Chinese New Year is celebrated on a big scale by the Chinese community in Malaysia. It is a day that denotes the beginning of the new year based on Chinese calendar. According to Chinese belief, each year is represented by an animal. There are 12 animals, namely the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Each animal has its own significance.
Deepavali is celebrated by the Hindu community in Malaysia. It is celebrated in the month of “aippasi” ( October-November) during the period when there is no moon.
The word “Deepavali” means “ a row of lights”. The Hindus believe that it signifies the triumph of brilliance over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and justice over tyranny.
The Gawai Dayak Festival is celebrated by the Dayak community in Sarawak on 1 June every year. The festival marks the end of padi harvesting season and the beginning of the new planting season.
The festival will begin with the Long House Chief (Tuai Rumah) allocating duties to the long house residents. The women folk will prepare traditional cakes and delicacies made from rice flour, sugar and coconut milk. Rice wine or “tuak” is the main item in the celebration of this festival.
The Tadau Kaamatan festival is celebrated by the kadazan community in Sabah in May every year after the padi harvesting season. To celebrate Tadau Kaamatan, various types of food including traditional delicacies and ‘tapai’ are prepared and served .
Christmas is celebrated by Christians on 25th December every year to remember the birth of Jesus Christ. The Christmas celebration is joyous with Christmas trees decorated with colourful lights and ornaments. In homes, presents are placed under the Christmas trees and will be opened on Christmas Day.
Hari Raya Aidil Fitri is a major religious celebration for all muslims, especially the Malays in Malaysia. Hari Raya Aidil Fitri is a day for celebrating the end of the fasting month or Ramadhan. Throughout the fasting month, muslims fast during the day and attend prayers (sembahyang Terawih) at night after they break fast.