Malaysia Public Holidays - Year 2012

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 2012 are :
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New Year's Day

Saturday, 1 January 2012

This is an internationally recognized first day of the Gregorian calendar year. In Malaysia, this is not a federal holiday, but for most purposes, it would be safer to assume offices are not opened on this day.

Chinese New Year / Lunar New Year

Monday, 23 January 2012
Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Chinese lunar new year starts on 23 January 2012. This is the year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac. The previous year was that of the Rabbit, and the next lunar new year(starting in early 2013) will be the Snake year. The associated heavenly element for the lunar year coinciding mainly with Gregorian year 2012 is the Water 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.

Prophet Muhammad's Birthday (Hari Keputeraan Nabi Muhammad)

Sunday, 5 February 2012

As a majority Muslim(Sunni) country, Malaysia has gazetted this as an official federal holiday to celebrate the birthday of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Shia Muslims (Shi'ites) celebrate this five days later.

Thaipusam Festival

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

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.

Good Friday

Friday, 6 April 2012

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)

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

As with most 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, 5 May 2012

This is also known as Vesak Day in Singapore and commemorates the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhism, although it is often associated mainly with the Buddha's birthday.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong's (Malaysian King's) Birthday

Saturday, 2 June 2012

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 2012) is Sultan Abdul Halim of Kedah state. He replaced the previous Yang di-Pertuan Agung Mizan Zainal Abidin (the Sultan of Terengganu) on 13 December 2011. The King's Birthday is a nationwide holiday. Individually, each state celebrates its own Sultan's or Governor's birthdays.

Hari Raya Puasa

First Day: Sunday, 19 August 2012
Second Day: Monday, 20 August 2012

Hari Raya Puasa is the local Malay name for the Muslim religious holiday and celebration of Eid ul-Fitr (Aidilfitri) which marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.

National Day (Merdeka Day / Hari Kebangsaan)

Friday, 31 August 2012

This federal holiday commemorates the independence of Malaya (as it was then known) from colonial British rule. 31 Aug 2012 will mark the start of the 56th year of independent Malaysia.

Malaysia Day (Hari Malaysia)

Sunday, 16 September 2012

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.

Hari Raya Qurban (Haji)

Friday, 26 October 2012
Saturday, 27 October 2012

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 ul-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.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012*

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.

Awal Muharam / Maal Hijrah (Islamic calendar New Year's Day)

Thursday, 15 November 2012

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.

Christmas Day (Hari Krismas)

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

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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