Malacca Events, Things to Do and Festivals 2014 / 2015

(Malacca / Melaka City, Malaysia)




Malacca celebrates all the big Malay festivals and events, including the National Day in August and the Malaysia Fest in September. The city also stages its very own unique events and there are many to enjoy, owing to the diverse mix of cultures - Malay, Chinese, Indian and Portuguese.

Popular events in Malacca include the Chinese New Year and Thaipusam each February, along with the Malacca Tourism Week in March, Vesak Day in May, and Deepavali (the Festival of Lights) every November. There are also sporting competitions and other fun things to do and enjoy with the locals.


Malacca Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015



January


  • Teenh Koong's Birthday - the day of the Jade Emperor's birthday, when the Chinese Fukien erect shrines

February


  • Chinese New Year - usually February, the big event in Chinatown, when Jonker Street comes alive with a sea of red decorations and lots of feasting
  • Chap Go Mei - held at the end of the 15-day Chinese New Year celebrations, featuring eligible Chinese unmarried women tossing oranges into the water in the hopes of obtaining romance. This day coincides with the Chinese Valentine's Day
  • Thaipusam - a must for tourists (although not for the squeamish), with Hindu devotees piercing themselves to absolve sins. Thaipusam honours Lord Muruga with a parade to the Sri Subramaniam Deasthanan Temple

March


  • Malacca Tourism Week - mid-March, a fun event set up by hotels in town to showcase all they have to offer, with gourmet cuisine and various family friendly activities laid on
  • Easter - late March / early April, celebrated among Malacca's Christian fraternity on Palm Sunday and Good Friday at St. Peter's Church, along with Easter Sunday processions

April


  • Ching Ming - All Souls' Day sees the Malaccan Chinese head out to the large, nearby Bukit China cemetery to clean up their ancestors' graves, burn incense and make offerings
  • Gendang Nusantara Festival - mid-April, with traditional Malay dancing and hundreds of percussionists at the Malacca Renaissance Hotel

May


  • Vesak Day - commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha, with parading, drumming and eating aplenty
  • Anniversary of Sant Sohan Singh's Prayer - late May, a three-day festivity with free meals (for Sikhs) and scripture reciting at the Sikh temple on the Jalan Temenggong

June


  • Yang di Pertuan Agong's Birthday - June 6th, featuring parades and celebrations marking the Malay king's birthday, a national holiday that starts at the Warrior's Field
  • Festa de San Pedro - late June, the local Portuguese fishing community spend time decorating their boats before they are blessed at a mass and then compete for the best décor. The Festa de San Pedro pays tribute to the Portuguese and their patron saint of fishing, and also includes a parade between the Porta de Santiago and the Medan Portugis, along with carnival-style partying
  • Dragon Boat Race - late June / early July, held on the Straits of Melaka to remember the drowning of Qu Yuan, a famous Chinese statesman from the 3rd century

July


  • Hari Raya Aidil Fitri - mid-July, Islamic holiday in Malacca, musing on Mohammed's passage to Medina, with discussions and lectures at mosques
  • Awal Muharram - marking the end of the month-long fasting of Ramadan by Muslims, with traditional prayers and feasting

August


  • Malacca Carnival - month-long celebrations featuring cultural performances in dance and a tourism exposition
  • Theemithi (Fire Walking Festival) - one for devoted Hindus, involving walking over red-hot coals at the Sri Subramaniam Temple to mirror goddess Draupadi's feat
  • Malacca Sea Carnival - August 31st, held on the same day as the National Day at Klebang Besar Beach, with boating and windsurfing competitions
  • National Day / Independence Day (Hari Merdeka) - August 31st, Malaysia celebrates its independence with parades and fireworks

September


  • Malaysia Fest - a fortnight-long event in Malacca and the rest of Malaysia, with displays of handicrafts and the eating of Malay cuisine
  • Feast of Santa Cruz (Festa Santa Cruz) - a Catholic event featuring thousands of followers making a beeline for the Malim chapel by candlelight, for the Feast of the Holy Cross at 07:00, followed by mass

October


  • Moon Cake Festival - celebrated by the Chinese community in honour of their win over Mongolia, involving the cooking and eating of tasty moon cakes

November


  • Deepavali - Malaccan Hindus honour the triumph of good over evil at the Festival of Lights, with an eye-popping parade and candles galore. If you are visiting in November, this exciting extravaganza is well worth attending

December


  • Feast of St. Francis Xavier - early December, St. Paul's Church holds Mass on the first Sunday nearest December 3rd to honour missionary St. Francis Xavier
  • Christmas - December 25th, shopping centres and streets light up and feature seasonal carol singing. The Midnight Mass services on Christmas Eve are especially popular with visitors to the city







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