Intrudu! - Alvin John ~AJ~
If there is one festival that I really love and enjoy, it has to be the “Water Festival”. A festival that was observed since the 15th century in Malacca after the Portuguese conquered the historical city , the Water Festival or which is better known to the locals at the Portuguese Settlement as “Intrudu” is normally held on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday.
So, what is this “Intrudu” all about? Firstly, the word “Intrudu” is from a Cristao (the ancient Portuguese dialect) word which means “coming before”. This day marks the end of enjoyment and fun before the holy season of Lent. Lent is a season that Catholics around the world fast, sacrifice and abstain for 40 days which includes the Holy Week which comprises Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter.
On the day of Intrudu, everyone will gather for their weekly worship obligations and after the Mass or service ended, roughly around 9am, there you will see everyone ready for a fun-filled time getting wet. Some will be geared up with their water guns and water hoses to make sure no one leaves the Portuguese Settlement dry. I have to admit that I don’t like water but after the festival it is so addictive that even when you get home, you just want to throw a bucket full of water on somebody. =)
This is the day where you will see adults running around like small kids throwing water balloons and carrying kids or adults to a big tub filled with water. I was unlucky that day because I was thrown into a big tub filled with dog shampoo! Despite of that, it was still very fun and exciting. The best part is…THE FUN DOES NOT END THERE!
After everyone put their weapons around noon, they have their lunch and move on to the next event at the settlement’s field which is football. I know football is mainly for men but for this event, I guess the women will be having a great time of fun and laughter. This is because it is no ordinary football match. It is the Portuguese Settlement’s bachelors against the Portuguese Settlement’s married man. That’s not all! It is a fancy dress football match, which means you will see the boys and men wearing maybe their sister’s or wife’s clothes/dress.
I will definitely be there for next year’s “Intrudu”. But this time.. I’LL BE PREPARED!!! \m/
Two better than one? - Azrin "Bob"
*I would like to wish all my friends a Selamat Hari Raya! May more rendang & lemang be with you.
Often when we think of festivities in Malaysia, the first thing that comes into our mind is food. Any festival that we can think of; Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali or even Christmas will have food being the most common things between all. Malaysia is probably one of the most unique countries in the world when it comes to festivals. In China, only the Chinese celebrate Chinese New Year. You do not see much people from other races celebrating Chinese New Year unless they are either part Chinese or with a friend celebrating.
Relatives from my mum's side & Me.
In Malaysia however, it is different. Festivals in Malaysia usually create a bond between all 3 main ethnic groups; Chinese, Indian and Malay and we usually have a great time at the end of the day. True? Over the years we learn to appreciate one another’s culture. During Hari Raya, we often invite our Chinese and Indian friends over to our house to celebrate. Often they come in either “baju melayu” or “baju kurung” which are the traditional clothing of the Malay culture. It goes to other festivals that are being celebrated as well. Being a child born whose father is Malay and a mum being a Chinese is pretty interesting.
Over the years, I found out people nowadays are all mixed one way or the other. The guy beside you can be a mix or Chinese Indian and the girl who lives down the road can be a mix Malay Indian known as “Mamak”. Being a guy with mix blood from the Malay and Chinese culture is pretty amazing. I look like a Chinese, I can only speak the “Malay” and English but I celebrate both Chinese New Year and Hari Raya. During Hari Raya, I go to the mosque in the moring, eat all the malay cusine and receive “Duit Raya”. On the other hand, during Chinese New Year, I go to the temple, eat Chinese food and receive “Ang Pao’s”(red packet). In both festivities, I pretty much do many of the things a typical Chinese and Malay person does. Being able to celebrate both festivities, most people say that I am pretty lucky to be born in a family of both.
Enjoying my Raya with my friends.
Bonding with my relatives who are Chinese and Malay based was not easy at first. When I was young, I tend to look at things differently and most of the time I was pretty much confused on the things needed to do. Now I can say that our relationship is closer than ever. During other festivities, my friends of I will just go over to another friend’s house party to celebrate their festival. Today I celebrated Hari Raya with my family and I noticed that most of the people that came to my place are Chinese and Indian. Most of my friend has much more knowledge of the Malay culture despite being a non-Malay. I am pretty amazed of the things they know most of the time. Overall I find festivities in Malaysia very unique and often we celebrate it as one festival despite being different colors and speaking different languages.
Yin & Yang - Arif Lee
First I would like to clarify that I did not in any such way plagiarize Azrin , it just so happen that both of us consist of two or more races . "Cinalay" for the win !
I love Malaysia for the country's diversity in means of culture , people , mindsets & definitely the food . A melting pot , famously as we're known. .
Being born in Malaysia , one would either be listed as "Malay" , "Chinese" , "Indian" or "Other" . I see myself as a Malaysian , not as a box I tick every time I fill up the racial section of a form . To be categorized as such should be wrong , so every time I come across it , I either tick all of them or I add my own box which says "Malaysian" , depending on the formality of the situation .
Growing up with both sides of the pond really does change an individuals perspectives since you understand two parts of the story . I always had a level head when my two majority races butted heads and I'd try to be the voice of reason . Sometimes you need a middle man to ease situations . The only thing I regret is not being able to speak the Mandarin language and the other Chinese dialects because I wouldn't be at a lost for words every time someone speaks those languages to me .
You could even say that I'm the person they envisioned as the spokesperson for Malaysia cause my best friend is an Indian and my classmates have already discovered I secretly have an Indian accent . I have to thank my best friend of twelve years for that .
So getting to my festivities during our ever ending festivals we have in Malaysia . To start off , I really enjoy being mixed . Not only being able to experience different cultures but having the ability to actually be apart of two out of the many different races that make Malaysia really make me feel thankful . I've been to mosques and temples alike . A different spiritual experience every time into their respective entrances . Blessed to have my mind broadened by each and everyone of them .
From a Malay's perspective ;
Raya Aidilfitri & Raya Aidiladha both have benefits . Each in their own specific ways and even some very similar . For example , during the holy month of Ramadhan in which after Muslims celebrate Raya Aidilfitri , the Muslim community is supposed to abstain from food , water , sexual activity , vulgarity , and keep anger levels at a low from the time the sun rises till the sun sets . To disassociate oneself from the latter two should be something that every person should do , no matter what race or religion they are . However on the tenth day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah , Muslims celebrate Raya Aidiladha . During that month , Muslims all over the world converge to make their holy pilgrimage to Macca . On Raya Aidiladha itself , Muslims gather to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim's compliance to sacrifice his son , Isma'il . Instead , God replaced the sacrifice of the son with a ram which it's meat was separated into three parts . The moral value from that festival is to always be thankful for what we have and always be prepared to give something up .
From a Chinese's perspective ;
Qing Ming is celebrated every year to honour the pass life of deceased family members . I’ve had two of mine taken away during my life . My Grandfather & my uncle . Two men that I miss to this day . Living in the same house where both of them passed in a way doesn’t make it any easier for me . The lingering memories and words sometimes make me sad that I didn’t appreciate them as much as I should have . They were both honourable men who had principals and always stick to them . I still have one vivid memory that my grandfather sent me back to my old house , located in Bandar Sri Damansara , Selangor . During the car ride he was reminding me always to study hard and a tear still comes to me , every time I think of that moment.
