Malaysia is a lovely tourist destination that is still gaining prominence in world tourism ever since its inception in 1963. Experience the heart of Islamic Malays culture and heritage during the prestigious festivals and public holidays celebrated in Malaysia. Malaysia has a diverse population with a majority of them being Chinese. Even though it is an Islamic state, there is no shortage of pomp and splendor when it comes to celebrating festivals and public holidays in Malaysia. Be it the capital city of Kuala Lumpur or the traditional quarters of Malacca and Penang or even the region of Malaysian Borneo, every festival in Malaysia is celebrated uniquely and with a lot of anticipation. We bring you some of the prestigious festivals and public holidays that form a vital part of the festivities in the Malaysian calendar.
1.Hari Raya Haji
This is one of the essential Muslim festivals that is celebrated in Malaysia. Being an Islamic state, Malaysia celebrates this festival with pomp, glamor, glitz, and splendor. The Hari Raya Haji is a local Malay word for Eid Al-Adha and signifies the last day of holy month of Ramadan. Prophet Abraham had full faith and trust in God while sacrificing the life of his son, Ishmael, hence, this festival is known as a festival of sacrifice. Goats, lambs, and sheep are offered as sacrifices to celebrate this day. The day starts slaughtering the animal and distributing the meat to the entire family, friends, and neighbors. People also help the needy and indulge in extraordinary acts of charity on this day. There are family gatherings and gifts are offered to the kids as part of the festivities.
This is the first day of the Islamic New Year. During this time, the Muslim population are forbidden to indulge in any kind of fight and must peacefully mourn and conduct themselves. The first month also marks the transformation of Prophet Mohammed from Mecca to Medina in 622 A.D. People spend most of their time searching for inner peace, tranquillity, and for self-evaluation. Every person considers this as a new beginning to transform themselves into better individuals.
3.Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday
Fondly known as Maulud Nabi by the Malaysian locals, people often celebrate this day by attending religious retreats and indulge in reading the Quran, the holy book for the Muslims. Prophet Muhammad’s birth was in the year 570 as per the Gregorian Calendar. During his earlier years, Prophet Muhammad honed his skills of merchant trading and shepherding. When he attained 40 years, he started to preach and had a following massive base in Mecca. He was instrumental in uniting the Arab World into a single Muslim entity before his death in 632.
31st August each year is celebrated as Merdeka Day in Malaysia. The Malaysian Federation was formed post-independence from the British regime. This is a declared public holiday all over the country. Also known as Malaysia’s National Day, the Merdeka Day is celebrated with a lot of vigor and vibrancy all over the country, this symbolizes the true unity within the Malaysian population. Flags and vibrant lights decorate the streets, stage shows, exhibitions, and competitions are other festivities that come along. There is a morning parade from the Merdeka Square that is witnessed by thousands of spectators including the Majesty, the King. The Malaysian flag is proudly displayed in most of the businesses, homes, and vehicles.
5.Chinese New Year
With a majority of the population from Chinese origins, Chinese New Year is the most widely celebrated and one of the most important festivals in Malaysia. Considered to be the first day of the Chinese Lunar Calendar, each year is named after one of the twelve animals that are represented in the Chinese Zodiac. All the houses are cleaned, washed and decorated days before the actual day. On the day of the festival, prayers are offered, food is prepared in plenty, and brand new clothes are purchased.
This day marks the celebration of the social and economic achievements of the workers towards the development of the nation. May 1st is officially the Labour’s day all over the world. People often use this day to relax and spend their time with their family, shop at various malls, and visit attractions. There are peaceful rallies carried out by the workers to bring to notice to their management for better working conditions and for the implementation of all the promised conditions.
This day is widely celebrated by Buddhist all over the world. This day marks three significant developments in the life of Buddha – birth, enlightenment, and death. It is often referred to as Buddha Purnima or Buddha Day in certain parts of the world. It is always celebrated on a Sunday that is closest to the full moon day in May. Buddhist devotees gather in temples and offer prayers and sacrifices on this day along with flowers & candles. People also actively participate in making donations and charity. They also restrict consuming any alcoholic content and eat at specific intervals of the day. This is also considered to be a day of self-restraint.
One of the vividly celebrated holidays in Malaysia. This day commemorates to honor the Agong and several Malaysian citizens. One of the formal festivals celebrated in Malaysia, people often dress up in their best outfit. Several medals, ribbons are handed over to the people in Malaysia who have indulged in impressive deeds all through the year. Most of the awards and rewards are for extreme acts of kindness and for heroism. Some of the prime participants of this event include members of the royal family, government officials, and several diplomatic corps.
It is tough to list all the festivals and public holidays of Malaysia in one single article. Malaysia offers a wide range of festivities during its beautiful festivals and public holidays all through the year. Each festival in Malaysia comes with its unique charm and festivities associated with it. Come and explore the world of Malaysia today.