Malaysia Travel Guides

Malaysia has an active events calendar with festivals occurring throughout the year. Although many of them are religious celebrations, there are still plenty that focus on the country’s unique culture and varied history. Visitors are welcome to join in the country’s annual celebrations.

January

Thaipusam: this Hindu festival sees devotees pierce their bodies with hooks, skewers and pins. The participants meditate and enter a trance-like state, which supposedly frees their minds and ensures they don't feel any pain. The festival takes place in Kuala Lumpur and follows a route from Sri Mahamariaman Temple in Chinatown to one of the country’s most famous religious sites, the Batu Caves. Drummers, dancers and supporters add to the lively atmosphere.

February

Chinese New Year: marks the first day of the first new moon, and is celebrated all over Malaysia. Most of the larger towns and cities organise performances, firework displays and traditional lion and dragon dances. Most people choose to celebrate the new year with family and friends, and children often receive small gifts of money from their relatives.Visit this website for further information about Chinese Recipes for Chinese New Year

March

Malaysian Grand Prix: the tight course and demanding conditions have earned the Sepang International Circuit a reputation as being one of the top Formula One circuits in the world. The hot and humid conditions ensure that only the fittest and best drivers succeed.

April

KL International Water Festival: there's no better way to cool off from the tropical heat than to join in the KL International Water Festival. The month-long programme of events includes sailing, canoeing, jet-skiing, underwater treasure hunts and much more. Cultural events in the evenings include musical and dance performances.

May

Labuan International Sea Challenge: this popular event takes place on the seas off Sabah and attracts visitors from all over the world. The International Game Fishing Tournament is part of the qualifying rounds of the IGFA Offshore Championship, while the Cross Channel Swimming Challenge sees competitors swim for prize money.

June

Penang International Dragon Boat Festival: large crowds gather to watch this spectacular boat festival on the waters surrounding Penang. Teams of 20 rowers power the 30ft-long dragon boats through the water, accompanied by the rhythmic beat of drummers.

August

Kuala Lumpur International Tower Jump: extreme sports enthusiasts will enjoy this spectacle, when base jumpers dive off the Menara Kuala Lumpur (KL Tower). They fall for approximately three seconds before deploying their parachutes, and then glide gracefully down to the landing zone.

September

Ramadan Bazaar: this bazaar is held every year to mark the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan. Towns and cities across the country organise their own unique events, with plenty of street vendors selling freshly prepared local dishes.

November

Diwali: this festival is the most important in the Hindu calendar and celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Also known as the Festival of Lights, it is a time to visit family, exchange gifts and attend ceremonies at temples. Fireworks and lantern decorations are also typical of this festival.

December

Eid al-Adha: otherwise known at the Feast of Sacrifice, this event marks the end of the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca and commemorates Ibrahim’s willingness to obey God’s order to sacrifice his son. Each family is expected to sacrifice a cow or goat and donate part of the meat to those less fortunate than themselves.