Aidilfitri celebration during COVID times

Azlan Othman & Bahyiah Bakir

Bruneians mark Hari Raya Aidilfitri, one of the major celebrations in the nation, with visits among friends and relatives seeking forgiveness and praying at mosques.

Traditional delicacies like rendang, ketupat, lemang and lontong are served along other sweet dishes.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on last year’s celebration and halted most events and visits. This year, with no local transmission for slightly over a year, gatherings are limited to private events among relatives and close friends in accordance to Ministry of Health’s guidelines.

Many are grateful that they can visit friends and relatives.

However, the borders remain closed except for official and essential travels.

Wahab, residing in Sabah, had to say his Hari Raya greetings to his brother in Brunei over the phone via WhatsApp. He wished they could reunite but the unfortunate circumstances say otherwise.

Azlin from Miri, Sarawak missed her parents that she used to visit weekly.

However, she said her priority is staying healthy and safe as the coronavirus is dangerous.

While homes across the Sultanate hold scaled down Hari Raya gatherings in adherence to the Ministry of Health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the festive spirit remains intact among celebrants. Photo shows a small gathering of family members and close friends sharing in the festivities and catching up on the third day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR
ABOVE & BELOW: A child greets his elder during a Hari Raya visit; and a group photo during a gathering. PHOTOS: AZLAN OTHMAN & BAHYIAH BAKIR