More than 100 festivals, important and unimportant ones, are celebrated every year in Malaysia. But only 10 of them are regarded as national festival by government. Except a few of them are celebrate on a fixed date, the celebration date of other festivals will go public by government one year before.
Hari Raya Puasa: New Year's Day for Malays
It is the most important national festival. In September of Islam calendar, all Moslems in the country will not eat in the daytime and the first day after September will be "Hari Raya Puasa". A few days before the festival, there will be donations. In the early morning of the day, Moslems will hold grand praying ceremony in churches and then deliver congratulations to each other. It is a day for family reunion and visits among relatives and friends.
It is the "New Year's Day"for Chinese and is celebrated on January 1 in lunar calendar. A national holiday. The customs of this festival differ little from the Chinese one. You will see red banner giving congratulations and lanterns there and there; you will hear the sounds of gongs and drums. Chinese friends will visit each other to give their best wishes. Certain performers will give dragon and lion dances for the sake of a good luck in a new year. Prime Minister and his wife and other officials will also send their best wishes and deliver red envelope containing money as a gift to the dancers and kids. People will burn the joss tickets and worship the gods in hopes of attaining happiness and safety.
Flora Festive ( in July)
It lasts for a week. During it, Kuala Lumpur will become a beautiful garden city with numerous flowers. Parks and hotels will promote all kinds of activities such as "Game of Finding Flower"and flower presentation. Entrances of shopping centers will be eye-catching being decorated by colorful flowers. Festooned vehicles in different appearance parades will promote the festival to the peak. Visitors in large amount are attracted here each year.
National Day ( August 31)
It is also called "Independence Day". On this day people in the capital will celebrate it with grand festival parades and gatherings; people in other areas will hold celebrations and films will be shown to school kids for free in the cinemas.
Hari Raya Haji
It is also called "Corban Festival"or "Sacrifice Festival". An important and great festival for Moslems.
Deepavali (October or November)
It's the New Year's Day for Indians. It is celebrated in October or November on the fifth day after the full moon. In the early morning, Hindus will cover their bodies with ginger oil after a bath. And then all the family will put on new clothes to worship gods with flowers. Hindu temples are always clouded with Hindus. The female ones will worship gods with pan, areca, bananas and flowers for the sake of happiness. During this day, joss sticks are burnt almost in every house with curling smokes and light here and there, so it is also called "Bright Day". People in Sarawak and Wilayah Persekutuan State may not celebrate it.
Christmas Day (December 25)
It is the birthday of Jesus and has developed into an important festival in Malaysia just as any other countries. Christians in Malaysia will celebrate this day sincerely just like the ones in other countries. On the Christmas Eve, priests celebrate Mass in churches. And in the places like shopping centers, hotels, residential centers for elders and orphanages, Christmas carols will be heard. Both Christians and non-Christians immerse in the joys.
Mawlid, Birthday of Muhammad, the founder of Islam
A festival for Moslems. On this day (March 12 of Islamic calendar), several hundred thousand of Moslems in the capital will go to mosques for grand praying ceremony following the highest leader. And then such celebrations as magnificent parades will be held.
Vesak Day, Birthday of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism.
In the early morning of this day, Buddhists will worship and burn the joss sticks and eat vegetarian foods. As oil-lamps will be lit at every house on this day, it is called "Lamp Festival"as well.
Birthday of the Highest Leader (in office) (June 3 at present)
On this day, all kinds of celebrations will be held including watching movies and entertainment programs for free and the opening of national palace to visitors. The highest leader of the country will award those who have made great contributions to the country and society with titles and medals. A special praying ceremony will also held in mosques across the country.
Other festivals can be summarized as follows: Commonwealth Day, Kite Festival, Harvest Festival, Penang International Dragon Boat Festival, Malaysia Fest, Mid-autumn Festival, Malacca Carnival, New Year's Day of Muslim lunar calendar, Baram Water Festival, etc.
I updated this article on May 3, 2012
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