Calendar of Public Holidays 2012 in Malaysia
Malaysia celebrates more public holidays than most countries in the world, they have state holidays (celebrates only in certain states of Malaysia) and National holidays (celebrates by most of the states). There are many more holidays celebrated in Malaysia than are listed below but these are the official public holidays of Malaysia.
Here are the national holidays which are celebrated by all of Malaysia:
1st Day of Chinese New Year – February 3rd (varies according to the Chinese calendar)
Homes and streets are decorated with lanterns and symbols of the coming new year, houses are cleaned, new clothes worn and debts are settled. Friends and family gather for meals and in the streets you can see lion dances and firework displays.
Birthday of Prophet Muhammad – 15th February
Celebrated by Muslims it is also called Maulidur Rasul, the day begins with prayer, breakfast and then gatherings in stadiums, halls or town squares where official events are held. Speeches are given, pantomimes performed, awards handed out and prayers are offered. Then there is a procession with music and dancing in the streets.
Labor Day – 1st May
A celebration of the progress made over the years in the field of laborer’s rights both socially and commercially. This day is sometimes marked with a procession but otherwise families relax and spend time together.
Malaysia King’s Birthday – 4th June
On this day the king officiates at several events for example in Merdeka Square, kuala Lumpur the king inspects the troops. There are performances by the military band and a trooping of the color and the main celebrations are in the country’s capital.
Hari Raya Puasa – 30th and 31st August
Here Muslims mark the end of Ramadan (the month where they fast during daylight hours), this celebration is also called Eid. People visit the graves of their ancestors, pray in the mosques and gather with their families. As the celebration is over 2 days many return to their hometowns for this long holiday. The Prime Minister holds an open house for visitors at his official residence and other open house events are held.
Malaysia Day – 16th September
Celebrating the establishment of the Malaysian Federation of Malaysia, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore which happened in 1963. Flags are flown in the streets there are ceremonies and parades as the people pour out onto the streets and into the main squares. There are celebrations open to the public where officials watch and music and dance are performed. There are also parades, the best known being the Merdeka Parade.
Deepavali – 26th October
The Indian festival of lights is celebrated by visiting family members especially the elderly and the Indians welcome non-Hindus into their homes. Firecrackers are let off in the streets and believers visit the temples to pray. Small lights are lit to celebrates the triumph of good over evil.
Hari Raya Qurban – November 6th
The Festival of Sacrifice celebrates Abraham’s willingness to do as God told him and sacrifice his son Ishmael who was replaced by a sheep for the sacrifice instead. Those who have the means sacrifice an animal (a cow, goat or sheep) then the meat is given out to family members and the poor. Prayer and chanting is an important part of this celebration.
1st day of Muharram – 27th November
This is the first day of the Islamic calendar and during the first month it is prohibited to fight. There are religious ceremonies, special prayers, lectures, religious meetings and activities as well as singing. The day also commemorates the Prophet Muhammad’s journey from Mecca to Medina. On this day in Malaysia there is also an award presented to someone who has contributed to Islam.
Christmas Day – 25th December
The Christian celebration of the birth of Christ is marked by religious services in churches, the exchanging of gifts and Christians decorate Christmas trees in their homes.
Apart from these national holidays the following are also widely celebrated by most of the Malaysian states:
- New Year’s Day (1st January)
- Thaipusam (20 January)
- 2nd day of the Chinese New Year (4th February)
- Day of Nuzul Al-Quran (17th August).
There are a score of other holidays celebrated in a small number of the Malaysian states.