In the past, villagers would work together to decorate the neighbourhood and have communal feasts. As time passed, these communal feasts were moved to the void decks of Housing Board blocks or mosques, where families would send a tray of food for sharing.
Visiting relatives and friends takes place throughout Syawal, and family members often work together to prepare food for such gatherings. The visits are usually made first to the homes of parents and parents-in-law, then other elders, followed by other relatives and friends. An important tradition linked to these visits is the practice of seeking forgiveness and reconciliation as well as renewing relationships. This is quite a formal event in some families during which the eldest or the head of the family is seated, and younger members take turns to kiss his hand as a form of respect and to seek his forgiveness and blessings.
Children are often given money, usually in small green packets. Traditionally, it is a practice to distribute sweets and coins to children during Hari Raya Puasa, but the practice of giving out small green packets is believed to be a recent development that was influenced by the Chinese practice of giving out red packets.
As it is a day of celebration, Muslims dress up for the occasion, often donning colourful traditional clothing known as the baju kurung. A recent trend is families wearing similar-coloured outfits to appear as a unit.
Food is particularly significant during Hari Raya Puasa, and most families prepare goodies such as kuih (sweets), ketupat (rice cakes wrapped in coconut leaves), and rendang (a spicy stew) which are vital aspects of Malay culture.