1. WEAR THIS
If for any reason you couldn’t get your baju Raya ready for the festivities, or if your favourite tailor is overloaded with orders, worry not. Instead of going through your wardrobe for something you can recycle, log on to Zalora. You can get amazing wear from designers like Alia Bastamam, Tom Abang Saufi and Rizalman. The best thing is the clothes can be sent to you pronto, for a nominal fee.
2. DRINK THIS
You’ll be going around town visiting and mingling, so it is a good idea to keep bad breath in check. Fasting can bring a bad case of halitosis and a good way to combat that is to sip on isotonic drinks and keep yourself hydrated. Stay away from caffeinated drinks as they can dehydrate you. Alternatively, make your own isotonic drinkit. Just mix 250ml of fruit juice with 250ml of water and a pinch of salt. Stir and serve with ice. That’s it! But… Don’t go overboard with water. Too much water in a short amount of time can dilute your electrolytes and can potentially be harmful.
3. DON’T GET SICK
The weather forecast says it may rain on the first day of Raya, followed by a week of high temperatures from 32 to 33°C. Such weather fluctuations can make you fall sick, and that isn’t good, especially during the festive season. Pop a vitamin C pill when you break fast, and keep a brolly handy.
4. SLATHER THIS ON
Rain or shine, if there is one thing that is consistent about Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, it is the heat and the sun. When you’re out and about, put on some sunscreen with a high SPF, as your skin is exposed to UV rays even on cloudy days. Make sure you apply it evenly and reapply when needed. If you have dry skin that needs moisturisers, look out for creams that have SPF.
5. SCRAPE IT
Studies show that giving your tongue a good scrape can help promote better oral health and reduce bad breath. Scraping may remove bacteria such as porphyromonas gingivalis that spreads from your tongue to the rest of your mouth. Eek.
6. PLAY IT
Long rides back to your hometown or being caught in a jam en route to meet up with friends and family means sitting in the car for extended periods of time. Stay in the festive mood and use this playlist – Lagu Raya Classic on Spotify – featuring Sudirman’s classic ‘Balik Kampung’ and Siti Nurhaliza’s ‘Bila Hari Raya Menjelma’. Or try this Roadtrip Playlist which features Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars. It’s good enough for everyone to sing along to.
7. READ THIS
If you’re not driving (lucky you) over the holidays, you should get The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam and read it on your phone (if you are the sort who don’t get carsick). Well worth your time, this novel won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature last year and it is a beautifully written story about sustaining love and marriage in extremely difficult situations.
8. SMELL LIKE THIS
Don’t go visiting smelling like last season – pick up these fragrances from Louis Vuitton’s latest range. Ladies, you’ll love Ombre Nomade – this fragrance is rich, warm and spicy, not to mention sensual. Men will enjoy the newly launched Sur La Route (meaning ‘on the road’) – perfect for travelling. Notes of citrus and spice add to the romance of travelling to see loved ones.
9. BUILD MEMORIES
Fragrances may help you create sweet Raya memories. How? Through olfactory memory. Scientists say that scents can create a sensory cue in our brains and associate a smell with a memory. But go easy on the spritzing, please.
10. USE THESE APPS
We rely on Waze to the extent that life without this navigation app would cause us to round cities completely lost. But there is a function that is not fully utilised. The app allows you to check your destination for traffic jams before you hit the road, plus it can estimate your time of arrival. Also, if you have an open house, get your guests to turn on ‘Share live location’ on their WhatsApp. Then you can track their journey and know when to ready your spread. Also, you’ll be able to tell if someone is lying when they say they are on their way.