with colorful lighting and decorating common areas with traditional Hari Raya Puasa decorations (such as ketupat, lanterns, and flowers) can do wonders in creating a festive atmosphere if you’re still stuck on how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work. Encourage employees to bring their own decorations and create a collaborative effort.

2. Organize a potluck lunch

Part of Hari Raya Puasa celebrations is always centered around food, so if you’re still lost on where to start when it comes to how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work, this is your answer.

Organizing a potluck lunch can be a great way to bring everyone together to bond over food and enjoy traditional dishes. The keyword here is traditional – you want your team to be mindful of catering options. You could also offer festive treats such as Kueh Raya, Ketupat, or Bandung.

3. Host a short presentation or talk

One of the best ideas on how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work is to raise awareness and educate your team on the celebration. 

Think about inviting a speaker, possibly only of your Muslim team members, or preparing a brief presentation to educate about Hari Raya traditions, customs, and significance. This can enhance cultural understanding, appreciation, and team cohesion.

4. Organize a “Duit Raya” (Hari Raya Money) exchange

One of the most popular Eid al-Fitr celebrations is Duit Raya, where money is placed in decorative packets and given to children, family, friends, or colleagues as a symbol of blessings and generosity.

For a more inclusive way on how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work, consider organizing a Duit Raya exchange among team members. This doesn’t have to involve money; it could include motivational or appreciation notes, do-it-yourself (DIY) gifts, or small treats.

5. Offer flexible working arrangements

Given the significance of Hari Raya Puasa for Muslims, it’s expected that they’ll want to celebrate with family and friends. As an employer, one of the best methods on how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work is to show your understanding and support by offering flexible arrangements or hybrid work models during this time.

6. Adjust Meeting Schedules

Finally, it’s important to avoid scheduling meetings on festive occasions, as nobody enjoys them during celebrations. 

To ensure that your Muslim team members can fully participate, try to avoid scheduling important or lengthy meetings during this period. If unavoidable, keep the meeting brief and allow for breaks for prayers or meals. This demonstrates your consideration and respect for their religious practices.

For Remote Teams

Even if your workforce is fully remote, you can still celebrate Hari Raya Puasa together. If you’re unsure how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work when your employees are not physically present, here are some ways to make it possible: 

1. Host a virtual Eid al-Fitr gathering

To give you a headstart on how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work with your remote team, a simple yet effective way is by hosting a virtual gathering. This could be a video call where your Muslim employees can share how they’re celebrating, their traditional foods, and even dress up in their traditional attire. 

At the same time, non-Muslim employees can join in and learn more about the festival and its significance. It’s a great way to bring everyone together and create a sense of camaraderie despite the distance.

2. Spreading care through Hari Raya packs

Along with the virtual gathering consider sending out Hari Raya packs to your Muslim employees. These could contain items that are known to be part of the traditional celebrations – such as decorative ketupat, desserts that are typically consumed during Hari Raya Puasa, or even a small amount of Duit Raya (money given as gifts during the festival). 

This gesture will show your team members that you’re mindful of their culture and traditions, and it will surely be appreciated. It will go a long way in demonstrating that you thought hard and long about how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work.

3. Organize a virtual charity drive

Lastly, since giving back constitutes a significant part of Hari Raya Puasa celebrations, you could organize a virtual charity drive for your team. 

This could be in the form of collecting donations from employees and contributing to a charitable organization that aligns with the values of Eid al-Fitr, such as Islamic Relief Worldwide, Rahma Worldwide, Penny Appeal, Zakat Foundation of America, or Muslim Food Bank

This is a wonderful way to spread the spirit of Hari Raya Puasa and make a positive impact in your community. Your employees will feel proud and fulfilled to be part of such a meaningful initiative, and it will further strengthen their bond with your company.

Driving Inclusion and Employee Engagement with HR Innovation

how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work

Immerse yourself in the spirit of Hari Raya Puasa with these joyous celebration ideas on how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr at work. 

Stay on top of every upcoming festive celebration with Omni’s customizable dashboard which allows your teams to set and manage calendars pre-loaded with country or region specific holidays and timezones.

Book a demo with our team to learn more about how Omni can support your international workforce.

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