Festivals & Events
Penang celebrates the main religious festivals such as Hari Raya Puasa, Chinese New Year, Thaipusam, Vesak Day, Deepavali and Christmas. In addition there are celebrations for the National Day (31 August), the Birthdays of the King and Penang's Governor.
Hari Raya Puasa
The Muslim community looks forward to celebrating the 10th month of the "Hijrah" calendar after a month of fasting. For Muslims it is also a time to seek forgiveness and reconciliation over past mistakes with family members and relatives. The festive holidays see the exodus of Muslims throughout the country back to their 'Kampung' (villages).
Chinese New Year
A time for family reunion dinners, visiting relatives and friends and exchanging "ang pows"(red packets containing money) as the Chinese community greets the beginning of the New Year. The festival is celebrated for 15 days and ends on Chap Goh Meh (15th night of the first lunar moon)
One of the most colourful festivals to mark the victory of Lord Subramaniam over the demons. It is also symbolic of good triumphing over evil. The festival begins with a procession of the silver chariot bearing Lord Subramniam's statue from the Temple in Lebuh Queen to the Nattukotai Temple in Waterfall ' road. Devotees bear "kavadis" along the route in fulfillment of vows.
For Buddhists,Vesak Day represents the symbolic day of Gautama Buddha's birth, the day he achieved enlightenment which is also the day of his death. It is celebrated by Buddhists who undergo a vegetarian diet to "cleanse" themselves prior to the occasion. Thousands of devotees will gather at Buddhist temples throughout the country to pay homage and seek blessings. At night, a colourful procession will wind its way through the city.
Birthday of The Yang Di Pertuan Agong
(The King of Malaysia)
The official birthday of the King is celebrated with respect and affection by Malaysians in a show of pomp and pageantry, reflecting their loyalty and respect for His Majesty.
Parades, exhibitions, traditional entertainment, marching bands and cultural events are among some of the colourful activities usually organised as part of the festivities.
Birthday of Penang's Governor
(Yan Di Pertua Negeri)
The birthday of the Yang Di Pertua Negeri is celebrated throughout the State with a variety of events, including sports activities, boat races, flag parades, school band parades and tea parties.
National Day (August 31)
Malaysia's independence say is celebrated with a sense of reverence and patriotism by everyone. Parades, cultural shows and elaborate recreationalactivities are held to commemorate the Anniversary of Independence.
Prophet Mohammed's Birthday, ( peace be up on him)
The Birthday of the Prophet is celebrated with prayer sessions and religious lectures. In mosques, discussions and lectures are held to strengthen the faith and to consolidate the spirit of the Muslim community.
This Hindu festival falls on the Tamil month of Aippasi and marks the triumph of light over darkness. It is also called the Festival of Lights. For the Hindu community. Deepvali is a thanksgiving celebration when families an friends gather to obseve traditions and cultural practices. At night, Hindu families light oil lamps to place round their homes in a sysmbolic gesture to the theme of the festival.
Christmas (December 25)
The birth of Christ is celebrated with joy by the Christian community here with parties, carolling and evening masses. As anywhere else in the world. Christmas is a time to be jolly and thankful with everyone taking the opportunity to celebrate the end of another year.
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