Penang is everything you’d expect and whole lot more and was chosen by Yahoo! Travel as 1 of 10 island in the world to explore before you die. Situated in the northern region of Malaysia, the state consists of Penang Island and mainland Province Wellesley, also known as Seberang Perai.
Holiday makers will be amazed by exciting activities, whimsical practies, culture events and religious festival being celebrated the whole year round.
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first day of the lunar calendar with each year ushering in a zodiac animal ruling sign. Celevrations usually start on the eve when family members gather for a Reunion Dinner. This is followed by having an open house for family and friends to visit one another and give Ang Pows. Lion dances are also performed to welcome auspiciousness into the household and workplace. Every year, the Penang Chief Minister will organize a Chinese New Year Open House on the first day at 10am at spice and invites the public to join in the celebration. This also allowa tourists and foreign visitors to experience how the festival is celebrated in Penang and Malaysia.
Thaipusam is celebrate during the full moon of the 10th month in the Hindu calendar and signifies the victory of good over evil. During this celebration, a pilgriage procession takes place to bring the statue of Lord Muruga on a sliver chariot led by more than 60 kavadis from Little India to the Arulmigu Balathandayuthapani hilltop temple at Waterfall Road. The tradition of breaking coconuts are carried out to cleanse the roads before the journey. On Thaipusam day, devotees go through a physical endurance of being skewered and pierced on the back and front of their bodies as act of penance. Upon reaching the temple, devotees will fulfill their vows, offer thanksgiving prayers and do penance as required.
George Town Festival
Penang’s most anticipated cultural festival, George Town Festival (GTF) celebrates George Town’s 2008 inscription an UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as Penang’s strong passion for local arts and entertainment. Fans of the previous GTF can anticipate theatre, musix, art, dance, opera and film screenings through out the month.
Hari Raya Aidilfitri
In Malaysia, the Muslims celebrate the start of the month of Syawal by having open houses for their family and friends. Guests can enjoy a variety of traditonal Malay cuisine and mouth-watering selection of local delicacies. During this joyous celebration, it is also customary for them to wear their traditional Malay attires. Another popular practice is the giving of “duit raya”, money gifted to children, elders or the poor in little green packets.