Public holidays in Malaysia
There are two types of public holidays in Malaysia, those at national and state levels. National holidays are normally observed by most governmental and private organisations. State holidays are normally observed by certain states in Malaysia or when it is relevant to the state itself.
Types of holidays
Malaysia has one of the highest numbers of public holidays in the world, ranking number seven in the top ten countries after Thailand, Indonesia, India and Hong Kong. Some holidays are federally gazetted public holidays and some are public holidays observed by individual states. Other festivals are observed by particular ethnic or religion groups, but are not public holidays. The main holy days of each major religion are public holidays, taking place on either the western calendar or religious ones.
The most widespread holiday is the "Hari Kebangsaan" (National Day), otherwise known as "Hari Merdeka" (Independence Day) on 31 August commemorating the independence of the Federation of Malaya. This, as well as Labour Day (1 May), the King's birthday (first Saturday of June) and some other festivals are major national public holidays. Federal Territory day is celebrated in the three Federal territories. Malaysia Day, held on 16 September to commemorate the formation of Malaysia, became a nationwide holiday in 2010. Before that it was celebrated only in Sabah. New Year's Day is also observed as a public holiday in all Malaysian states, except for Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, and Terengganu.
Religious and ethnic
Muslim holidays are highly prominent in Malaysia. The most important of these is Hari Raya Puasa (also called Hari Raya Aidilfitri) which is the Malay translation of Eid al-Fitr. It is generally a festival honoured by the Muslims worldwide marking the end of Ramadan will the fasting month. In addition to Hari Raya Puasa, they also celebrate Hari Raya Aidiladha (also called Hari Raya Haji referring to its occurrence after the culmination of the annual Hajj or Hari Raya Qurban), Awal Muharram (Islamic New Year) and Maulidur Rasul (Birthday of the Prophet).
Malaysian Chinese typically hold the same festivals observed by Chinese around the world. Chinese New Year is the most prominent, lasting for 15-days and ending with Chap Goh Mei (十五瞑). Other festivals celebrated by Chinese are the Qingming Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival and the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Malaysian Indians of the Hindu faith celebrate Deepavali, the festival of light, while Thaipusam is a celebration in which Hindu pilgrims from all over the country meet at the Batu Caves. The most important Sikh festival is the Sikh new year or Vaisakhi festival. Other important days are Lodi and Gurpurab. Other Indian and Indochinese communities observe their new year celebrations at around the same time, such as Pohela Boishakh of the Bengalis and Songkran (water festival) of the Thais. People in the northern states do celebrate the Thai festival of Loy Kratong.
Wesak (Malay for Vesak), the Buddhist festival commemorating Buddha's birth, is a public holiday. Malaysia's Christian community observes most of the holidays observed by Christians elsewhere, most notably Christmas and Easter. Good Friday, however, is only a public holiday in the two Bornean states. The harvest festivals of Gawai in Sarawak and Kaamatan in Sabah are also important for East Malaysians.
Despite most of the festivals being identified with a particular ethnic or religious group, festivities are often participated in by all Malaysians. One example of this is the celebration of Kongsi Raya which is used when Hari Raya Puasa and Chinese New Year coincide. The term Kongsi Raya (which means "sharing the celebration" in Malay) was coined because of the similarity between the word kongsi and the Chinese New Year greeting of Gong xi fa cai. Similarly, the portmanteau Deepa Raya was coined when Hari Raya Puasa and Deepavali coincided.
A practice known as "open house" (rumah terbuka) is common during the festivities, especially during Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Deepavali, Chinese New Year and Christmas. Open house means that all well-wishers are received and that everyone regardless of background is invited to attend. Open houses are normally held at the home of the host and food are also prepared by the host, however, there are also open houses held at larger public venues especially when hosted by government agencies or corporations. Also during the festivities, most Malaysians would take the time off work or school to return to their hometowns to celebrate the festivities with their extended relatives. This practice is commonly known as balik kampung and usually causes traffic jams on most highways in the country.
