Malaysia since its independence in 1957 has a flourishing economic growth in Southeast Asia. The country’s diverse culture and tradition have become a unique attraction among its increasing visitors. British colonialism has occurred in the 18th century with the country’s potential to development in addition to its fascinating location in Asia blessed with the bounty of nature.
Public holidays in Malaysia reflect the abundance of diverse tradition and culture in the country. The government has officially announced the list of public holidays which are observed nationwide.
New Year’s Day – January 1, Thursday
Like any other countries globally, Malaysia also celebrates the New Year except in some states like Perlis, Kelantan, Johor, Terennganu and Kedah. Fireworks display filled the air along with enthusiastic celebrations of festive meal family get together. This is the time which is believed to abound prosperity, peace and love in the country.
Maulidur Rasul (Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday) – January 3, Saturday
Malaysia’s state religion is Muslim and compromises the biggest population, celebrates this purely religious festivity. The prophet’s birthday is well commemorated through recitals of verses and lectures from the Koran.
Chinese New Year – February 19, Thursday
The Chinese community comprises the population of Malaysia. Like other Western countries, this celebration overflows with various rituals and traditions. Dragon dance, fireworks and red envelopes are amongst the most popular traditions being observed.
Labor Day – May 1, Friday
This event is also known as the International Worker’s Day where all countries around the world give honor to workers. This is also a time for them to rest and relax.
Wesak Day – May 3, Sunday
This is the holiest day in among Buddhist. Though may differ from country to country, Buddha’s birthday as the Holy Day in Buddhist calendar is a high celebration. Temples are decorated with lights where devotees can visit to meditate, offers prayers and give alms to Buddhist monks. This sacred day is highlighted especially in Kuala Lumpur where the procession goes on with Buddha on the float.
Agong’s Birthday (The King’s Birthday) – June 6, Saturday
Depending on the birthday of the current King, the ceremonial date of the King’s birthday does not change. The date generally falls on the first Saturday of June.”Trooping the Colour” in merdeka Square highlights the occasion. Series of ceremonies and events highlight the occasion. The term Agong refers to English word ‘His Majesty’ or ‘Her Majesty’.
Hari Raya Aidilfitri – July 17, Friday
Following the month of Muslim’s fasting and abstinence or Ramadhan is the Hari Raya Aidilfitri which is commemorated anywhere in Malaysia. This is significant to Muslims who have surpassed the month long abstinence and self-restraint through fasting. This is considered as the highest religious celebration for Muslims.
National day or Merdeka Day – August 31, Monday
Also known as the Freedom Day, Malaysia became independent in 1857 from the colonization of the British rule. Merdeka Square is the center of the celebration where parades, shimmering lights and flags decorated the place. This also symbolizes the country’s unity amidst diverse creeds and races.
Malaysia Day – September 16, Wednesday
This celebration is also known as the “Hari Malaysia”. This day is remembered and celebrated when the federation of Malaysia was formed with the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak and British colony of Singapore. Formal events and activities are held including parades which commemorate Malaysian spirit in achieving independence.
Hari Raya Haji – September 24, Thursday
This is one of the highest festivities in Muslim history around the world. Also known as Eid-Al-Adha, this celebration commemorates Prophet Muhammad’s sacrifice to even offer the lie of his son. One of the traditions observed is the slaughtering of animal meat which is to be given to poor families as a special form of charity. This is also the time for families to gather and share the festive meal with luxurious eating of meat, gift giving to children and wearing of luxurious clothes.
Awal Muharram – October 14, Wednesday
The event is considered as the Islamic New Year. Two festivities embark this date based on the Muslim calendar, Awal as the beginning and Muharram means first month. Unlike other countries, Muslims face the new year quietly with solemn prayers and readings who gathered in mosques. Religious and spiritual activities are held in public mosques like recital of verses and lectures of the Koran.
Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday – December 24, Thursday
This is a purely religious festival to Muslims in Malaysia. This is to commemorate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad last 570 AD. Prayers, sermons, Koran recital verses and other religious activities are done. Muhammad’s birthplace in Mecca was transformed into a place of prayer.
Christmas Day – December 25, Friday
Malaysia like other Christian nations celebrates the birth of the savior Jesus. The festivity is commemorated with giving gifts to children, elegant meals on the table where the whole family gathered around along with singing of Christmas carols. Colorful lights and Christmas tress filled with attractive decorations add enthusiasm to this celebration.
Now that you have acquainted with various holidays in Malaysia, planning for a visit in the country is the next big thing that comes in your mind. Celebrate in one of the country’s holidays and witness the unique ambiance of Malaysia.