What we do during Qing Ming is usually gather the family together , my grandmother’s house as the place to do so . We all wake up early and dress decently for our journey to Nirvana Memorial Park , Seminyih . It’s kind of ironic that a passing on of a family member can bring together a family . After their respective passings , I decided to make it a point to get closer to my extended family . With time , our family bond has increased and having that said I’m thankful to have such an amazing family whom I cherish and love very much.
After the strenuous journey , we stretch our legs and begin transporting the offerings of food and “hell money” as it’s referred to . We head over to the main prayer hall and each say a prayer at the respective places of worship . Quickly followed by a car ride to the urns of my grandfather and uncle . We quietly slip in the small hall which house urns of the deceased . The staff open their compartments and we’re allowed to just bask in their company . Always a feeling of calm over comes me when we do so . The offerings are left on a table outside the hall and once again we say a short prayer . The prayer includes an announcement of the food that we’ve brought for them . During so , I let my grandfather and uncle know how things have been going on in my life . Sometimes I even ask for guidance . Even though , I know they have no means of communicating with me , I just like letting them know , what I’m been up to .
When the exchange of words and prayers are done with , we pack up and say our goodbyes . My family then has lunch , usually closer back to home . We spend this time to talk about how life has been and the memories we had of my grandfather and uncle .
I admire of how the Chinese spend their time to remember the deceased while bringing the family together . Without our family we wouldn’t be who we are today. Appreciate them and don’t take them for granted .
Photos of my family and myself .
Below are my cousins
Below are my grandparents , a few of my cousins and myself
Concluding , I hope everyone enjoyed their Raya and holidays .
1st day of Raya in the big city - Syed Haziq Ali
First off, Happy holidays to everyone. I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays and of course, Selamat Hari Raya everybody! Now, I’ll begin. Kuala Lumpur, one of the busiest if not busiest place to be within Malaysia. Non-stop hustling and bustling each and every day for 24 hours, 7 times a week. And one of the things that are famous in KL are the constant traffic jams. I bet everyone has gotten used to it by now. If not then, too bad!
So, it’s Eid! The time when every Muslim ends their fasting month and celebrating it with Eid! The night before Eid, my family and I watched the announcement on TV which will announce what date Eid falls to. When the announcement told us it’s going to be tomorrow, which by that time was 30th of August. Everyone started to prepare the things for us to celebrate Eid. My mom and older sister cooked while my little sister took care of my older sister’s child. My brother in law bought some groceries. My little brother sat on his ass playing computer games as usual. My dad and I went to wash the car, bought lots and lots of food, and the most important one, LEMANG! A lemang is a traditional dish. It is a traditional Malay food made of glutinous rice and coconut milk and cooked in a hollowed bamboo stick lined with banana leaves. After that, we went back home and gotten ready by cleaning the house. We finished at about 12am, went to sleep as we had our Sembahyang Raya (Eid Prayers) at 8am the next morning. My dad wanted us to go to the KLCC mosque so we had to wake up early.
The next day, which was Eid, My dad was the earliest one to wake up. He woke my little brother and I and told us to go shower, get dressed in our “baju Melayu” which is the traditional clothes. My little brother and I were fast to get ready but My brother in law and older brother was taking quite a long time in the shower. The clock was pointing towards 7.30. My dad almost lost his temper because of those two being so late. So he told my little brother and I to just leave them and proceed to the mosque. Once there, I saw a lot of people already gathered there, sitting and already chanting the “takbir raya”. We managed to get inside the air conditioned place, with much effort. My dad whispered to me, “this is why I wanted you guys to be prepared and come early.” I just smiled.
After the prayers, we went home. The first thing I saw after I walked in was food, everywhere! There really were lots of food. I wanted to start eating right away! But I remembered we all had to ask for forgiveness to all our family members. We gathered in the living room and everyone was hugging and saying sorry and such. It was especially awkward for me because I rarely do say sorry but I managed to say it to everyone! After that was done, we all went to the table and started to eat! I took the most Lemang as it was my favorite with the Satay’s gravy added to it. It was really delightful because for me, Lemang was eaten annually. So every year I really enjoy eating it non-stop! So I’ll end my essay as it’s too long and I’m sure all of you are tired to read it. Final words, Selamat menyambut Hari Raya again everyone! Enjoy your holidays.
Fete Festivities! - Izzhar Hann
Hey there fellow Masscommites!
As for this week, I’ll be writing about festivities, festivals, festive seasons, etc. As you have known, Malaysia is noted as a country that is filled with various cultures, colours, races, religions and many more diversities that Malaysia a unique & one of a kind country to the world. Malaysia has everything that all the people could ever wish for. The first thing that pop up to your mind when you think of Malaysia is the food but let’s just keep that first and explore the major scope of where do it came from. Plus, you can’t omit the fact that it came from various cultures that have been existed in Malaysia since the very beginning. Festivities in Malaysia for instant, had given a huge impact to all Malaysian and have proved that we are living as one and there’s no boundary when it comes to celebration in Malaysia.
I’m currently in a jolly mood of celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri which is one of Malaysia major festival that is a MUST celebration every year. Basically Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the day (read: the month) where all the Muslim glorifying their success after a month of fasting. It is also a commemoration where we seek for forgiveness towards family and friends if we ever did something wrong to them. One thing is for sure, it is a day of ‘eat all you can’ because in this particular day, all the Muslim are forbidden from fasting and they are encouraged to enjoy the feast and get to know their relatives and meeting up with new friends or a recent family members. As for me, my first day of Raya was good. I spent the whole day eating various Raya dishes namely Rendang, Ketupat, Lemang, Lontong, Roti Jala, Raya Cookies *okay, I gotta stop naming the dishes because it was like gazillion!
For me personally, Raya is all about meeting back all the relatives, long-lost family members and friends. It is also the best time for them to catch since it has been a year since they last seeing each other. On top of that, there must be tons and tons of stories to be told. On the Raya’s eve, all of my family members gathered at my Grandmother’s house in my hometown. We spent the whole night chit-chatting and sharing stories about what we have gone through over the years. For me, it was a bliss and a cherry on top to sum up how great my Hari Raya Aidilfitri experience was and to be frank, that was it actually. From the past years, I only celebrated Raya for a day because they jolly feeling won’t be the same on the next day.
In addition, I’m really looking forward for this year’s Deepavali. Hopefully, I will be invited to my friends’ open houses like how it used to be when I was in high school. Speaking of witch, I used to be invited to Deepavali’s open houses organised by my friends from my previous school in Perak. But since I entered boarding school, I haven’t got the chance to be elated on those feasts anymore. My utmost favourite dish on Deepavali is the Laddu. It’s like a ball-shaped sweet that is popular from India which is made from flour and sugar and some secret ingredients.
