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Multi cultural Malaysia

Multi cultural Malaysia

Three main populations live in Malaysia; Malays, Chinese and Indians. All populations live together in harmony, though of course there are tensions every now and then but tourists will usually not notice that much of this. Over half of the population is of Malay descent; the Chinese form almost a quarter of the total population. Malaysians of Indian descent form approximately 7% of the population; while all indigenous people combined form about 11% of the total population in Malaysia.

Rafflesia biggest flower in the world


Rafflesia is a genus of flowering plants that is made up of 16 known species. The best known of these species is Rafflesia arnoldii, which has the distinction of being the world's largest flower, reaching a diameter of about three feet. The Rafflesia flowers have been found only in Indonesia - on the islands of Sumatra and Java - and Malaysia, in particular in the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. All of the known species of Rafflesia are threatened or endangered.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. This goes for the Chinese population in Malaysia too where the day itself is declared a public holiday. For Chinese locals the new year means a new start where they can make new money and attract new businesses. At numerous locations in Malaysia people light fireworks during the celebrations. Chinese New Year is the only day in the year most of the shops are closed for business.

Airport Taxi at KLIA

Airport Taxi at KLIA

Though using the KLIA Express is a quicker way to reach Kuala Lumpur city center, using the airport taxi is a much easier way to reach your destination within Kuala Lumpur. KLIA Express only brings you to KL Sentral while the airport taxi drops you off right in front of your hotel. If you are traveling alone it might be too expensive compared to other options as you pay RM74.30 for a ticket. You can buy tickets for a fixed price at one of the taxi counters at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Matta travel fair in Malaysia

Matta Fair in Malaysia

Matta Fair (Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents) is the biggest and most popular travel fair in Malaysia. Malaysians do not yet use the internet as the standard way to book their trips and holidays. Many either go to travel offices or they consult their travel agent when they want to go on a trip. Matta Fair is the place for the best bargains; and it can even be interesting for foreign travelers as there usually are great bargains to destinations outside and within Malaysia.

Festivities and public holidays in Malaysia

Every year you can visit many festivities (national festivals) in Malaysia. This is mainly because every different population has its own special festivities. Some festivities apply to each citizen, others for specific populations. Usually all Malaysians have public holidays during a festivity. Below you can find a list with all festivities, based on the many different populations in Malaysia.

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General festivals

  • 31 August: Independence Day (Hari Merdeka)
  • 16 September: Formation Federation Malaysia (only on Sabah)
  • 1 May: Labor Day
  • 1e Saturday of June: Kings Birthday

Islamic festivals

  • Hari Raya Puasa (Hari Raya Aidilfitri) *
  • Hari Raya Haji: Celebration on the 70th day after Ramadan
  • Awal Muharram: Islamic new year
  • Maulidul Rasul: Birth of the prophet

Chinese festivals

  • Chinese new year **
  • Qingming Festival
  • Dragon Boat Festival
  • Mid-Autumn Festival
  • Vesak Day: Only for Chinese Buddhists

Chinese new year

  • Rat (Zi): February 19, 1996 - February 7, 2008
  • Ox (Chou): Februari 7, 1997 - Januari 26, 2009
  • Tiger (Yin): Januari 28, 1998 - Februari 14, 2010
  • Rabbit (Mao): Februari 16, 1999 - Februari 3, 2011
  • Dragon (Chen): Februari 5, 2000 - Januari 23, 2012
  • Snake (Si): Januari 24, 2001 - Februari 10, 2013
  • Horse (Wu): Februari 12, 2002 - Januari 31, 2014
  • Scheep (Wei): Februari 1, 2003 - Februari 19, 2015
  • Monkey (Shen): Januari 22, 2004 - Februari 8, 2016
  • Rooster (You): Februari 9, 2005 - Januari 28, 2017
  • Dog (Xu): Januari 29, 2006 - Februari 16, 2018
  • Pig (Hai): Februari 18, 2007 - Februari 5, 2019

Hinduist's festivals

  • Deepavali (Diwali) (October - December)
  • Thaipusam (January - March)
  • Vaisaki: is only celebrated by Sikhs

Other special holidays or festivals in Malaysia

  • Holy Friday (Or Good Friday)
  • Christmas Eve
  • New Years Eve
  • Hari Gawai of the Ibans (Dayaks)
  • Pesta Menuai

* End of Ramadan (No fixed date, this changes yearly).

** The celebration differs per year; in 2007 new year fell on the 18th of February. In 2008, it fell on the 7th February. The festival lasts 15 days, and ends with the so-called 'Chap Goh Mei' celebration.

Below: Fireworks display at New Years Eve 2011 at KLCC Park (right in front of Suria KLCC shopping mall and Petronas Twin Towers).

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