Being one of the countries with natives that are superbly proficient in English, Malaysia is definitely on its way to becoming a first world country. The country is working double time to achieve its “high income economy” goal for the year 2020. The growing success of its tourism is also one of the reasons for Malaysia’s steady economic standing.
What is most striking about this country is not only the fact that it’s home to the oldest English school in Southeast Asia, the Penang Free School, or the world’s largest flower Rafflesia, but also that it’s home to multiple ethnicities, which means that its culture is as rich as its land.
If you’re covered with travel insurance and you’re planning on visiting Malaysia, or if you’re new to the country, the best way to make the most of your experience is to immerse yourself in the local culture, and what’s the best way to do that?
Join and watch the festivals, of course! Here’s a list of the most colorful and exciting festivals that you have to experience when you’re in Malaysia:
1) The Flora Fest
Probably the most colorful festival in our list, the Flora Fest is a holiday that celebrates Malaysia’s beauty. You will find yourself completely amazed by the abundance of plant life and the extravagance of Malaysian flowers. Like usual festivals with colorful floats, the Flora Fest’s floats are adorned with all sorts of blossoms, with the locals dressed in plant or floral-themed costumes. This is celebrated during the months of June to July.
2) Wesak Day
What do you expect for Buddhists to do while celebrating its founder’s birthday, passing, and enlightenment? Simply what they do best—express good vibes and cheer by releasing doves or tortoises to their freedom. Can you imagine such a beautiful sight? You can almost say that this festival celebrates Malaysia’s good will, because even you, a tourist, would have the chance to bestow kindness to the monks and the needy.
This night festival is a definite must-see for those who want to experience Buddha’s Birthday… and eat all the vegetarian food that’s available in the streets.
Also called the Harvest Festival, this gathering in Sabah is held for the entire month of May. This festival revels in the attitudes, and hard work of Malaysians because the celebration isn’t only to ask for blessings on a good harvest, but also as benediction for the people who have worked long days on those fields. During these festivities, there are also beauty pageants that give you a good eyeful of Malaysia’s pretty locals.
4) Hari Deepavali or Diwali
This is like celebrating Christmas and New Year together in 5 days. There are gift-exchanges, fireworks, and of course, food and drinks. Before the event begins, start by heading up to high places to see the beauty of the place as a whole, where you would see the entirety of lights illuminating the city. When the night progresses, then can you make your way down to the cities to be part of the festivities.
The vikku oil lamps and lights are more than just for show. This symbolises the defeat of the demon king Narakasura and the triumph of Lord Krishna. You’re in for a treat if you get to see residential homes, because this is when they decorate their floors with kolam, colorful drawings from rice chalk, chalk, or white rock powder, which is said to bring prosperity to any household, according to local traditions and beliefs.
A festival celebrated during the early months of the year (Jan-Feb), this is last on our list because of how intense the festivity is. If you Google images of this particular occasion, your eyes will definitely pop out in wonder. If you have a penchant for piercing and body mutilation, this celebration might just be the one for you. Just don’t forget to be ready with your travel insurance if ever you faint because of all the things you’d see.
As squeamish as you’ve become the past few seconds after reading that, Thaipusam is actually the most-anticipated festival on this list because it is a feast for thanksgiving, considering that the devotees who offer their bodies—to be subjected to extreme piercings—do so because they believe their prayers have been granted.
As you can see, these are only but five festivals that will definitely rock your world. Imagine all the beautiful pictures and videos that you can take, but the memories you will have of these festivals will definitely blow your mind more than any other picture or portrait. For a taste of something exotic and beautiful, Malaysia will definitely give you the time of your life.
So what are you waiting for? Get your passport and travel insurance ready and prepare yourself for one amazing experience in Malaysia!
Ian G.Elbanbuena is a blogger and infopreneur who writes on various topics mainly finance, self-improvement, business and marketing. At present he works on behalf of Compare Hero, Malaysia’s leading comparison website. This portal helps individuals saving money by comparing best travel insurance rates. Twitter: @elbanbuenaian