Rejoicing the victory of good over evil, light over dark, the Hindu festival Deepavali in Malaysia is the most renowned celebration in the Hindu calendar. Deepavali in Malaysia welcomes the New Year which adds another signature in its enjoyment and enthusiasm. Diwali is known as ‘Hari Deepavali,’ in Malaysia, and is enjoyed in the seventh month of the Hindu solar calendar with great zeal and sincerity. ‘Diwali’ or the ‘Festival of Lights’ is celebrated throughout the country along with several other events in the weeks leading up to the big day.
Deepavali is a Hindu festival obeyed by all the Hindu’s of Malaysia. Prayers are organized at the temple premises as well as at home during the festival. Several customary and rituals of Deepavali are followed. The Malaysian people take a traditional oil bath in the early morning and after praying they amuse their friends and guests in the ‘open house’. Latterns and candles are used to decorate homes, Many Malaysian homes are designed with rangoli (also known as ‘kolam’ and ‘alpana’). ‘Ang pows’ (packets filled with money) is another alluring feature of Deepavali in Malaysia.
Hari Raya Aidilfitri
After a complete month fasting during Ramadan, Muslims commemorate the first day of Syawal as Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Hari Raya Aidilfitri is celebrated in the tenth month of the Muslim calendar with extreme enthusiasm and joy. The occasion followed within a series of prayers and customs is welcomed by the Muslims with prayers in the mosque recollecting memories of their departed loved ones.
Hari Raya Aidilfitri is regarded as the prime festival for the Muslims of Malaysia It is also an occasion for family reunion, where families get together uniting members coming from different parts of the country. ‘Open houses’ for friends is also prime enchantment of the Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Dishes of different flavors and tastes are served for friends during "open house”. Abundance of customary Malay fragilities are also served during this festive season.
The festive mood is extremely joyous and worth a visit to experience one of the auspicious occasions of Malaysia. All the houses in Malaysia are lit up with lamps, specifically at the entrance during the festival. The mosques, homes, government and commercial buildings are also lit brightly to categorize this specific day. Sighting of the new moon has made Hari Raya Aidilfitri more interesting and remarkable than ever.
Gawai Dayak, an admired Malaysian festival is celebrated after reaping a good harvest every year. The Gawai festival commonly known as Gawai Dayak in Malaysia is the prime harvesting carnival for the farmers. Gawai Dayak is performed not only in the big cities but also in the interior and tiny villages of the country. The festival starts in the last week of May and prolongs up to middle of June. The rituals of Gawai Dayak follow a series of customs and traditions. It starts with ancestral worship of communicating with the spirit world and also getting together with friends and family. Thanks giving to the God and spirits for the bounty make this festival highly sacred and spiritual.
Gawai Dayak in Malaysia is an extremely colorful and vibrant festival of the place. Men and women dress up in traditional costumes to perform some traditional rites and delectable foods and drinks are served by the elders of the family. Tuak, rice, wine and other traditional foods are also dished up in openhanded measures. To add more crisp to the event tribal music and dance are added in a majestic manner. At Civic Centre a state dinner is organized in Gawai festival where singing, dancing and beauty pageants take place. One Gawai Queen is chosen from every community such as Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu at the end of this program.