Water Festival Month
Launched by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism last year, this annual festival is a water-based extravaganza. It takes place from the beginning of May until the beginning of June and focuses on all water-based tourism activities which are carried out daily throughout Malaysia. Among the most popular events are the sandcastle building competition, an underwater treasure hunt, catch the duck competition, log walking fights as well as numerous kayak, canoe and jet ski races. The festival also features numerous cultural music and dance performances, most of which are free and help add a carnival atmosphere to the whole of the country.
International Dragon Boat Festival
Celebrated by the Chinese community in mid-June of each year, this traditional festival takes place on the island state of Penang. One of the oldest festivals of its kind, Tuen Ng as it’s known to the Chinese began over two thousand years ago and is now one of Malaysia’s most exciting festivals. The main event is of course the race itself in which brightly coloured rowing boats decorated with carved dragon’s heads and tails race along the island’s Gurney Drive Esplanade. The crew also dress rather outlandishly and row in time to the special drums which are on board. But, as well as the formalities, however the whole event ends with one massive party that even the seasoned revellers among you will never forget.
Colours of Malayisa
This celebration of all the traditional Malaysian cultures takes place in May and September in Kuala Lumpur. Commencing with a spectacular fireworks display, the opening ceremony features a host of dancers in amazing costumes and headdresses as well as martial arts performances, traditional drummers and choristers. All of this is followed by a unique kite display. And, this is only the first three hours. In the month which follows you can visit anything from the ‘Traditional Textiles of Malaysia Exhibition’ to the ‘International Drum Festival’. Basically any Malaysian art or craft you can think off is on display making for an extremely interesting visit if you are there for either of the two festivals.
Mega Sale Carnival
Here’s one for all the shopaholics among you. A festival dedicated entirely to price reductions around the country and as if that wasn’t enough, the even better news is that it takes place three times a year in March, August and December. Malaysia is renowned for many different tourist attractions and this carnival is a direct attempt to add another one – shopping. From huge malls full of designer goods to night markets selling local arts and crafts, you are sure to find anything you want during your visit. But, if you come during the aforementioned months, chances are that you can get a substantial discount. If shopping is not really your thing, however, steer clear as it can get quite frantic.
National Day Celebrations
Malaysia’s Independence Day, or National Day as it is now more commonly referred to, falls on August 31st. On the eve of the 31st Kuala Lumpur’s Merdeka Square plays host to numerous celebrations which lead up to the raising of the national flag at midnight. And, on the day itself all over the country there are numerous parades, exhibitions, shows and concerts taking place. The majority of these events are free of charge as the day looks after the poor in particular and the less fortunate natives are presented with gifts of money and food. So, for all you budget conscious travellers, there couldn’t possibly be a better day to be in Malaysia. Free food, music and other live entertainment – what more could you ask for?