Are you wondering when the Hair Raya Puasa will take place in the Malaysian calendar? In today's post, we will walk you through the most important dates in Malaysia and give you notes on when some of the biggest festivals are so you can time your travel correctly and gauge how much time you can learn Malay for travel. To give you a more comprehensive view, we will also review the impact of COVID-19 and whether certain national holidays are canceled because of it. If you are up for that, then off we go!
Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country popular due to its distinct national treasures and diversity of races, cultures, and religions. For tourists out there, the country is also famous for being part of the top 25 most peaceful countries in the world according to the Global Peace Index! With that considered, it is the perfect travel destination for backpackers, families, or people in pursuit of a safe and hassle-free getaway. But before you visit the ever-popular Petronas Twin Towers or the Perhentian Islands, let's get to know about the top dates to remember, shall we?
When it comes to traveling, there is nothing more exciting than authentically immersing yourself with the locals. One way by which you can do so is by joining some of the vibrant and traditional festivals celebrated by the locals. Below are 5 of the best festivals to watch out for, so be sure to time your travel during these:
The Thaipusam is one of the most important festivals / public holidays in Malaysia and is usually celebrated by the Tamil Hindu community. It is done in commemoration of the Hindu deity known as Lord Murugan (the son of Parvati and Shiva). It usually takes place in the Batu Caves near Kuala Lumpur, the Waterfall Hill Temple in Penang, and the Sri Subramanian Swami in Ipoh.
Just like the Songkran of Thailand, Malaysia also has a water festival that takes place every April. It is an important event, and it reaches from Kuantan to Labuan. Many through water gun fights, fishing tournaments, kayaking challenges, beach volleyball, and even sandcastle-building competition are celebrated by many.
Lasing for the whole month of May, this annual celebration is often known for its compilation of fantastic activities from traditional games from Malaysia, the Harvest Beauty Queen pageant, and folk songs and dances. Since it is mainly about thanksgiving for good crops (particularly rice), it is celebrated particularly in Labuan and Sabah Malaysia.
Given that majority of the population is practicing Islam, Malaysia celebrates along with the world the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri or Hari Raya Puasa. This religious holiday is the same as any other country where people must abstain from food, drinks, and ill intentions. However, as the excitement builds up, the locals usually spend this time furnishing their home with new pieces and even wear new brightly-colored clothes. As for the food, you can expect to be served some Ketupat, Lemang, and Serunding.
Malaysian Independence Day or Merdeka Day is usually celebrated on the 31st of August. In the spirit of patriotism, it is expected that people join the parades and display the Malaysian flag from their homes, offices, or private vehicles. In some cities, the whole center islands are decorated with shimmering lights, flags, and strips of cloth with yellow, blue, and red colors.
In order to make sure that you can get the best out of your travel, check out the list below to see the public holidays and observances. As a word of advice, be careful when setting your vacation during public holidays as certain government offices and establishments may also be closed.
