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Monday, March 23, 2015


Particularly for those from a country with provinces, it might not hit close to home, but in Malaysia holiday rules can be different depending on states within the same country. January 1st is not a holiday in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu. Here is the list of 2015 holidays for all states in Malaysia.

Prophet Muhammad's Birthday (Jan 3rd / Sat.)

The last prophet sent by Allah, but first national holiday in Malaysia. Great!! But, it's Saturday.

Chinese New Year (Feb 20th~21st / Thurs. ~ Fri.)

You will see lots of red decorations on the street. Chinese people love red color and think it as a lucky color (look at their flag). Despite its name, it's now "Everyone's New Year" in Malaysia. Quiet during daytime except for big malls, but mad fireworks at night.

Labour Day (May 1st / Fri.)         

Another short sweet escape from everyday treadmill.

Wesak Day (May 3rd / Sun.)       

Buddha's birthday! 20% of Malaysian population practice Buddhism. While there are several Islam-related national holidays echoing the Muslim population being the largest religious group in Malaysia (61.3% of all Malaysians), Wesak Day is the only holiday for Buddhism.

Agong's Birthday (Jun 6th / Sat.)

It could be breaching your conventional idea of the definition of birthday, but this holiday is fixed on the first Saturday of June every year. In fact, it has nothing to do with the birthday of the current Agong (King) Tuanku Abdul Halim, which is August 31th. On Agong's Birthday, there will be a series of events including a trooping and a ceremonial performance by a military band in Kuala Lumpur.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Jul 17~18 / Fri. ~ Sat.) 
*Subject to change

It is to celebrate the end of the Ramadan period during which Muslims practices self-resistance by fasting between dawn and sunset for spiritual refinement and obedience to Allah.

National Day (Aug 31 / Mon.)

This holiday is to celebrate British's getting their butt out of Malaysia.

Malaysia Day (Sep 16th / Wed.)

On September 16th every year, Malaysians commemorate the establishment of Malaysian federation. Don't get confused with National Day! In fact, it wasn't a national holiday until recent when Prime Minister Najib Razak made it so in 2010.

Hari Raya Haji (Sep 24th ~ 25th / Thurs. ~ Fri.) 
*Subject to change  

To remember Ibrahim's obedience to Allah, Muslims make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their life during Haji period. This holiday celebrates the end of Haji and it is held on 70 days after the holy month of Ramadan. But employees of Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu state don't get a day off from work on the 25th.

Awal Muharram (Oct 14th / Wed.)

Another New Year's Day. Islamic version this time.

Deepavali  (Nov 10th / Tues.) 
*Subject to change 
Technically, it's "almost" a national holiday except for one state, Sarawak. In fact, an Indian community in Sarawak requested last year for the declaration of Deepavali as a public holiday, but it's still not in 2015. Jeez, it's the biggest religious day for Hindis! What's up with Sarawak??! Anyway, basically Deepavali signifies the good's triumph over evil. Light up for Rama to help him find his way to Ayodhya after his exile!

Prophet Muhammad's Birthday (Dec 24th / Thurs.) 

Waaaiit, didn't I already see it at the very beginning? Two birth dates for Prophet Muhammad within the same year? It's not because Malaysian government wants an extra bonus holiday, but because Islamic calendar year is shorter than the universally recognized calendar year.

Christmas (Dec 25th / Fri.)          

Yeah, it's Christmas.

More Malaysia

Written by Gibbon

Born in Korea, he grew up in Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia. This young self-appointed ascetic abandoned his university and is currently on his spiritual journey in search of true meaning of life roving from mountains to mountains. His weather-torn and hair-covered appearance reminds of some mystical Bigfoot and he looks 20 years older than he is.

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