: The desire to relive the nostalgic charm of Aidilfitri of the past era has inspired the residents of several villages here to decorate their compounds with hundreds of Raya oil lamps.
They arranged it in all sorts of shapes and design, replicating boats and cars, creating a mini-park, utilising unused old bicycle and Vespa motorcycle which lit up the villages, especially with the use of damar raya, a tall oil lamp made of coconut shells stacked up to three or four metres high.
A resident of Kampung Padang Air, Muhammad Jailani Harun, 50, said the tradition of lighting up the oil lamp during Aidilfitri celebration began in the 1980s and has turned livelier in recent years.
"My family and I took about a week to find the materials such as coconut shells and metal rods to construct the damar raya and putting up over 250 oil lamps in our house compound.
"Praise be to Allah, our decoration managed to attract the attention of many passers-by who even stopped to take pictures. Of course, we always remind them to observe social distancing with no physical contact," he told reporters when met at the village last night.
Muhammad Jailani was among the 60 residents who participated in the 'Pelita Raya Online Beautiful Terengganu: 2020 Raya MCO Style' competition organised by Terengganu Tourism Department, which offers prizes totalling RM8,000.
Meanwhile, a Kampung Padang Hangus resident, Zaleha Mat Amin, 58, said the oil lamp decoration has become her annual routine for Aidilfitri as she wanted to preserve the beautiful tradition for her future generations.
"With the enforcement of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) this year, however, we only manage to replicate a boat, a giant lamp, with some slogans of 'I Love Kampung Padang Hangus' and 'stay at home, we must win'," she said, adding that it took her and her family five days to assemble this year's oil lamp decoration.
Meanwhile, the state Tourism, Culture and Information Technology Committee chairman, Ariffin Deraman, who paid a visit to both houses was impressed by the creative efforts and dedication showed by the contestants.
"We already include this competition in the 2020 Terengganu state tourism calendar, but it could not be implemented due to the CMCO.
"Nevertheless, we are impressed to see the initiative and willingness of the contestants to sacrifice their time, energy and money to come out with the beautiful oil lamp decoration that indirectly helps promote tourism in Terengganu," he said.