|Date||Malaysian holidays 2021||Type of holiday||What it is all about|
|01 Jan||Tahun Baru||Regional||New Year's Day|
|14 Jan||Hari Keputeraan Yang di Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan||Regional||Yang di Pertuan Besar Negeri Sembilan's Birthday|
|28 Jan||Thaipasum||Regional||Thanksgiving to Lord Subramaniam|
|01 Feb||Hari Wilayah Persekutuan||Regional||Federal Territory Day|
|12 Feb||Tahun Baru Cina||National||Chinese New Year|
|13 Feb||Tahun Baru Cina||National||Chinese New Year|
|04 Mar||Hari Ulang Tahun Pertabalan Sultan Terengganu||Regional||Anniversary of Installation of Sultan of Terengganu|
|11 Mar||Israk & Mikraj||Regional||The Prophet's Ascension|
|23 Mar||Hari Keputeraan Sultan Johor||Regional||Birthday of the Sultan of Johor|
|02 Apr||Good Friday||Regional||Good Friday|
|13 Apr||Awal Ramadan||Regional||Start of Ramadan|
|15 Apr||Hari Perisytiharan Melaka Sebagai Bandaraya Bersejarah||Regional||Declaration of Malacca as a Historical City|
|26 Apr||Hari Keputeraan Sultan Terengganu||Regional||Sultan of Terengganu's Birthday|
|29 Apr||Nuzul Al Quran||Regional||Qur'an Revelation Day|
|01 May||Hari Pekerja||National||Labor day|
|13 May||Hari Raya Aidilfitri||National||Conclusion of Ramadan|
|22 May||Hari Hol Pahang||Regional||Commemorate the sultans of Pahang|
|26 May||Hari Wesak||National||Vesak day|
|30 May||Pesta Kaamatan||Regional||Harvest Festival|
|01 Jun||Hari Gawai||Regional||Thanksgiving and harvest festival|
|07 Jun||Hari Keputeraan Yang di Pertuan Agong||Regional||Yang Dipertuan Agong's Birthday|
|20 Jun||Hari Keputeraan Sultan Kedah||Regional||Sultan of Kedah's Birthday|
|07Jul||Hari Ulang Tahun Perisytiharan Tapak Warisan Dunia||Regional||Georgetown World Heritage City Day|
|10 Jul||Hari Jadi Yang di Pertua Negeri Pulau Pinang||Regional||Penang Governor's Birthday|
|17 Jul||Hari Ulang Tahun Keputeraan Raja Perlis||Regional||Raja Perlis' Birthday|
|19 Jul||Hari Arafah||Regional||Day of Arafah|
|22 Jul||Hari Kemerdekaan Sarawak||Regional||Sarawak Independence Day|
|30 Jul||Hari Keputeraan Sultan Pahang||Regional||Sultan of Pahang's Birthday|
|10 Aug||Awal Muharram||National||Hijri New Year|
|24 Aug||Hari Jadi Yang di Pertua Negeri Melaka||Regional||Malacca Governor's Birthday|
|31 Aug||Hari Kebangsaan||National||National Day|
|13 Sep||Hari Hol Almarhum Sultan Iskanda||Regional||To commemorate the passion of the previous Sultan of Johor|
|16 Sep||Hari Malaysia||National||Malaysia Day|
|02 Oct||Hari Jadi Yang di Pertua Negeri Sabah||Regional||Sabah Governor's Birthday|
|19 Oct||Hari Keputeraan Nabi Muhammad||Regional||Prophet Muhammad's Birthday|
|04 Nov||Deepavali||Regional||Festival of Lights / Diwali|
|05 Nov||Hari Keputeraan Sultan Perak||Regional||Sultan of Perak's Birthday|
|11 Nov||Hari Keputeraan Sultan Kelantan||Regional||Sultan of Kelantan's Birthday|
|11 Dec||Hari Keputeraan Sultan Selangor||Regional||Sultan of Selangor's Birthday|
|25 Dec||Hari Krismas||National||Christmas day|
As we reach this part of the post, we bet you are wondering when is the best time to visit Malaysia! However, before you jump into a plane, learn Malaysian, or purchase your outfits, please know that protocols are being placed today due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of writing this post, the country has implemented strict entry and movement policies that all tourists and locals must adhere to.
The CDC raised the COVID-Level of transmission in the country at level 4, which is why you must take caution if you are planning to visit for the sake of leisurely activities. Aside from wearing masks and maintaining social distancing by at least 6 feet (2 meters), all travelers are required to take a COVID-19 RT-PCR swab test 72 hours before arriving in the country. In addition, once you are inside the zone, you will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at the designated quarantine facility.
Recent news suggests that the sudden spike in cases is because of the Eid festival, which is why the government is now stricter and is enforcing lockdowns. With all these considered, please note that most of the public holidays and festivals are not canceled but are currently not allowed to be celebrated outdoors.
As you may have known, things have not exactly played out the way we want them to be due to recent events. However, today's challenges must not wear you down, and you must persist by finding time to work on things you are passionate about. If you plan to visit Malaysia, now is the best time to learn their language, arrange your itinerary, and save up for the adventure ahead.
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