Corollary, I really hope I could celebrate every festive season throughout this year. Not only the main festivals but also the other festivals such as Thaipusam, Chap Goh Mei, Moon Cake Festival, Halloween, Thanksgiving and many more. I believe that every Malaysian should be proud of this country because we have everything in here. We could celebrate every festival from other culture and getting to know different races and religion and the best part is to taste the food. Laconically, I’m REALLY looking forward to celebrate any upcoming festivals soon. I want to gain new experience and to learn new culture so that I’ll have plenty of stories to tell my grandchildren.
P/S: Welcome back to campus, people!
Proud to be a Malaysian - Kingston Lo
Festivities…. being a Malaysian I got a chance to celebrate all kinds of festivals in Malaysia. There is Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Christmas, you name it, we’ve got it :D. Im going to list down some of the festivals that we Malaysians celebrate.
First off, is the Hari Raya Aidilfitri. The Muslims celebrate the Hari Raya to mark the end of the Ramadhan month. During the Ramadhan month, the Muslims will start fasting, which means they are not allowed to eat, drink or putting anything into their mouth from 7.00 in the morning till 7.30 in the evening. All Muslims whom has reach puberty and healthy must fast, excluding those whom have illness or any complications. The ketupat and the lemang are one of the popular dishes serve during Hari Raya.
Secondly, the Chinese New Year or the Lunar New Year. The Chinese celebrate the 15-day celebration to mark the new year for the Lunar calendar. Before the first day of Chinese New Year, all the Chinese families will decorate their homes with Chinese new Year decorations. Most of them will buy new clothing and get a haircut to symbolize a new fresh start. On the first day of New Year, families will ‘balik kampung’ to visit their oldest, senior members of the family. The red packet or the Ang Pao will be distributed to children and adults whom are not married for good luck and prosperity. The dishes serve during the festival are mainly Chinese food.
Then the Deepavali, celebrated by the Indians. It is known for the festivals of light. Deepavali also marks the end of the harvest season. This celebrating involves in lighting small clay lamps and arranging it in rows. Deepavali also marks in return of the Lord Rama. Usually the food serve during the festival is sweet food and Indian food.
Other than the three main festivals, there are a lot more like Christmas, Good Friday, Hari Raya Haji and loads more. Im so proud to be a Malaysian.
Colors! - Sofea Mastan
I am so grateful to be called Malaysian; Malaysia is so full of colours. When I said colours, i meant the culture the food and the people because of this beautiful country I am able to learn about other people’s culture and eat their food. Yummy, The best part of them all is always and have to be the FOOD. As we all know, we just celebrated Raya a few days ago and it was awesome. I get to eat delicious food but the unique thing about this year Raya is I get to eat different food from other races as well.
My grandma cooked Rendang, Lemang and Ketupat , the most important food during Raya, its not just in my family but others as well, they will always have Rendang, Lemang and Ketupat for Raya but as I went to a lot of open houses either my relatives’ open house or a Family friend there is always food from other races, I remember going to my friend’s house and her mom served us Roti Canai and Chicken Curry, its unique because as we all knows those food are served during Deepavali, not just that, I also celebrated my Raya with different kind of races as well.
The best part about Raya is also the green packets, the young ones get to have green packets from the adults and its the best part of Raya, well to me it is the best part of raya, but we only can get the Green packets only if we went to visit one house. This Raya I’ve got to taste delicious Raya Biscuits, from chocolate, vanilla, Strawberry and many other delicious flavours. At night, the little ones will play the fire crackers, when I was little I love playing the fire crackers it’s the best thing about Raya, playing with the family but as you grow older I don’t feel it anymore but it is fun to watch the little ones having fun with it.
Among all of them my favourite part of Raya is the family gathering; it’s good to see everyone once a year, after so long being apart. Everyone from different part of the state or country will be back to celebrate Raya together. The room will be filled with laughter and catching up. Its fun and it makes the bond stronger among others.
Malaysia ft. Aslam
Malaysia, a country most envied by countries all over the world, rich or poor, near or far due to the colors of our country. What do you mean by colors? Malaysia is very colorful indeed. Dark. Brown. Fair. All of these colors unite to form a person. A nation. A race unlike any other race in the world. A Malaysian. Malaysia itself are made out of many ethnics group, most common are the Malays, the Indians and the Chinese since Malaysia was called Tanah Melayu. Back then, we hated each other. We tend to hate others just by their colors, race and where they come from. So basically, we were racist over one another and discriminating was a trend. But as the years come, being invaded by men in ships and guns from across the world, we realized that we needed each other. United we stand, stand tall we are. No matter how big of a country, without unity, it would fall under its own hands. Once upon a time, a man in his black melayu (A Malay traditional attire) complete with his golden stitched black based samping and songkok, shouted the word “Merdeka!” The Union Jack was brought down, and the Jalur Gemilang was brought up. Standing by itself, attached to the pole, blown by the wind. We finally achieved independence after decades of another ruler. Now, as we grow together, watch how this country is built from top to toe, from scratched, we grow fonder with each other. As if there’s a bond between us. A very strong one at that.
So how do we show our bond? How do we show that secret feeling we have towards each other countries all over the world keep trying to find out? There are many ways to tell, ranging from having multicultural friends to mixed race Malaysian. One of the many is through our festivals. What’s not to like about our festivals? Us Malaysians, we love our festivals. Our party. Easy to say, we are party people. We celebrate anything celebrate-able really, from Raya to Chinese New Year to Deepavali. We celebrate and respect each other’s festivals. One of the recent festivals that have just begun recently is the Raya. Raya is a festival or a celebration in which The Malays or the Muslim celebrate after fasting for a whole month; with no food and drink from sunrise till sunset. Fasting is not just about restraining yourself from food and drink, it is also about avoiding at being vulgar and aggressive. In some Muslim countries, you would see the Muslim fast but here in Malaysia, not only the Malays who is fasting, even the other races with other religion background. Here, you would see some Indians and Chinese that would fast just to join in the experience of fasting. It is very exciting to see how other race would join in just for the experience and the feel of it. After being fast for the whole month, like I said before, the celebration begin. We would ask for forgiveness for our wrong doing to our friends and family. Let us put aside the emotional bit and get down to the real thing.
When we talk about festival here in Malaysia, we are talking about food. Lots and lots and I say again, lots of food. When I say lots of food, I really mean it. During Raya, you would see people burning lemang on the side of the road, which is a glutinous rice cooked with coconut milk, wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in a hallowed bamboo stick. Other than that, we have this thing called nasi impit which is overcooked rice wrapped in coconut leave, one layer over one another and boiled to perfection. What is raya without rendang? All of the food I just said is nice dipped in delicious rendang which is chicken or beef cooked till it’s mushy in coconut milk. The spiciness and the burning sensation and smell just wiggled your toe and tingles your senses. Other than food, you would see the Malays in their Melayu and Kurung, boys and girls of all ages. Even the non-Malays would wear Melayu and Kurung which I find quite unique. The house would be open for guest of any ages and races. If you go to any open house in Malaysia during Raya, you would see a Chinese girl in her kurung or an Indian man in his melayu. There you can see how other race would celebrate Raya aswell as the Malays. We would catch up with each other, have a laugh and walk home with green packets in our hand.