2014 Public holidays by states and territories
|1 January||New Year's Day||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|14 January||Negeri Sembilan State Ruler's Birthday||•|
|14 January||Birthday of Prophet Muhammad||National|
|19 January||Kedah State Ruler's Birthday||•|
|31 January||Chinese New Year (1st day)||National|
|1 February||Chinese New Year (2nd day)||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|1 February||Federal Territory Day||•||•||•|
|4 March||Anniversary of Installation of the Sultan of Terengganu||•|
|15 April||Declaration of Malacca City as Historical City||•|
|18 April||Good Friday||•||•|
|19 April||Perak State Ruler's Birthday||•|
|26 April||Terengganu State Ruler's Birthday||•|
|1 May||Labour Day||National|
|7 May||Hari Hol of Pahang||•|
|3 May||Wesak Day||National|
|17 May||Perlis State Ruler's Birthday||•|
|27 May||Israk dan Mikraj||•||•||•|
|30 and 31 May||Tadau Kaamatan||•||•|
|1 and 2 June||Gawai Dayak||•|
|7 June||King's Birthday||National|
|29 June||First day of Ramadan||•||•||•|
|7 July||Declaration of George Town as World Heritage Site||•|
|12 July||Penang State Governor's Birthday||•|
|15 July||Day of Nuzul Al-Quran||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•||•|
|28 and 29 July||Hari Raya Puasa||National|
|31 August||Merdeka Day||National|
|13 September||Sarawak State Governor's Birthday||•|
|16 September||Malaysia Day||National|
|4 October||Sabah State Governor's Birthday||•|
|5 October||Hari Raya Aidiladha (1st day)||National|
|6 October||Hari Raya Aidiladha (2nd day)||•||•|
|10 October||Melaka State Governor's Birthday||•|
|24 October||Pahang State Ruler's Birthday||•|
|25 October||First day of Muharram||National|
|11 and 12 November||Kelantan State Ruler's Birthday||•|
|22 November||Johor State Ruler's Birthday||•|
|29 November||Hari Hol Sultan Johor||•|
|11 December||Selangor State Ruler's Birthday||•|
|25 December||Christmas Day||National|
Public holidays by states and territories
|Date||English Name||Local Name|| |
|1 January||New Year's Day||Hari Tahun Baharu|
|1 February||Federal Territory Day||Hari Wilayah|
|January–February||Chinese New Year (1st day)||Tahun Baru Cina (Hari ke 1)||National|
|January–February||Chinese New Year (2nd day)||Tahun Baru Cina (Hari ke 2)|
|January–February||Chinese New Year (3rd day)||Tahun Baru Cina (Hari ke 3)|
|4 March||Anniversary of Installation of Sultan of Terengganu||Hari Ulang Tahun Pertabalan Sultan Terengganu|
|March–April||Good Friday||Hari Jumaat Agung|
|15 April||Declaration of Malacca City as Historical City||Perisytiharan Bandar Melaka sebagai Bandaraya Bersejarah|
|1 May||Labour Day||Hari Pekerja||National|
|7 May||(Hari Hol of Pahang)||Hari Hol Pahang|
|May–June||Wesak Day||Hari Wesak||National|
|May 30&31||Harvest Festival||Pesta Menuai|
|June 1&2||Gawai Dayak||Gawai Dayak|
|1st Sat June||Malaysia King's Birthday||Hari Keputeraan Yang di-Pertuan Agong||National|
|7 July||Declaration of George Town as World Heritage Site||Perisytiharan George Town sebagai Tapak Warisan Dunia|
|31 August||Merdeka Day||Hari Kebangsaan||National|
|16 September||Malaysia Day||Hari Malaysia||National|
|29 November||(Hari Hol Sultan Johor)||Hari Hol Sultan Johor|
|25 December||Christmas Day||Hari Krismas||National|
|Muharram 1||First day of Muharram||Awal Muharram||National|
|Rabi' al-awwal 12||Birthday of Prophet Muhammad||Maulidur Rasul||National|
|Rajab 27||Isra and Mi'raj||Israk dan Mikraj|
|Ramadan 1||First day of Ramadan||Awal Ramadan|
|Ramadan 17||Day of Nuzul Al-Quran||Nuzul Al-Quran|
|Shawwal 1&2||Hari Raya Puasa||Hari Raya Aidilfitri||National|
|Dhu al-Hijjah 10||Hari Raya Qurban (1st day)||Hari Raya Aidiladha (Hari ke 1)||National|
|Dhu al-Hijjah 11||Hari Raya Qurban (2nd day)||Hari Raya Aidiladha (Hari ke 2)|
|Variant||State Governor's Birthday||Hari Jadi||2nd Sat Oct||2nd Sat July||1st Sat Oct||2nd Sat Sep|
|Variant||State Ruler's Birthday||Hari Keputeraan||22 Nov||19 Jan||11 Nov||14 Jan||24 Oct||19 April||17 May||11 Dec||26 April|
Festivals of Malaysia
- Hari Raya Aidilfitri / Hari Raya Puasa
- Hari Raya Aidiladha / Hari Raya Haji / Hari Raya Korban
- Maulidur Rasul
- Israk dan Mikraj
- Nuzul Quran
- Islamic New Year
- Holy Week
- Festa San Pedro (Kristang)
- Maha Shivaratri
- Panguni Uthiram
- Puthandu (Tamil New Year)
- Sri Rama Navami
- chithirai pournami
- Aadi Perukku
- Varalakshmi Virudham
- Sri Krishna Jayanthi
- Vinayagar Chathurthi
- Saraswathy Poojai
- Deepavali (Festival of Lights)
- Karthikai Deepam
- Chinese New Year / Lunar New Year / Spring Festival
- Lantern festival / Yuanxiao festival (last day of the Lunar New Year celebration)
- Qingming Festival
- Duanwu Festival / Dragon Boat Festival)
- Ghost Festival
- Mid-Autumn Festival / Moon Festival
- Dōngzhì Festival
East Malaysian Festivals
- Marshall Cavendish Corporation (2008). World and Its Peoples: Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Brunei. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation. p. 1221.
- "Festivals of Malaysia ~ Thaipusam Festival". Go2travelmalaysia.com. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- Ben van Wijnen. "Loi Krathong". Malaysiasite.nl. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- "Malaysia – Holidays". Go2travelmalaysia.com. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- "The English Teacher" (PDF). Malaysian English Language Teaching Association. 2 May 2008. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- "Religion". Matic.gov.my. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
- "Ripple effect of the festive rush". New Straits Times. 7 September 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2010.
- Malaysia Public Holidays 2015: A full list of Malaysia Public holidays & School Holiday
- Public Holidays 2014: A complete list of public and school term holidays by state for 2014
- "Malaysia — Holidays" Klikholidays.com