Kuala Lumpur is a multi-racial city. The healthy racial mix provides pleasant excuses to celebrate a wide range of festivals all year round!
The biggest celebrations are the Hari Raya (Muslims), Chinese New Year (Buddhist) and Deepavali (Hindus) with other small, traditional occasions in between. While Chinese New Year and Deepavali months of celebration are rather the same each year, the Hari Raya is sort of a “floating” celebration.
This is because Hari Raya marks the end of Ramadhan (the fasting month) which is based on Islamic lunar years, which normally do not coincide with the Roman calendar.
Sometimes this “floating” celebration happens together (or a few days apart) with either Chinese New Year or Deepavali. This give rise to joint celebrations known as Kongsi Raya (Chinese New Year & Hari Raya), and Deepa Raya (Deepavali & Hari Raya).
Hari Raya Aidilfitri
Muslims around the world celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri (also known as Idul Fitri or Idil Fitri in other countries). Aidilfitri literally translates to Celebration Day, after a month of holy fasting, which is referred to as Ramadhan month.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year festival begins on the first day of the Chinese Lunar calendar, and lasts for 15 days. This festival is filled with much fan-fare, shopping and events around the city.
Also known as the Festival of the Lights, Deepavali (or Diwali) is celebrated by all Hindus in Kuala Lumpur and the rest of Malaysia. This festival symbolizes the triumph of good over evil, the victory of light over dark.
On August 31, 1957, the Union Jack was lowered and the Malayan flag hoisted up the flagpole at Dataran Merdeka field in Kuala Lumpur, signalling the birth of a new nation.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the Moon Cake or Lantern Festival, originating from a time of conflict in 14th-Century China.
Christmas Celebration is always associated with Santa Claus, shopping, snowmen, jingle bells, pine trees and certainly presents. But, it is actually to remember the birth of Jesus Christ.
Hari Raya Aidil Adha
Also known as Hari Raya Haji (or Hari Raya Korban), this festival is celebrated by Muslims to mark the 10th day of the month of Dzulhijjah, which is the 12th month of the Islamic calendar. This is the time when pilgrims complete their pilgrimage in Mecca.
Federal Territory Day
The federal territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya celebrate Federal Territory Day with exciting parades, fireworks display, exhibitions and cultural shows. Most events are open to the public and do not charge any entrance fees.
Thaipusam is an annual Hindu festival which is a day of penance and thanksgiving for Hindu devotees to commemorate the day Lord Siva’s consort, the powerful goddess Parvathi, gives her son, Murugan, the vel (lance) to vanquish three demons and their large army which were plaguing the world.