As night falls, the sound of firecrackers breaks the silent. The boys would play with the cannon and the children would play with the sparkles. Our parents and neighbors would tell us off, but we don’t care. The whole place seems like it’s at war. As you set the rocket to fire, run away from it and seeing the rocket shooting straight towards the sky and blow up to reveal a beautiful array of colors and the sound it makes when it blows just made your heart skipped a bet. That is the best feeling ever. Some might get injured, lose a finger, an eye even their homes. Even there are consequences, we still make the best out of it. Sounds crazy but we do.
During the Raya festivals, you can see how people from all ages and races come together as if we’re family, having fun and just living life as it is. We stopped the hating and we start the loving. We all live in harmony after all. That’s what makes us Malaysian, Malaysian.
Nine days and nine nights…… ( Swaroopini Nair/ Snoopy )
Indian culture is extremely vast and the gods are pretty complex . We , similar to a buffet , have various gods and goddesses
with their own individual culture as well as their own individual history and pasts. The worse part about it is that each god has their own festival , so celebrations are right up my alley . But one of the more unique festivals lasts for 9 days and it's called Navarathri , Nava meaning 9 and rathri being nights. This festival unlike the others is celebrated for 3 different goddesses . Durga , Lakshmi and Saraswathi. People who are vaguely aware or interested in the Indian culture would probably recognise this , but if you are not , do not fret , for that Is why I am here .
Durga , is celebrated during the first 3 days and that is when we all wear either black or red . Those colours being the main theme of those 3 days . Pretty cool , huh ? ;) But despite the awesome colour scheme there is a story behind it . There was a demon called Narakasura who asked one of the Gods to make him all prevailing and powerful , and he was granted the boon . Then he spotted one of the goddesses and asked for her hand in marriage as she was so beautiful. She agreed but inclusive of a condition , that he would beat her in a fight. The war takes place over 9 days and that is what the festival is sort of about. Durga is usually symbolic of raw energy and anger , so that is how the war begins.This is Durga…
The following 3 days is in celebration of Lakshmi. Her colours are pink or anything pastel. She is the goddess of wealth and is always seen with gold coins surrounding her . This part of the war is when the goddess fighting the demon has calmed down slightly but is still not fully at peace. She is also in charge of wealth in your life , an abundance in happiness is also a form of wealth. :D
Thats Lakshmi.. If u can see the coins then congrats… cos i couldnt..;p
Finally the last 3 days is dedicated to Saraswathi . Her colour theme is completely white. And yes , during this part of the war she has completely calmed down. I forgot to mention this one tiny detail. All the goddesses are the same people with different forms. Haha confusing right? So yeah , Saraswathi is also the goddess of education . This is why many students place their school books in front of the altar. It worked out for me , so I guess it’s legit. Hahaha
The 10th day is called Vijayadashmi and that is the day when the war is won by the goddess . So it is sort of a celebration. Its a pretty colourful day too as there is no theme , colourwise. That is about all there is to this unique Indian festival. I was taught this at the age of 5 so I know it by heart , but it is still pretty confusing . So this , is my favourite festival. Yes , im a complex person aren’t I ? hahaha XDThts all folks…. :D
It's Been a Long Time - Lin Vin (LV)
Amidst the happy stories comes a somber tale of an ordinary girl who has never celebrated her root festival since her grandmother passed… six years ago.
(That girl being me, obviously.)
Chinese New Year is the most important festival of the Chinese tradition, a holiday that lasts for 15 days and one that calls for the biggest reunion dinner of families. New clothes, lavish decorations, scrumptious food… pretty much anything and everything that is the equivalent to “happiness”, “wealth” and “longevity”.
Meeting with cousins and relatives you don’t get to see often is probably the best part about celebrating Chinese New Year. Getting to know one another, keeping in touch and having fun despite being different and coming from different families (we’re not all blood-related by the way) was never a problem because on this holiday, we are all truly, one family.
And then of course there’s the ang pows and fireworks.
But all that I have not experience in the last six years.
It’s sad, really. It’s been so long since I have properly celebrated Chinese New Year with my family, extended and all. It wasn’t that no one cared. It was probably because no one had the heart to celebrate. (Wait that actually means the same thing doesn’t it?)
Seriously though, celebrating Chinese New Year after my grandmother passed away (peacefully) more than six years ago became such a chore eventually no one bothered anymore. The holiday soon became just like any other Sundays with everyone staying home and doing their own thing as opposed to house-hopping and visiting relatives and friends. Instead of going on a road-trip back to a now non-existent hometown, we stay in the city and “enjoy” the quiet and empty streets.
The last time my family and I had a feast so ridiculously huge we had to have leftovers for weeks? Six years ago too. Oh but I’ll never forget the taste of homemade dishes courtesy of secret family recipes handed down from generation after generation. Food was the second best part about celebrating Chinese New Year, as it is with celebrating other festivities.
What I’m trying to say is, apart from being so contradictory I’m sure I am no longer making sense, appreciate all you’ve got. At the end of the day, traditions and customs don’t matter because the main reason for celebrating is to rejoice the kinship between two and more people, blood related or not. At the end of the day, all that matters is who you celebrate with. At the end of the day, it is how much you smile during the day and how much you cry during the night. At the end of the day, it is how much you appreciate being with your family and friends.
And when your life flashes before you, make sure it was worth it.
And I wish I could get another shot at celebrating Chinese New Year the way I used to. Family, friends, food and everything else included. The way Chinese families do it. Because all that I have left now are distant and vague memories of what used to be.
Side note: Chinese New Year falls on my birthday in 2019.
P.S. Lemang and rendang are the second best thing about Raya!
Thinking..Let me get back to you on that - The Fool (Qirza)
Festivals is a difficult topic for me. You might be wondering, "Riq don't know how to write about festivals? How could that be? The guy himself is a festival!?"…Ok, you guys probably won't say that or even think about that, but yeah…stuff.
Don't get me wrong, festivals are the shizznets of the world, HELL, it's the cultural spice in which gives Malaysia its flare, being a multi-cultural nation. So what wil The Fool write this time? I'm gonna take a gamble and just shoot the shit. Shall we?
