Malaysia Public Holidays - Year 2016
Besides some nationally gazetted common holidays, the official public holidays (and bank holidays) in Malaysia may vary from state to state. The states' or federal territories' own holidays usually relate to a local cultural festival/custom, or mark the birthday of the local head of state (the Sultan or governor). If you're travelling to a smaller town or city and require business facilities or public services such as postal and government permits, it's best to check beforehand. The major Malaysian holidays for year 2016 are :
New Year's DayFriday, 1 January 2016
This is an internationally recognized first day of the Gregorian calendar year. In Malaysia, this is not a federal holiday, but many states including the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (the capital) celebrates it as a holiday. It would be safer to assume offices may not open on this day.
Thaipusam Festival (Hari Thaipusam)Sunday, 24 January 2016
Thaipusam is a festival celebrated by ethnic Indians (mainly the Tamils) of Malaysia. It is a state holiday in Kuala Lumpur and some states including Johor, Negri Sembilan, Selangor, Perak and Penang. Notably these are urbanised areas with relatively higher proportions of Tamils and Indians.
Chinese New Year / Lunar New YearMonday, 8 February 2016
Tuesday, 9 February 2016
The Chinese lunar new year starts on 8 February 2016. This is the year of the Monkey in the Chinese zodiac. The year before(2015) is that of the Goat, and the following Chinese year(starting in early 2017) will be the Rooster year. The associated heavenly element for the lunar year coinciding mainly with Gregorian year 2016 is the Fire element in the Yang form.
The Malaysian Chinese New Year is similarly celebrated to Singapore's. Most Chinese Malaysians working outside their home state or based overseas will return to their hometowns for between a few days to a week or more. Most arrive on the eve or before, in time for the traditional Reunion Dinner. Chinese businesses may be closed for as long as a week or two during this period. The first two days of the Chinese New Year are gazetted federal holidays in Malaysia except in Kelantan and Trengganu, where only the first day is.
Good FridayFriday, 25 March 2016
Good Friday is only an official holiday in the states of Sabah and Sarawak which have higher proportions of Christians.
Labour Day (or Workers' Day, Hari Pekerja)Sunday, 1 May 2016
As with Singapore and many countries in the world, Malaysia commemorates workers' contributions to the country on the first day of the month of May every year.
Wesak Day (Hari Wesak)Saturday, 21 May 2016
This is also known as Vesak Day in Singapore and commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhism. This is an important day observed by Buddhists and a national(federal) holiday in Malaysia.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong's (Malaysian King's) BirthdaySaturday, 4 June 2016
The Agong is the official Head of State of Malaysia and is a position effectively rotated among the nine Malay state sultans. The Agong (over year 2016) is Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah state. The King's Birthday is a nationwide holiday. Individually, each state also celebrates its own Sultan's or Governor's birthdays.
Hari Raya PuasaFirst Day: Wednesday, 6 July 2016
Second Day: Thursday, 7 July 2016
Hari Raya Puasa is the local Malay name for the Muslim religious holiday and celebration of Eid al-Fitr (Aidilfitri) which marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.
National Day (Merdeka Day / Hari Kebangsaan)Wednesday, 31 August 2016
This federal holiday commemorates the independence of Malaya (as it was then known) from colonial British rule. 31 Aug 2016 will mark the start of the 60th year of independent Malaysia.
Hari Raya Qurban (Haji)Monday, 12 September 2016
Tuesday, 13 September 2016
Hari Raya Qurban (also commonly known as Hari Raya Haji in Singapore) is the local Malay name for the Muslim religious holiday/celebration of Eid al-Adha (or Aidiladha) which marks the end of the pilgrimage(hajj) period. The second day of Hari Raya Haji is an official holiday only in Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis and Trengganu.
Malaysia Day (Hari Malaysia)Friday, 16 September 2016
Malaysia Day is a national holiday (started in 2010) to mark the establishment of the Malaysian federation on the 16 September 1963. It commemorates the joining together of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore (which later separated from the federation) to form Malaysia.
Awal Muharam / Maal Hijrah (Islamic calendar New Year's Day)Sunday, 2 October 2016
This is the first day of the Islamic calendar year (which is based on the lunar cycle) and is a federal holiday in Malaysia as opposed to the Gregorian calendar New Year's Day of 1st January which is only officially recognized in some states of the Malaysian Federation.
DeepavaliSaturday, 29 October 2016*
Deepavali, also known as Diwali or Divali, is a widely celebrated Indian festival observed by ethnic Indians, especially by followers of the religions of Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism. It is also commonly called the Festival of Lights. In Malaysia, Deepavali is a public holiday except in the state of Sarawak and Labuan Federal Territory.
* This date may change subject to the latest updates of the Indian almanac.
Prophet Muhammad's Birthday (Hari Keputeraan Nabi Muhammad)Monday, 12 December 2016
This is the second date in year 2015 marking the birthday of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Due to the shorter Islamic calendar year, some Islamic dates will repeat twice in some Gregorian years.
Christmas Day (Hari Krismas)Sunday, 25 December 2016
Despite its Muslim majority, Malaysia is a multi-cultural multi-religious country with a substantial population of Christians and Catholics. Christmas Day is gazetted as a national holiday in every state and federal territory of Malaysia.
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