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Travel Guide > Asia > Malaysia

Malaysia Climate & When to go

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Malaysia is rich in its culture diversity and is home to many people from all walks of life. Malaysia holidays consist of both national and religious holidays. Traveling here might be a little confusing because some holidays are applied to certain states in Malaysia. The following is a compilation of national and religious holidays.

National Public Holidays 

1. Chinese New Year: 3 February.

2. Prophet Muhammad's Birthday: 15 February.

3. Labour Day: 1 May.

4. Vesak Day: 17 May.

5. Birthday of S.P.B Yang di-Pertuan Agong: 4 June.

6. National Day: 31 August.

7. Hari Raya Puasa: 30 and 31 August.

8. Malaysia Day: 16 September.

9. Deepavali: 26 October.

10. Hari Raya Haji: 6 November.

11. Islamic New Year: 27 November.

12. Christmas Day: 25 December.

Since Malaysia is an Islamic country, holidays that are non-Islamic related are applied to certain states. Be mindful about topics such as alcohol and parties when traveling to states such as Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu. Nonetheless, Malaysia holidays are filled with joyous celebrations and festive foods.

Chinese New Year

The holiday period for Chinese New Year is only for a day in Malaysia but the visiting goes on for 15 days in total. Bring two pairs of mandarin oranges when you are invited for lunch or dinner. Expect to savor local dishes such as roasted pig, bak kwa (pork dried meat), garlic prawns and crispy spring roll. Red packets are given to those who unmarried. 

Prophet Muhammad's Birthday

Muslims go to the mosque for prayers in the morning, followed by syarahan or preaching session by the Imam. Families then spend time together at home for lunch or visit the orphanage to take part in charity activities.

Labour Day

All workers in Malaysia are granted for a day off on this day. For those who are in the food and beverage and sales sectors are required to work but employers have to grant them another day in their annual leave. 

Vesak Day

Buddhists in Malaysia gather at the temple in the morning for prayers. This is usually followed by an act of generosity such as releasing caged animals and a trip to the hospital for blood donation. Observers are welcome to join the ceremony.

Birthday of S.P.B Yang di-Pertuan Agong

This marks the King's birthday and huge celebrations are taken country wide, especially in Kuala Lumpur. Military band and other volunteers take part in a colorful marching parade across KL. Malaysians usually head down to the parade to get a glimpse of the King. 

National Day

Malaysia celebrates its independence from the British colonial rule. Charity groups, volunteers and the military take part in the parade at Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur. The King, members of the Parliament and important guests are invited to this joyous celebration.

Hari Raya Puasa

Muslims in Malaysia go for prayers in the morning at a nearby mosque. Then, families get ready and dressed in the traditional baju kurung for visiting. Gatherings are usually taken place at the grandparent's house and this means, most Malaysians take a week off from work and head back to kampung or known as hometown. Green packets are given to children and teenagers.

Malaysia Day

This day commemorates the establishment of Malaysian federation and the joining of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore to form Malaysia in 1963. Singapore later then declared independence from Malaysia in 1965. Celebrations are held at various parts of the country.


Deepavali is also known as the festival of lights and Hindus decorate their homes with bright lanterns and draw Rangoli motifs with colorful chalks on the floors. A family gathering is held on this day where the young and old get a chance to spend time together.

Hari Raya Haji

This day marks the end of Pilgrimage and sacrificial of animals are done, which is part of the celebration. Part of the meat is then donated to the poor. In the afternoon, families gather for lunch and a good bonding session. 

Islamic New Year

The Islamic New Year is the beginning of a new year in Islamic calendar year. Muslims all over Malaysia go for prayers in the morning and ask God for guidance and forgiveness. There are also religious lectures and community oriented work for Muslims.

Christmas Day

Malaysia has annual year end sale where most of the items are slashed down to fifty percent and it is the best time to get Christmas gifts. Christmas Day is Jesus Christ's birthday and dinner parties are held on Christmas Eve. Friends and families then exchange gifts on the next day. 

Check out what to do these holidays.

Festivals in Malaysia

Music Festival Rainforest World Music Festival
Rainforest World Music Festival has been around since 1997 and its popularity is growing from year to year. Accommodation around the festival grounds are snapped up as soon as bookings open so be quick. Good places to stay are Holiday Inn Damai Beach and Damai L... more
From RM110, in Sarawak

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