On the first day of Raya, I forgot to sleep. Not to say that I didn't want to sleep, but i was waaaay to a excited to sleep. Why you may ask? That is because I wanted to eat. Yes. EAT. Fasting month was torture, not hell, but it wasn't good. College just started and I'm (well, the ones fasting as well, of course) already exhausting every little energy I had to go to college and still make it to the bazaar in time to buy the food (a perk that I enjoy, no need to cook for oneself), but it wasn't all bad. Got to eat out with friends and strenghen bonds. But that's beside the point. SO, where was I? Yeah, it was around 7am, I'm sitting in front of the laptop, wanting to eat, but felt wrong eating first and wondering what I should be doing at the moment. Then I remembered there was the prayer in the morning, but I was getting anxious since no one was awake. So after another couple of minutes browsing around, I turned off the laptop and woke up my brothers to ask them about when we should go to the prayer. My brothers' typically response was to go wake the eldest brother about it. So I did. I was then told to get ready for the prayers, so I went back to my room to get my towel, took a bath, wore my new Baju Melayu and waited for my brothers to get ready, which took around an hour for all them to. 9am and my eldest brother told me to leave my other two brothers behind and follow him to the Mosque because we were running late. So off i go with my bro to the Mosque near our house, just minutes before prayers started. We prayed and went our way (also saw the two bros just arriving the scene) back home to get our grub ON!!! 3 servings of my grandma's Ayam Gulai, rendangs and lemangs and I started feeling the burn in my stomach, which is kinda unfortunate since it was time to visit my grandpa and my parents. It wasn't far from our place. Kubur Keramat was just of walking distance, but we just drove there instead. We visited Grandpa first because he was grandma's husband, but mostly cause we had forgotten where grandpa's grave is. We managed to find his grave, cleaned it a bit, said our prayers and went to my mom's grave. In a similar situation, we managed to find mom's grave, but dicovered two things.. 1, her grave is slightly more cleaner than grandpa's grave and 2, her headstone is broken, but still stands. We (the family) agreed to fix the grave later on, but for now, a little cleaning here and there, drop the flower petals, pour the water and said goodbye to mom. Last but not least, we visited my dad's grave which was located at a spot in which no shade could cover us from the sun's morning glee. After the grave, it was straight back to my lair playing games, watching tv and avoiding relatives. That's what happened on the first day of raya.
This is typically how I spent my raya. Hold up in my room with nothing but games, a laptop, grandma's cooking and lots and lots of time to myself. It's pretty boring stuff in which I don't really want to talk about but I have apparently did for these past couple of minutes (or seconds, depending on whether you guys actually read this or just skimmed through it).
So that's about it from me folks. Apologies for the lack of creativity, sense and pictures. This whole thing was last minute and last minute stuff aren't exactly top quality writing. But before I signed off, SELAMAT HARI RAYA TO EVERYONE AND MAAF BATIN!! THE FOOL SIGNS OFF!!!
Once in a Year - (Emmanuela C Alessia Mutiara)
I’m really excited talking about Christmas and New Year. My mind goes to Christmas stuff shopping list; new dresses, awesome food, and yummy cakes!
Christmas is my favourite moment, where my big family gathered. Because recently my family, they were like have their own dimension. Sooooo hard to gather around, that’s why i wont missed this “Rarely Moment”
And i’m so glad i could meet my little nieces and nephews. Even though they’re super-duper annoying (sometimes), i let them do whatever they want (note this: once in a year). But i do admit i miss them so much, the way they talk to me, laugh, scream, their innocent faces.
Moreover, have a pictures with my siblings it’s also RARELY MOMENT, our rush activity wont let us to gathered around, sometimes when we met up we fight for such an unimportant thing (hehehe)
But deep inside my heart, i wish i always had this moment. Not only for once in a year or whatever special occasion. Just like we used to, before.
Switch the topic..
Wohoo! Raise your hand if you are happy to hear about New Year! If you’re not, maybe you aren’t willing for adaptation, primitive thought, forever alone…. (No no. Just joking). For me Christmas its time for family gathering. But New Year its time to have fun and go mad until drop with all my best friends. Great music, a great-great festive atmosphere will make me lose control.
The spirit more gleaming when the musical parade show up. Of course there’s a lot of beautiful chick and awesome guy performed.
The best part is when everybody stand facing the giant clock and start counting down the time. Trumpet sound thundering, beautiful fire-works poppin’. Me and my friends used to bought some ‘party snow spray’ then we will do war-spray. I run and hide until i catch up my friend and start spraying each other. Silly huh? Just forget the world and losing control. It’s alright! (once in a year)
All of these happened in my lovely home town Jakarta – Indonesia. Yea, there’s no places better than your home, right? I hope this year i could go back and celebrate Christmas and of course New Year with all my relatives there. While you still have a chance. Why not?
Last, i remember a quotes, it says “You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them” – Desmond Tutu.
*i assume all of my best friends is my second family. So they are God’s gift for me as well*
Mega Sale ( Wyman Ho )
Let’s talk about the Malaysian festivities, about the mega sale the whole Malaysia. About the mega sale date, apparently it's on different dates every year. I've read that this year it starts in June and goes on till August, but I've also heard that it starts on the 24th of July? Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival. Discounted shopping bonanza, based on similar events in neighbouring Singapore, the event is a boon for dedicated shoppers, and also features Malaysian Fashion Week and the Made in Malaysia exhibition. The purpose of mega sale they clear stock, Why? Clear stock in order to bring in new fashion coming in for the next season.
Mega Sale Festivities In Malaysia.
Every one is looking in too it. Some more they will temporary can boost up they’re sale for the brand and for those people can afford it. And mega sale they wan to increase the foot trafficking in the mall. About the place all the shopping mall will do. And Mega sale is about the promotion they did a lot of advertising to promo they’re brand names. In the 2007 Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival (MMSC) is back with a BANG! And the sale this year promises to be bigger, better and certainly much longer than ever before. Why? Because Malaysia celebrates her 50th year of Independence, the date of which incidentally falls during the carnival period. So naturally, weâ€™re looking at a grand shopping fiesta lasting 11 whole weeks! From 16th June till 2nd September 2007, shoppers can indulge in the great bargains, promotions, activities and contests, that guarantee a shopping spread to satisfy even the most seasoned of shoppers. So put on your most comfortable pair of shoes and gear up for our grand shopping carnival.
The Solitary Holiday - Saarah Jasmine
Raya this year was way more modern. There was no lontong, no ketupat, no sambal belacan. We spent the first two days of Raya in the Equatorial in KL, swimming in the pool and shopping at Pavilion. In fact, celebrations this year were so low-key, that if it were not for the tell-tale ketupat banners and traditional music playing everywhere, I can guarantee Raya would have gone unnoticed.
We used to do all the things that normal Malay families do when the holiday comes around. We went back to Muar, went to people’s open houses, returned with green packets of cash and ate till we felt like exploding. Then there were the years so long ago when we hired caterers and had an open house ourselves. There was always a steady stream of people from morning till night. At the end of it all, all the food would be finished and there would be a pile of dishes in the sink the size of Mount Everest.
It became a tradition in my family for my mum and dad to cook lontong the night before Raya. When the smells of lemongrass and shrimp filled the air, it was a sure sign that Raya was just a few hours away. We always ate together when my dad and brothers got back from the Raya prayers. It’s hard to describe the exact feelings I had when I was spooning mouthfuls of my dad’s lontong into my mouth, but it such an overwhelming feeling of peace and family. That’s how Raya is supposed to feel, right? Seeing relatives you haven’t seen since you were a kid, listening to khutbah Raya in the morning, and eating. Eating and eating and eating! Making up for the 30 days where you didn’t get to eat everything you wanted.
