Penang’s multi-cultural composition ensures a succession of festivals and celebrations that are unrivalled any where else in the world. Considering the number of special events, festivals, celebrations, gods and deities’ birthdays and religious occasions among the three main race groups (Malays, Chinese and Indians) when one big celebration is finished, another is just about to begin.

Penangites are always game for an excuse to celebrate and feast, there is much enthusiasm, painstaking preparation and merrymaking all year round

The festivals listed below that are marked with a * are state or national holidays. Government offices and banks will be closed.

J a n u a r y ~ F e b r u a r y
New Years Day *
Sang Cho Kong
Chinese New Year’s Eve
Chinese New Year*
Birthday of Chor Soo Kong
People’s Day
Birthday of Jade Emperor

F e b r u a r y ~ M a r c h
Chnea Hoay
Birthday of Tua Pek
Chap Goh Meh

M a r c h ~ A p r i l
The Mariannam Procession
Panguni Uttiram Varusha
Pirapu Cithirai Parwam
Cheng Beng

A p r i l ~ M a y
Labour Day*
Birthday of the Goddess of Mercy
Sri Rama Navami
Birthday of the Queen of Heaven and Goddess of the Sea
Wesak Day*

M a y ~ J u n e
His Majesty The King’s Birthday *
Double Five

J u n e ~ J u l y
Penang Governor’s Birthday *
Birthday of Chor So Kong

J u l y ~ A u g u s t
Birthday of the Goddess of Mercy
Hungry Ghosts (Phor Thor)
Festival Double Sevens
Chong Yuen Ti Kuan Ta Ti

A u g u s t ~ S e p t e m b e r
National Day of Malaysia*
Birthday of Tai Sui
Mooncake Festival

S e p t e m b e r ~ O c t o b e r
Birthday of the Goddess of Mercy
Birthday of Guru Nanak
The Masi Maham Festival

O c t o b e r ~ N o v e m b e r
Loy Krathong

D e c e m b e r
Christmas * 25 December

Thaipusam Spectacular
While there are many Indian festivals that celebrate the rice harvest, the stars and light, Thaipusam is by far the most spectacular.The celebration here is more intense than the one in native South India.

Penangites once again celebrate the birthday of Tua Pek Kong (The God of Prosperity) in a grand manner...

 Hungry Ghosts in Penang

... that throughout the seventh month of the Chinese Lunar calendar, children and young toddlers alike should be kept from going out of the house, lest unrested souls lure them to the kingdom of the dead!

Mooncakes are only sold during the Mid-Autumn Festival or Festival of Lanterns celebrated on the eight month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

The moon on the 15th day of this month is brighter than that on any other month of the year.

O t h e r H o l i d a y s
Hari Raya Puasa*, Hari Raya Haji, Maal Hijrah Awal Muharram, and the Prophet Mohammad’s birthday are all public holidays. Since these are Muslim holidays, their dates are determined by the Islamic calendar and float through the entire Gregorian calendar.


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