Hari Raya Aidilfitri is celebrated by Malaysian Muslims every year after Ramadhan, the fasting month. Celebrated as a two-day nationwide holiday, the first day of Hari Raya starts early with the prayers at mosque, seeking for forgiveness from their family members and friends. Many Muslims host “open house” where they welcome neighbours and friends to join in the celebrations and enjoying festive food.
Aside from Hari Raya, the Chinese usher the Lunar New Year with bright red colours and fireworks. The festival begins with a reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve where all family member get together. Chinese New Year is traditionally a 15-day long celebration, a visit to the temple to seek for the blessing from the God of Prosperity and while “ang pow” or red packets containing money are given to the children by parents or the elder.
Malaysia Hindus celebrate the Festival of lights, Deepavali. The Hindus house are lit with lights signify the victory over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. A colourful “Kolam” – rice painting are made in front of each home to bring prosperity and success. Another important and colourful Hindu Festivals is Thaipusam. On this day, Hindus head to the closest Murugan Temple and they believes they are cleansed from all sins.
Other festivals celebrates in Malaysia are Wesak Day by Buddhists, the Mid Autumn Festival by the Chinese, Christmas day by Christian and Thaipusam by Indian. In East Malayisa, the Harvest Festival, also known as Kaamatan, iswidely observed especially in Sabah, while “Hari Gawai” is celebrates by the Dayaks or Ibans of Sarawak.