But it’s different this year. Different because my parents split, and I’m kind of confused as to whom I should be celebrating Raya with. Which parent deserves their child more? There’s no answer to that. I’m still struggling to cope with the fact that we’re no longer a family unit. The holidays are just rubbing salt in the wounds. I guess in a way I am longing for a family picture with everyone dressed in new clothes with big smiles on their faces. Facebook is littered with Raya pictures and albums that I don’t have. I really envy people who have the chance to celebrate with their family, and actually feel the festivities going on. The feeling of being surrounded by family and loved ones is incomparable to any other feeling on earth.
So since I didn’t really get to celebrate this year, I hope everyone else did. Do treasure the times you have with your family! I’m really sorry for getting so emotional and depressing. Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir & Batin. Have a joyous and blessed holiday, everyone! Oh, and please invite me to your open house. I need feeding.
Superstition, culture or tradition of Chinese? - Kasinn
At the beginning of this year, I visited Hong Kong with my family and spent our Chinese New Year there too. It was a new New Year environment for me because there are many traditions and cultures that I do not know. During Chinese New Year, we believe that everything has to be good or meaningful so that our life will be good and ease. Although we are from different countries, the Chinese cultures are still the same like the ANGPAU.
Usually in Malaysia, we will serve tangerines and some titbits to the visitors. However in Hong Kong, they offer some cakes, fruits, sweetmeats and nuts during the Chinese New Year celebrations. They are served because their names often have a double meanings as blessing and they play on words.
First of all, they serve a kind of cake called Nian Gao, which literally translates to ‘year cake’. It is made from glutinous rice flour and sugar. It is sticky and usually brown in colour. The word Nian Gao also sounds like ‘going upwards every year’. Gao sounds similar as the word ‘high’ in Chinese. They believe that those who eat the ‘year cake’ will be rewarded with a higher status or a better life in the new year. The most delicious part is it can be steamed and eaten with grated coconut. It can be cut into slices and fried with eggs.
Tangerines are called kam in Cantonese. It sounds similar as ‘gold’ which means the tangerines are given for wealthy when visiting friends and relatives. Other than that, tangerines are also called ji in Mandarin which means lucky. The tangerines are given to our friends or relatives in even numbers for good luck.
In Hong Kong, most of them prepare an octagonal tray which known as Pa Kuo Huo in Chinese for the visitors (and of course, Malaysian prepare the octagonal tray for the visitors too). The container usually contains seeds, sweetmeats, peanuts, sweets for the kids and so on. The centre part contains dried salted melon seeds. Usually they like to eat these seeds while chit-chatting with their friends or relatives. The Chinese believe that the more seeds you eat, the more children you will have. The sweetmeats are a symbol of the sweetness of life. In Hong Kong, there are varieties of sweetmeats like carrots, lotus roots, lotus seeds, melons, ginger and so on. It is quite hard to find these varieties of sweetmeats in Malaysia. Peanuts are called Hua Sheng in Mandarin which means the ‘flower of life’. The groundnuts are known as Chang Sheng Gua which means ‘the nut of longevity’ because of the shape looks like promising a long, healthy life. The eight sides of the tray mean Paat in Cantonese which sounds like ‘prosperity’ in the same dialect.
Things written above are the basic (food) tradition during Chinese New Year. There are actually more and more cultures about Chinese New Year. You can click on the link below for more details.
Hope you enjoy the Chinese Festival’s cultures and traditions.
*(:)Love my race(Thuraya)^__^
I enjoy being a half race a Black and an Arab; though through my color it’s hard to tell if I’m actually a black. Most people can never understand me; they ask what am I as in what race am I? And when I tell them that I’m a mixed race of an African Arabian they just get startled so until I speak the language is when they’ll consider to believe me. But it’s fun being a mixed race to me I love it, coz I get to know different cultures, as from where I live there many different tribes with different traditional practices and ethical values. Most of the practices are so hard to follow like look at this some of the tribes are like soo into their tradition these are the so called the Maasais, they are actually the pastrol people living in Tanzania and Kenya; these pastrol ethics practice traditions such as circumcision of both men and women, forced marriage, polygamy etc. these Maassai people are very strict when it comes to their practices if one of them don’t follow or obey them they may be brought forward to punishment.
Well I dont know much about the festivities in Malaysia but I do know much about my country as in what actually happens there during newyears or christmass or eid etc..when its newyears people just go clubing parties and all that nonsense but to say city gathering as a whole and celebrating hehehe nope no such things there.. in fact when its newyears most people lock themeselves in their houses coz everyone is scared of the thugs and crucks roaming especially in the night who would want to be muged and stabbed..so if its new years people concider going to clubings instead at least there's survellance and security when in clubs. but as for us we never celebrate newyears it always catches us in bed always, we would just hear gunshots, or fire works…uuh i dont know maybe nextyear will be different I'm just waiting to see how its going to be like here in Malaysia. And when its Eid you will never know coz it's just the same everything is just the same you will never know that easy..when you find or hear that every mosque in town is full..then you'll notice that its actually eid.
But all in all I just love mixing with these Maasai people as I get to know there language and all that. They are just great people they don’t do discrimination nor are they racists I don’t think racism is in Africa anyway.
My Mom is from a different tribe therefore they don’t follow such atrocious kind of practices because they are just from the recent tribes and that makes them modern and literate that’s why. Though they just do one thing one minor thing….this is whenever there is some kind of conflict within the family then the elders’’ from the tribe sets up a meeting to resolve any problem. And about my dad’s side….uuh well he’s an Arab who’s from Tanzania but true Origin is from Yemen coz his birth parents are from Yemen a small place called Khadha-ramout; well the people from here practice most of their tradition I actually consider most of them ignorant coz they still follow such practices such as polygamy, forced marriages especially for young girls of about 15 years of age and above. These ignorant’’ Arabs never practice inter-marriage coz they don’t want to marry outside their family that is they get to marry with themselves example cousins to cousins, brother and sister and other weird practices. Thank God I never experienced such a thing but I only get to see them.
Treasured memories..~~~ Chenelle
I would have to say my favourite festivities are Chinese New Year, Christmas and the New Year countdown!
Every Chinese New Year, i'd spend it with my family at my grandparent's house.My grandparents would have the 'Open House' celebration every year.It is always very fun, because it is one of the rare occasions where we have the whole, big big family plus friends over for a gathering.We always hold the gathering on the first day of the CNY.
My grandma's helper and another long time friend would always be in the kitchen, and i do help out too of course,but they would be the main cooks while we, the other ladies would help out around the kitchen,running in and out carrying the dishes to be served.The kids would help to arrange stools around the house and set the main table.Meanwhile, the men would help with directing the parking outside the house and also help to be the 'bouncers'..
Everyone would always have such a good time,catching up with old friends,knowing new people, and just enjoying the festival being surrounded by family.It is always such a joy to me, when i see people who just met for the first time then, interacting and laughing as if they have known each other long ago. Their laughter and smiles remind me that we are all one big family,no matter what race,what religion,or even what age we are.
