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FESTIVALS
Ben van Wijnen


Kolam gemaakt door studenten in het winkelcentrum Pavilion

Malaysia has many holidays. Thanks to the mix of different cultures and religions, the agenda in Malaysia is full of celebrations. Some of these days are national, others are again religious or federal. Thus in Johor one can celebrate the sultan's birthday on one day and the sultan's birthday in Perlis on another. But there are always festivities that they are celebrating together. For example, Independence Day is widely celebrated. It's impressive to see the skydivers jumping from the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur on Independence Day. The celebration of New Year is celebrated in the capital with a great firework display.
Some religious festivals are celebrated on a different day each year. Some of these festivals are are written here, like Thaipusam.. However, Chinese New Year can be found in a different section on this website. The reason for this is that this celebration is visited by a lot of Chinese people.

De Nationale feestdagen zijn:

  • New Years Day(1 Januari)

  • Labour Day (1 May)

  • Birthday of the King (4 June)

  • Independence Day (31 August)

  • Christmas (25 December)

Most Chinese, Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic celebrations depend on the position of the moon and fall on a different date every year.

The most important Islamic celebrations zijn:

  • Ramadan - Ramadan (also known as Ramadhan or Ramzan) is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is a time when Muslims around the world focus on prayer, fasting, giving to charity, and religious devotion. The last third of Ramadan is a particularly holy period, as it commemorates when the Koran's (Qu'ran) first verses were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (Mohammad or Muhammed.

  • Hari Aidilfitri -It's the end of the Ramadan. And it's the first day of the Syawal month. Muslims celebrate it by going to the Hari Raya Aidilfitri prayers held at mosques early in the morning, then a visit to the cemetery to pray for their loved ones' departed souls after the prayers followed by the traditional Malaysian 'Open House' where relatives and friends visit each other. Two special delicacies that could be savoured during Hari Raya Aidilfitri and lemang, both are served with rendang.

  • Hari Raya Haji - is the local Malaysian name for the Muslim holiday of Eid al Adha, “the Feast of Sacrifice”. It is also called “Hari Raya Korban” and, in by pronouncing what are normally three words as one, “Aidiladha”. It is a day when Muslims remember the “almost sacrifice,” according to Islamic Scriptures, of Ishmael by Ibrahim on Mount Moriah in the vicinity of Mecca. Muslims believe that God commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice Ismael to test him, and he passed the test by being willing to obey even such an extreme command. But then, according to two stories believed by Muslims, God either changed Ishmael with a sheep or commanded Ibrahim to stop and replace Ishmael with a healthy sheep.

The most important Hindu Festivals zijn:

  • Thaipusam - Believers pierce their body parts, completely in trance and thus serve Lord Muruga. This bizarre spectacle can be experienced at the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

  • Deepavali - A five-day festival of light, with lights burning at different places in the evening.

Genieten van de lichtjes
Deepavali

Yhe most important Chinese Celebrations are:

  • Chinese New Year - See the Chinese zodiac <click>. During this fifteen day festival it is very busy in Chinatown.

  • Mooncake of Lantern Festival - This day, Chinese people remember China's victory over the Mongols. During the day, mooncake is eaten and in the evening children walk the streets with lanterns and pray women to the God of the moon.

  • Hungry Ghost Festival - The souls of the dead (the "Hungry Ghosts") then wander through the streets of the living and are naturally hungry. This is a week celebrated in the month of August. In the street there are performance and temples are set up. Usually in the month of August (Penang)


Chinese New Year

The most important Buddhist Celebrations:

  • Songkran - Songkran is originally a Buddhist New Year Celebration. It is celebrated by throwing water together with water. It symbolizes the cleansing of sins and the washing away of all setbacks.

  • Wesak - On the last day (full moon) of the month of Vaisakha (the sixth month in the Hindu calendar, usually in May), Buddhists celebrate the Wesak festival all over the world. On this day they commemorate the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha.


Songkran

 

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    Ben van Wijnen

 

 

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