Penang Travel Guides

January

Chinese New Year: this is a time of joy for Chinese, when relatives travel long distances for reunions and friends and family present each other with small red packets containing cash (angpows), as tokens of prosperity for the coming year. Elaborate celebrations are held, featuring feasts and lion dances. The lion dances are seen as a means of warding off evil spirits and ushering in the new year.

February

Chap Goh Meh: is an unusual festival during which young unmarried women toss oranges into the sea to would-be suitors. This is a tradition brought to Southeast Asia by Hokkien immigrants, and is considered the equivalent of Valentine’s Day.

April

Songkran: celebrated in mid-April, this festival has Thai origins. Thai Buddhist temples are the venues for the festivities held around the island, which also feature water-splashing in honour of the Thai New Year. This symbolic spiritual cleansing is shared with friends and unsuspecting passersby who are likely to spend much of the day soaking wet.

May

Penang International Triathlon: is an annual event held in May that brings hundreds of athletes to Penang to participate in this gruelling, non-stop race that involves swimming, cycling and running.

June

International Dragon Boat Festival: teams from around the world flock to Penang for the Dragon Boat Festival that’s held each year in June in the waters off Batu Uban. This event is all about camaraderie and friendly competition, and known for being Southeast Asia’s most colourful boat race.Visit this website for further information about Penang Dragon Boat Festival

July

Penang Beach Carnival: every July, this week-long carnival offers up plenty of local foods, seaside festivities, shows and cultural events, fashion parades, inter-hotel competitions and parties. Held at Batu Ferringhi, the festivities bring in lots of visitors.

August

Penang Cultural Festival: is a month-long festival that’s held to celebrate Penang’s multi-cultural heritage. Special performances and shows are featured throughout August. In addition, the Penang Food Festival occurs during this time, allowing visitors the opportunity to try out the many varieties of cuisines that are represented on the island.

Malaysia National Day: on 31 August the country celebrates its independence by holding parades and staging performances and various shows in towns and cities throughout the country. Streets are adorned with colourful banners and lights for this important occasion.

September

Malaysia Fest: for two weeks in September, major hotels and resorts join forces with the country’s largest shopping complexes to attract visitors for this special celebration of all things Malaysian. Culture, cuisine, handicrafts and more are featured.

October

Shopping Carnival: in Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru shopping extravaganzas extend from Malaysia Fest into October for two full weeks of special sales and product offerings at participating merchants. There are hundreds of shopping outlets in Penang that participate in this special event.

November

Pesta Pulau Penang Festival: this festival is held as a reminder to Penang residents of their unique multi-cultural and harmonious heritage. The Pesta Pulau Festival has been held for more than four decades and is a good example of a much-loved favourite among locals.

December

Christmas: celebrated on 25 December, religious traditions are followed including midnight services at churches on Christmas Eve. At the island’s many shopping centres, hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues, the spirit of the season is enjoyed by Christians and non-Christians alike.Visit this website for further information about Christmas Celebration in Penang