Christmas!It's a very important event,as it is the birth of Jesus.So,every year, my family and I would go to church and attend Christmas Mass.Most of my Catholic friends would attend the midnight virgil too,which is on Christmas Eve, so technically we're all there once it turns 12am.And when it does turn 12am,we all would wish each other and our families with hugs and some of us exchange gifts and handmade cards.And my friends and i would go around shaking the hands of other parrisioners and sharing the Christmas spirit with them.Later on, we'd 'camwhore',haha,cause since everyone is already dressed up for the occasion. Afterwards,my family and i would gather at my grandparent's house and my grandma would prepare supper for us, and every year it would be her best homemade porridge.Then we'd all chit chat and just spend quality time as a family,sharing jokes and stories,unwrapping gifts and enjoying each other's company.
Now,New Year! It is quite fun awaiting the arrival of a brand new year.And its kinda interesting to me,that we're like still in the present year,and once it's pass 12am,its a new year.Haha.Its weird,but i find it kind of cool. So, my family and i would go for New Year's mass,and same as Christmas, my friends would be at church too,so exactly the same as Christmas, we'd wish each other,but we'd joke about it being all in a new year.Like,we'd say 'See you in the next year!' just before midnight.Haha.
Well,i do celebrate other festivals too,but these are faremost my favourite and i enjoy every second,every minute,every moment me and my family and friends are together,and i never forget every laugh,every wish and every smile.
Rayaaaaa yay! (Puteri Zelia Athirah)
Selamat Hari Raya!
Festivities.. Well I can start of with Selamat Hari Raya! To fellow muslims who celebrated raya a week ago.
Raya this year was really simple because my grandparents had to go to Jakarta on the same day. So we had a simple breakfast with home cooked lemang, beef rendang and so much more. We would usually have family photos taken every year but since my grandparents did not have the time, we didn’t take any.
So after my grandparents house, I went over to my friend’s house in Shah Alam to spend some time there before going back to my mom’s house in Bangsar. Thank god the roads were so empty!
When I reached my mom’s house, my mom served the exact same thing my grandparents served back in their house. Finally got to take a family photo. Which was the fun part because I did my hair just for that particular moment. Hehehe :p
On the second day of raya, I left Malaysia for Jakarta to join my grandparents there, same goes for the rest of my uncles, aunties and cousins. As we speak, I am still in Jakarta. So I guess I can say I’m spending my whole raya holidays overseas. Which kind of sucks because I’m already missing out on a few of my friends open house (damn…)
Nonetheless, I’m still so happy that I get to spend my raya with all my family members. They mean the whole world to me and I’m so thankful to God that my grandparents are both healthy and alive.
Here are some photos to share!
Mom's side of the family. Raya 2011.
My mom and brothers.
My dad, step-mom and sister. Raya 2010.
I'm hoping everyone including Dr. Ben and the rest of the lecturers had a wonderful holiday! :)
Everyday I'm eating *chew chew!* - Ryan Fong
Man, how I wish my birthday was a festival. Then we would all have public holidays! But that isn’t the case now. I love festivals, one of the reason is because there will be holidays. And here is the best part, festivals brings people together in unity along with much joy. It is best time to fellowship with one another and celebrate the respected occasion. Being in Malaysia makes it better. All of us, no matter what race, we can celebrate together. That is what makes Malaysia rather unique. I personally enjoy Christmas.
It is one of those days where we get to appreciate one another. I don’t like Christmas due to the gifts but rather because of how people are able to come together with high spirits and have fun together. Okay, maybe I do like the gifts too but that is not the point.
I remember the time when I was a little kid and I always have my cousins over and we would run around the house playing all sort of games and guessing what is inside each box under the Christmas tree.
Then the adults would be in the kitchen preparing dinner in large portions which always smell real good in the kitchen and often make our tummy growl whenever we capture a scent of it. Some would be in the living room, often the men, just chatting and catching up with one another after a busy year. Sometimes their laughter could often be misjudged as thunder. Talk about the laughter of the gods.
Then when all is set and the food has been in place, we’ll start of with a simple prayer to give thanks for the year we have been through and all being able to gather together on a such a wonderful day to celebrate. And of course, the celebration isn’t limited to just relatives but friends too!
After the delicious meal that was prepared by many, we would move on to caroling. It is often that we do a proper one then move on to something rather insane. Singing in different styles, changing the lyrics here and there or maybe add a rap into it. It is plenty of fun. We would also have an ice breaker or two to top it up to keep the maintain the atmosphere. To top it up even further, many pictures and video was taken to remind us again what a joyous occasion it was. Which will often time brings back memories.
Though I may not be a big fan of presents but I do like to read what was written in the Christmas cards that was given. It tells so much and also funny. Yes, Christmas is indeed an event which I enjoy most and often celebrated with many others. I sure hope that the coming Christmas would be an even more enjoyable one which may could come together again and share the love and joy with one another. May it also bring smiles to many faces and sweet memories all together. Cheers.
backgrounds of many - Adem Khaled Younes Dreed
I have lived in Malaysia now for many years . There are many things to write about Malaysian festivities. It’s great Fun. And plenty of food. But most off all the cultural bond that Malaysia have for one another. For me I am proud to be a Libyan but I am also proud to be living in Malaysia and hopefully one day I will become a Malaysia citizen. Malaysian festivities bring out the best in people and help remember the important of tradition in one’s family. For me I have many relatives with different background. And it really an advantage and amazing privilege to experience so may festivities. deepavali, Christmas, Chinese new-year, hari raya and so on.
One my favourite festivities and celebration is Chinese new-year. I love Chinese New Year. The food is great and everyone is so cheer full. It’s a celebration of a new beginning and a new start for that. One of my favourite time in Chinese New Year is the countdown for the new year where everyone gather around and and start counting down .my first time is when my dad brought me to KLCC. I wasn’t really sure what was going on but I promised myself one day that I will come here again and celebrate Chinese New Year.
I still remember last year in Chinese New Year. My hopes were to bring a girl with me and kiss her at 12 midnight like what I see in the movies. But yeah that’s just a movie. And plus I was single that time. Anyway I wasn’t too sad, later on I got a call from my friend to follow them to Sunway pyramid and celebrate Chinese New Year. And I’m glad I followed him. The night was great it was fun getting there in a group when everyone is squished in one car and the music is set too loud as everyone is singing along. It was defiantly a night too remember. Finally we found a parking on the roof top. We waited and waited and finally it came. Fireworks were up. Everyone was smiling and laughing. I still remember how I and my friends almost got banned from Sunway rooftop for climbing a restricted area. Most amazing sight on that night was the fireworks. It was amazing and went on for 10 minutes. Respect to Sunway pyramid mall. Anyway when everything was finish we got into the car went home with a wonder full memory.
Another thing I like about Malaysian festivities is the angpow. But sadly as I grow relatives seem to think I’m married with kids. I never get money anymore. And even if I do get I get 1 or 5 ringgit inside of them. I’m thankful of the money I get from my relatives but honestly I prefer 50 and 100 like how I used to get them when I was young. I enjoyed the angpow I got and now is time for me to give. I think it’s important to take some and give some. This isn’t really important but I will like to say it anyway for however is reading. If this happened to anyone of you I can relate. When I was young as soon as I get money, my parents will tell me to give it to them so that they can keep it safe and I wouldn’t loose it. As soon as I remember to ask for it they will tell me they used it for me. That’s weird for me because I never really asked for anything since I got my angpow. So when I asked them what did you use it for? They said to buy me clothes -.- and in my head I’m just saying “ no is alright give me the money and let me walk naked “ .now it’s funny when I think about it now.
