Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Eve of Hari Raya in Kuantan

This was a night to be celebrated in the Muslim world. On 9th September 2010, the one-month fast, known as Ramadan, came to an end. Muslims had been faithfully arising at all sorts of early hours while most of the rest of us were still in dreamland, to prepare and eat a very early breakfast. Because as soon as the Sun comes up, fasting begins!

It was a nightmare eating out during the month of Ramadan. Around 7:20pm, when prayers sounded out from mosques around Kuantan, marking the end of the day's fast, droves of people filled KFC, McDonalds and most eateries in town to appease the building hunger in their stomachs. Even ordering fast food on the phone proves to be difficult, as the lines are all busy.

On the eve of Hari Raya there were hoards of people down near the Kuantan town field pouring through the night market there in search of any food or other items to buy. Others filtered into the Pahang State Mosque to offer up their devotions to Allah after a month of denying themselves the physical pleasures of food during daylight hours.

The one-month celebration of Hari Raya is now mid-way through. We have been to a couple of homes of our friends to join them in their feasts. Such open houses are popular in Malaysia where all are invited to enter and eat food with the hosts. (Thank you to Karimah and Syarina for serving us such delicious food!)

The Pahang State Mosque

A water feature on Jalan Mahkota, Kuantan

A busy Jalan Mahkota in Kuantan

The Kuantan skyline from the Tanjong Lumpur bridge. The Kuantan waterfront glows in orange lights on the left, the Pahang State Mosque is partly visible behind buildings on the right, while three old boats lie at dock on the Pahang River in the foreground.

Cars zoom towards Kuantan town from the Tanjong Lumpur bridge

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