Johor Bahru Events, Things to Do and Festivals 2014 / 2015

(Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia)

Along with the rest of Malaysia, Johor Bahru enjoys an exciting calendar of fun festivals and events. These Malaysian celebrations are both unique to the city and to the state, so there are plenty of things to do.

More than anything, cultural events are most apparent, owing to the diversity of Johor state's people. There are Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians, all of whom have their own unique festivals. Javanese Tamils also enjoy coverage.

Johor Bahru Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • Thaipusam - January full moon, big Hindu festival celebrated by the local Tamil community, with lots of parading and body piercing
  • Tamil feast of Pongal - mid-January, a colourful event for the harvest, which is held every year at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, the city's main church


  • Chinese New Year - late January / early February, as with elsewhere in the county and the rest of the world, the city's Chinese community celebrate their New Year with vigour. Features street parades, fireworks and obligatory red lanterns and dragon dances
  • Johor International Kite Festival - late February, a popular tradition in nearby Pasir Gudang, with kite-flyers from around the world attending at the grounds of the Pasir Gudang Kite Museum


  • Chap Goh Meh - early March, this is the Lantern Festival involving an inordinate number of lanterns, along with the eating of tangyuan (rice-flour dumplings)
  • Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad - late March / early April, sees the coming together of the local Muslim community at mosques in celebration of Muhammad's birthday


  • Easter - sometimes late March, the Christian community celebrate Holy Week with religious rites up to Easter Sunday
  • Malaysia Water Festival - late April to early May, held throughout the country with lots of water throwing during the hot season, along with jet-skiing, surfing, and kayaking


  • Nusantara Culture Festival - mid to late May, a week-long celebration at Danga Bay, with live music, dance performances and arts and crafts, held each year to mark the diversity of South-East Asian culture
  • Wesak Day - late May, the Buddhists of Johor Bahru honour the birth and enlightenment of Buddha, with incense, offerings, prayer and candle processions


  • Food and Fruits Fiesta - early June, street stalls, food courts and restaurants offer a vast range of Malaysian fruits, including the king of fruits, durian
  • Johor Arts Festival - late June to mid-July, one of the more recent events to arrive in the city, with local cultures and traditions highlighted through music and arts


  • There are no significant events in Johor Bahru during the month of July


  • Kuda Kepang Festival - highlighting the Kuda Kepang dance, an old Javanese dance which features nine to 15 men in traditional Javanese garb on mock horses
  • Merdeka Day - August 31st, Malaysian Independence Day, with celebrations going through to mid-September


  • Mid-Autumn Festival - a historical gathering remembering the 14th-century Chinese rebellion against the Mongols, with a host of lanterns and moon cakes, and a strong oriental theme


  • Hari Raya Haji (Eid al-Adha) - an Islamic day, when devoted Muslims head to the local mosques in large numbers
  • Hungry Ghosts Festival - mid-October, Buddhists and Taoists burn joss sticks and leave food for the departed to avoid being disturbed by 'hungry ghosts'
  • Bon Odori - late October, the city's Javanese community celebrate their cultural know-how through Nenbutsu folk dancing


  • Deepavali - the Hindu-centric Festival of Lights celebrates Lord Krishna's routing of King Narakasura, with oil baths and the dressing up of the Hindu community. Families light oil lamps in order to welcome the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi


  • Christmas - December 25th, one for the Christian community, where houses are filled with colourful decorations, and many attend the seasonal mass at churches