Penang Festivities | Malaysia Festivities
Penang being a city with multi-ethnic society has a myriad of colorful festivities all year round. Some of these festivities are religious occasions while other are more of community events. each festivities normally unfolds a tapestry of colors and traditional activities. Some of these festivals are not celebrated only by each community on their own but Malaysians of all ethic groups join in the fun as well.
A true melting pot of cultures, Penang is where you can experience such a variety of cultures in one destination.
Chinese New Year
It is the Lunar New Year celebrations for the Chinese community irrespective of religious. Traditionally, the celebration lasts for 15 days. This is the time where families get together for reunion, seek forgiveness and pray for a prosperous year ahead.
The whole country joins in the fun of visiting their friends from the Chinese community; this is the open house concept. open house is a practice very much unique to Malaysia and show the goodwill and friendly ties practiced by all Malaysians during any festive occasions.
Chop Goh Meh is the last day of the Lunar Chinese New Year celebrations; it is also known as the Chinese Valentine's day. This is the day when young maidens throw oranges into the sea while making their wish for a good husband.
This is Hindu religious festival as a tribute to Lord Muruga where devotees fulfill their vows by carrying kavadi. From the Sri Mahamariamman Temple in Queen Street, the statue of Lord Muraga is led by a silver chariot to the Waterdall Road Temple. Thaipusam is celebrated on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (Jan/Feb).
Wesak is the most important of the Buddhist festivals and is celebrated on the full moon in May. It celebrated the Buddha's birthday, and for some Buddhists, also marks his birth, enlightenment and death. Buddhist pilgrims will take part in a wesak Day Procession.
Hungry Ghost Festival
The Chinese believe that on the 7th Lunar month the Gates of hell will open and the hungry ghosts will be free to roam in the living world for a month. During this month the Chinese will stage opera shows and maker offering to the King of Hell and the hungry ghosts. There will be many make-shift sheds and opera stages around the streets of Penang.
Festival of Nine Emperor Gods
The festival of the Nine Emperor Gods is celebrated from the 1st to the 9th day of the 9th Lunar month where most devotees will go on a vegetarian diet. The highlight of the festival is on the 9th day when there is a procession to send the deities back to the water (such as a river or sea)
Hari Raya Aidilfiltri
A celebration fro the muslims on the first day of Syawal month to signify the end of a month of fasting in Ramadan. Families visit each other to exchange good wishes and seek forgiveness. During the fasting month, Ramadan markets or bazaars are setup all over the country selling authentic Malay cuisine for Muslims who are breaking fast. Walking around and savouring Muslim food and drinks could be a wonderful and unique experience. The whole country joins in the celebrations with open houses where Malaysians of all races and religions joins in the fun.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th Lunar month. In Malaysia and Singapore it is sometimes refereed to as Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival. The traditional food of this festival is the mooncake and children also get to carry lanterns during the celebrations.
Deepavali also known as the festival of lights is celebrated by Hindus to signify victory of good over evil. Normally celebrated around October/November every year, the Hindus will hold open house to welcome fellow Malaysians to savour delicious Indian delicacies.