Malaysia: Public Holidays

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Malaysia Public Holidays

Multicultural Malaysia celebrates a vast range of festivals, but the ones to look out for nationwide are Islamic holidays, most notably the fasting month of Ramadhan. At the end of the month is the festival of Hari Raya Puasa, also known as Aidilfitri, when pretty much the entire country takes a week or two off to 'balik kampung' or return to their home towns to meet family and friends. Other major holidays include Chinese New Year (around February), the Buddhist holiday of Wesak (around June), Deepavali, the Hindu festival of lights (around November) and Christmas. Some uniquely Malaysian festivals of note include the Harvest Festival at the end of May each year and the 'Pesta Gawai' in early June, both thanksgiving celebrations held in East Malaysia. Thaipusam is a Hindu festival that falls in January or February and is one of the must-see events. The largest procession in the country takes place at Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur. Devotees carry decorated altars or kavadi up a flight of 272 steps towards the temple, all this while also having spears and hooks pierced through various parts of their bodies. Annual special events include:

1 January: New Year’s Day
10 January: Awal Muharam (Maal Hijrah)
7 & 8 February: Chinese New Year
20 March: Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday
1 May: Labour Day
19 May: Wesak Day
7 June: Birthday of SPB Yang di-Pertuan Agong
31 August: National/Merdeka Day
1 & 2 October: Hari Raya Puasa
27 October: Deepavali
8 December: Hari Raya Qurban
25 December: Christmas Day
29 December: Awal Muharram (Maal Hijrah)