MALAYSIA and SINGAPORE
RELIGIOUS CELEBRATIONS AND OBSERVATIONS
Religious Holidays and Celebrations in Malaysia and Singapore
continued from Holidays and Celebrations of Malaysia and Singapore.
Wesak Day or Vesak Day
(May) Buddhists pay
homage to Buddha by commemorating his birth, death and enlightenment
on this day. On this day Buddhist throughout the country hold
prayers at Buddhist and Chinese temples throughout the country in
Malaysia and Singapore.
Many temples serve free food (especially to the less fortunate) or
sell vegetarian food during the day. This is a major celebration
for many of the Chinese Malaysians and Singaporeans who are mainly
Buddhists and some of the Indians in the two countries.
At temples, you can see
devotees offering prayers and conducting rituals such as 'bathing
of Buddha'. Check with tourism Malaysia and temple for
processions which are sometimes held in cities such as Kuala
Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Seremban, Melaka and George Town. These are
usually beautifully decorated floats and candle light
TAOIST AND BUDDHIST
Festival of the
Nine Emperor Gods (according to lunar calendar -
This festival falls on the ninth day of the ninth
moon in the Chinese lunar calendar. The Nine
Emperor Gods are spiritual mediums believed to dwell in the stars
in heaven. On the eve of the ninth moon, temples of the Deities
hold a ceremony to welcome the gods. The
rituals during the festival acts as a channel between celestial
beings and humans for the salvation and protection of mankind.
The Gods are believed to
travel through the waterways so processions are held from temples
to the seashore or river. The celebration lasts for 9 days. Many
devotees throng to the temples to offer prayers and follow a
vegetarian diet during this period. On the 9th day ends
usually with a fire-walking ritual. In Penang temples are crowded
and streets are lined with stalls selling praying items of
vegetarian food. Other Chinese
Dragon Boat Festival / Chang Festival (according to lunar calendar
This festival marks the death of a Chinese poet and scholar Qu Yuan who drowned in 296 BC in Hunan province in China . When people heard of his
disappearance, they scoured the river in boats to rescue him,
beating their drums to scare off the fishes from nibbling at his
body. Unable to find his body, they made glutinous rice dumplings
wrapped in bamboo leaves and threw them into the river in the hope
that the fishes would eat these dumplings instead of his remains.
This day falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese
lunar calendar. To commemorate the occasion, boats were decorated
with dragon heads on their bows. The tradition of making dumplings
(called 'chang')is celebrated by the Chinese community in Malaysia with the offering of the dumplings
to the gods. The festival is celebrated in Penang annually with an international
dragon boat competition which is immensely popular and attracts
participants from all over the world.
More Chinese Festivals HERE
Hari Raya Puasa
(according to Muslim calendar)
the first day of the month following Ramadan (a month of fasting
and abstinence for Muslims). The celebration begins after sunset
on the 29th
day of Ramadan when Muslims break their daily fast. If the
crescent appears, the next day is declared Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
The day begins with Muslims praying in mosques early in the
morning followed by visits to the graveyards of loved ones. In
Malaysia, many Muslims hold ‘open houses’ for relatives and
friends of all races.
Stalls selling food during Ramadan
Homes are brightly lit with lamps and lights
during this celebration. Muslims prepare a variety of cakes and
food such as ketupat (rice cakes) and rendang (a dry
curry) during this festival. This is a major celebration for many
Malays who will travel back to their family homes for a gathering.
(Photo: food stalls seen in the streets during Ramadan)
Visitors in Malaysia can
enjoy Malaysian food one month long - walk should take a walk
round the numerous stalls that line the streets of town especially
from late afternoon to night. A great place to sample Malay or
Muslim cuisines, fruits and snacks.
Ads by our affiliates
Hari Raya Haji (Adiladha)
This celebration of sacrifice comes two months and ten days
after Hari Raya Puasa. On this day, after Salat al-'Eid
(prayers), Muslims sacrifice an animal: a ram, goat, sheep, cow
or camel. The meat is divided into three parts, one part
distributed among the poor and needy, second part distributed
among relatives and friends and third part is used by the
family. This is also a major holiday for Muslims to visit each
other and give gifts to the children. Adiladha is
celebrated on the 10th of the 12th month of the Islamic lunar
calendar, and again depends upon the crescent sighting for the
first of the month. Many Muslim make their pilgrimage to
Mecca during this period.
Deepavali (November) Deepavali (or Diwali) is the Festival of
Lights which celebrated during the 7th month of the Hindu calendar
(usually October or November). Hindus adorn their homes with
dozens of lights or oil lamps, called vikku, to signify the
triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. It is
celebrated as the day the evil Narakasura was slain by Lord
Malaysia, it is celebrated by many Malaysian Indians who are Hindus.
Malaysians of other religion will visit friends of Hindu faith to
extend good wishes and to partake of the feasting and festivity.
This is a major celebration for many Hindus in Malaysia, who will
also hold ‘open houses’.
On this day, Hindus pay homage to Lord Muruga and
celebrations normally stretch over two to three days with
drums and music played throughout the day and sometimes into
In Malaysia and Singapore, you will see thousands
of devotees at Hindu temples. A prominent feature of the
festival is the carrying of kavadis after sunset on the eve
of Thaipusam. This ritual is done as a form of penance or to
keep a promise for a prayer fulfilled. The kavadis are
wooden or steel structures gaily decorated with coloured
paper, fragrant flowers and fresh fruits. Some devotees
pierce their cheeks, tongues, bodies or foreheads with metal
needles or hooks while in a trance. It’s an incredible sight
which you have to see to believe!
Best place to see this is
at Batu Caves (KL/ Selangor); Penang (Pulau Pinang); Sungai Petani
(Kedah) and Ipoh (Perak).
It is probably the most popular festival for the Indian
community in Malaysia - enjoyed by
tourists and devotees. This Hindu festival is celebrated
mainly by the Tamils in Malaysia. But do not be surprise if
you see some Chinese participating in the rituals of this
CATHOLIC AND CHRISTIAN
Christmas (25 December) Christmas is a
public holiday nationwide and church services or masses are held
on the eve or on Christmas Day. Though a family celebration,
Malaysian Christians may hold ‘open houses’ for friends or host
MUSIC AND SONGS - MP3 DOWNLOADS
Valentine's day or St. Valentine's Day
falls on February 14 - Malaysian and Singaporean like
all the world over celebrate the day not as a religious
event - or at least take
this day as an day to express their appreciation for those
the love. Its a traditional day on which lovers let
each other know about their love by sending Valentine's
cards, flowers, chocolates or small gifts, often
anonymous. The history of Valentine's day can be traced
back to a Catholic Church feast day, in honour of Saint
Valentine. The associations of this day with romantic love
is believed to have originated during the Middle Ages.
Shopping for Valentine?