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Festivals in Malaysia
Anyone visiting Malaysia for the first time will be
amazed by the number of festivals and events celebrated in Malaysia as
Malaysia has a great mix of races, religion and culture. Some of these
traditions are celebrated nationwide while some only in particular
state. Most of these festivals are celebrated in conjunction with a
religious occasion or a tradition.
Hari Raya Aidil Fitri
Also known as Hari Raya Puasa, this festival is
celebrated by the Muslims after a month of fasting during the month of
Ramadan. A call for prayers on the last night of Ramadhan marks the
arrival of the month of Syawal. The celebration commences with a
massive congregation of worshipers in the mosques in the early
morning. Delicious traditional and modern food is served such as the
ketupat, rendang, lemang, dodol and cookies. The men appear handsome
as they dress in their Baju Melayu and the women look beautiful in
their Buju Kurung or Kebaya.
The festival is celebrated with great joy to signify
the triumph after fasting for a whole month as part of the duties of a
Muslim. Joy is also felt especially when family members gather to
strengthen relations and ask for forgiveness. It is also a common
tradition to visit relatives and friends. The elders will present the
young ones with green packets filled with money or Duit Raya. Having
an "Open House" is a common practice where friends from other races
are invited, thus strengthening inter-cultural relations.
Chinese New Year
This is the most significant festival for the Chinese
community based on the lunar calendar which has 12 cycles themed after
animals. Before the arrival of the Chinese New Year houses are swept,
cleaned and decorated with flowers and oranges. Red is the main choice
of color for clothing and decorations as it symbolizes prosperity.
Families from far and near will return to their hometown to attend a
traditional reunion dinner. It is an exuberant festival with clangs of
cymbals accompanying lion dances and thunders of fire crackers filling
the air to dispel evil spirits.
The signature dish for this festival is the Yee Sang
and it is accompanied by other delicacies such as Nien Ko. The
unmarried are given gifts of money enclosed in little red packets or
Ang Pows by those who already have families. The celebration will end
on the fifteenth day of Chinese New Year, which is also known as Chap
Deepavali, also known as the festival of lights is
celebrated by Hindus. The word "Deepavali" is a combination of the
word "Dipa" which means light and the word "Gavali" which means line.
Most of their homes are lit with little lights and oil lamps for the
Hindus believe that this is the day when the forces of good overcome
the forces of evil. Homes are also decorated with a kolam. It is a
colorful design made of grains and rice placed on the floor in front
of the house.
To celebrate Deepavali, Hindus will take oil bath as a
symbol of purity. Later, they will perform their prayers in their own
homes or at temples. Maruku, Laddu and various sweet cookies are among
popular food for celebrating Deepavali.
This occasion is celebrated by Dayaks of Sarawak on
1st of June every year. The festival is held to show thanksgiving for
the bountiful harvest that is bestowed upon them by the God of Rice
and Wealth. The festival is celebrated with activities such as self
defense demonstration, a beauty contest, Ngajat dance competition,
blowpipe demonstration and cock-fighting competition.
Tadau Kaamatan Festival
Also known as the Harvest Festival, this occasion is
celebrated in May by the Kadazandusuns of Sabah to show thanksgiving
for the abundant harvest to Kinoingan, the Creator and also to worship
the spirit of Bambaazon for greater harvest for the seasons to come.
The tapai arak beras is served as a specialty drink during the
celebration. many activities are held such as a beauty queen contest,
the sumazau dance performance and competition, a type of dance that is
synonym to the Kadazandusuns.
|Date of Issue
||15 August 2006
||30 sen, 50 sen, RM1
||40 mm X 30 mm
||RM1.00 X 2
||70 mm X 100 mm
|Stamp Size in
||30 mm X 40 mm