2015 Malaysian Calendar
Official 2015 Malaysian Calendar ( released by the government)
Malaysia Dayis celebrated annually on 16th September. Malaysia Day celebrates the establishment of the Malaysian federation, which took place on 16th September 1963 and it was first celebrated in 2010.
• Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given above are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Hari Raya Puasa, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Some restaurants are closed during the day and there may be restrictions on smoking and drinking. Some disruption may continue into Hari Raya Puasa itself and Hari Raja Qurban may last anything from two to 10 days, depending on the region.
• Buddhist festivals are also timed according to phases of the moon and variations may occur.
Malaysians enjoy several different religious festivals and public holidays. A small number of these are fixed. However, Muslim, Chinese, and Hindu calendars are lunar ones, and therefore years are not of the same length, and the dates of most Malaysian celebrations are variable. The constituent states also have their own holidays, usually to celebrate such events as the local Sultan’s or Governor’s birthday, and not all events have religious significance.
Here is a list of some major holidays in Malaysia
Here is an insight on some of the major festivals in Malaysia:
Hari Raya Puasa
The end of the fasting month is called Hari Raya, or Hari Raya Puasa. Special prayers are offered at the mosque and an open house is held for family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. It is the one event in the Muslim calendar to which a foreign visitor might be invited. Celebrations usually last for three days. It is a time for visiting and giving special thanks to parents and other senior relatives, and asking for forgiveness for past sins. Invitations are by word of mouth or a formal card, but a visitor can usually go along with a friend because open house means what it says. However, the times during which you can visit will be specified. Some houses will open for most of the day, but if you receive an invitation to the house of a dignitary, dates and times will be more precisely specified. It is an opportunity to sample the best of Malay or Indian curries, relishes, fish, and varieties of cooked rice.
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year, which is usually held in January or February, is not strictly a religious festival; it is celebrated by all Chinese whether they are Buddhist, Taoist, Christian, or inclined more to ancestor worship. All business comes to a standstill. It is a national holiday, and in most states is of two days’ duration, though you may find that some Chinese may take a little longer break. The celebrations include street parades and dragon dances.
Family reunions are an essential part of the celebrations on the first day; there is a generous quantity of food, with a big family dinner, and many toasts are offered. It is a time when all family members make every effort to attend. There is an open house the following day commencing from mid-morning and ending late evening, with substantial supplies of alcohol, sweetmeats, and snacks. An ample supply of flowers, incense sticks, candles, and red oranges decorate the family altar, and families visit Buddhist temples. Visitors are greeted with handshakes. On the third or fourth day of the celebrations some families also prepare a special meal of raw fish and finely shredded vegetables.
The Hungry Ghosts festival usually takes place between July and August. At this time the spirits of the dead are thought to roam the earth, and they must be nourished to prevent them from bringing harm to the living. They are presented with food, and the burning of paper money and other paper gifts. The spirits are also entertained with Chinese operatic performances, and there is much lavish eating and drinking. This festival is especially celebrated among the Penang Chinese.
Moon Cake Festival
The Moon Cake Festival in September or October, which marks the appearance of the Autumn moon and celebrates the defeat of the Mongol dynasty in ancient China, is the occasion for the baking and eating of a rich pastry—the moon cake. The cake is made from bean paste, lotus seed, and sometimes duck egg. Colorful lanterns are lit, incense is burned, and there are family dinners. It is considered an auspicious time for organizing major events such as weddings. The foreign visitor should try moon cake—it’s delicious!
Dewali / Deepavali (Festival of Lights)
The most well-known of the Hindu Indian celebrations is Deepavali, which usually falls in October or November. It is the time for the gathering of family and friends to celebrate the triumph of good over evil in Hindu mythology, and the victory of Lord Rama over the evil King Ravana, or of Krisna over Asura/Naragasuran. Indian streets, houses, and shops are gaily decorated. Open houses are held and houses are also decorated with colored electric lights or lighted oil lamps, flowers, fruit, and sometimes floor decorations made from colored rice, pulses, and beans. It is a time when the old is swept away and a new beginning ushered in with the hope that good fortune and prosperity will follow. People may take baths sprinkled with scented oils and put on their finest new clothes; children receive gifts, and alms are given to the poor.
The main Hindu public ceremony is Thaipusam, which is usually held in January or February. It is dedicated as a thanksgiving to Lord Subramaniam (Muruga) for prayers that have been answered, and it celebrates the virtues of courage, fortitude, and endurance. It also expresses penance. Participants go into a state of trance while the procession, with singing, chanting, drumming, and libations, makes its way to a temple or shrine.
Some local holidays are not listed.