Is great that I have many relatives from many cultural backgrounds. I get to experience and visit many open houses and enjoy many tasty treat and great food. And plus with so many festivities I’m celebrating the more money I get from relatives .over all I’m very happy and lucky to becoming from a family with many backgrounds. I’m looking forward for the next Chinese new year . this year festivities has been great for me . I went to many open houses met a lot of amazing new people and made new friends. And thanks to who ever is reading this.
Fiesta San Pedro - Tasha Nair
“The roots of true achievement lie in the will to become the best that you can become.”- Harold Taylor (Architect 1895-1919)
Knowing my roots and the different cultures I'm made up off, has been really important to me. I may have "Indian" typed on my passport and other identification materials, but I'm also a proud Chinese, Eurasian and Kristang ( Portuguese). I’m glad to have those little mixtures in me as I get a chance to celebrate the many festivals and celebrations annually.
Just like every other year, I knew I had to get myself back to Malacca this year for one of my most favourite celebrations, FIESTA SAN PEDRO, also known as the Feast of Saint Peter, who is the patron saint to fishermen. The Portuguese Settlement in Malacca has its yearly feast for two weeks, starting off with Fiesta San Juang (Feast of Saint John) continued by the Feast of St. Peter. Fiesta San Pedro is a week long celebration filled with colour, pomp,gaiety and fun for the Portuguese- Eurasian community of Malacca to commemorate the feast of St. Peter.
Making my effort to cancel all my plans I had with friends for this feast got me all hyped up for the actual event. Driving as a big happy family from Port Dickson down to Malacca was amazing, as usuall! Making our way through the Kampung Portuguese, all the lights in the settlement square were all being set up for the eventful night that was about to begin.
The highlight of the fiesta is the religious facets. Following the Eucharistic celebration on the actual feast day, the blessing of the decorated boats, where candles were lighted, is the main focus. For the fishermen, the lit candles signify the Light of Christ who guides them through the storms of life whether at sea or land in their journey home. The blessing of the boats and procession where the statue of St. Peter is carried around the settlement demonstrates the request for God's grace for a bigger and better catch for fishermen who depend on the sea for their livelihood.
Portuguese people are known most for their signature food. For example, Debil Curry( some people know it as 'Devils Curry'), Kluak Curry(Black Shells with some black fillings), Sebak( Portuguese Salad with meat) and many more. The variety of food sold/served were mouth watering. We all ate like there was no tomorrow.
After all that food, it was time to get the 'fiesta' started( dancing after eating is not advised!). My friends, siblings and cousins walked from the settlement to A' Famosa which took us about 20 minutes. It was 'Street Dancing' time! An estimated 150 residents from the settlement and tourists gathered to kick off the feast. Having known the Malacca Police Department and RELA blocking most roads of Malacca town just for us, was surreal. The parade was led by the "Becak's" followed by floats and lastly by the street dancers( we were included), turned heads when passing through Malacca town and even got people coming out from restaurants and shops who danced and sang along with us.
Upon reaching the settlement where another 300 to 400 tourists and residents gathered, the traditional Portuguese dance, 'Branyo', was performed by a dance troupe. This was followed by some lucky draws and other performances throughout the night.At the end of the day, every minute was worthwhile to me, knowing that I came back home and had an amazing week and at the same time, going back to 1 of my roots and celebrating an important feast with family and friends. Am I going to make an effort to make it back for Fiesta San Pedro next year? Definitely! Knowing your roots and how you came to be, will help you understand who you are now as a person, and reuniting with all the other people at the settlement was/is the best thing ever!
All of the lights - Tan J-Shawn
When we talk about festivities in Malaysia,there isn’t just one big one.There are at least 4 major ones that could be found throughout the year.Every race has their own kind of celebrations and own methods to celebrating them.The muslims celebrate raya,the chinese celebrate chinese new year,the hindus celebrate deepavali and christmas celebrated by christians.The list goes on and on but I am only going to talk about the 4 major ones for today.
Starting off with Hari Raya Aidilfitri,celebrated by muslims all over the world.After a month of fasting during the month of Ramadhan they get together with friends or families and have “open houses”.Majority of them will head back to their respective kampungs enjoying their holidays with loved ones and also massive amount of food such as chicken rendangs,beef rendangs,ketupats,lemangs and many more.One thing I love about raya is when homes are lit with all the lamps at the entrance of their houses. The dates of Hari Raya is always decided by the sighting of the new moon.Chinese New Year,something similiar to Raya but this is for the Chinese community.It usually falls during mid-January to mid – February,a lot like Raya there is no fix date.On the eve of Chinese New Year,every family will usually spend it with their families and relatives and even those from overseas will make it back just for the family reunion because it is tradition to have a reunion.On the first day the normal thing to do is house visit all the relatives and friends just to collect ang paos and eat awesome home made cooked food and not forgetting gambling all our ang pao money away.But we usually don’t care about the money it’s just for the fun of it that we do it.This usually goes on for about 3 days and by the 3rd day everyone will be opening all their ang paos and counting how much did they earn from all the house visiting.Usually the bigger the family the more amount you will get.
Deepavali!celebrated by the hindus.I actually forgotten why hindus celebrate this festival of lights but for all I can remember,it’s something about their victory over the darkness signifying the triumph of light over darkness or something like that.To me Deepavali is about attending all my hindu friends open houses and eating awesome indian delicacy such as mutton,chicken curry with rice and papadum .Deepavali is different because it’s not about getting ang paos but mostly about drinking with your group of friends.Christmas,a celebration celebrated by everyone around the world usually to celebrate the birth of christ.My parents celebrate christmas but I don’t because I am not a christian,it is usually held on the 25th of december and yes that is when everyone will shop for clothes because it is the year end sale!On christmas eve my parents would usually spend it in church till midnight and on the first day we would usually go to my aunts place for their annual christmas party and stuff my self in roasted stuffed turkey.Honestly,Malaysia is the only country I see filled with holidays all year long with never ending festivals for all races and religions.I love Malaysia.
Mooncake is not a cake – Blue Sia ❤
I am a Malaysian Chinese. There are too many interesting festival to introduce. I chose to share about Mooncake Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival, just because IT’s COMING soon!! It will be on 12th September for this year! For lunar calendar, it will be in 15th of August. It’s a Monday, so I will not be my hometown. But I hope to have a wonderful festival here with you all! CCPD lecture on Monday. Haha! The moon for the day will be the brightest and the fullest for the years.
It‘s a WARM day. Full moon hanging on the sky. Like the moon, the round dining table should be filled too. For my family, we had a gathering like BBQ or steamboat to celebrate the day together. My AhGong and Ahma (Grandparents) are not around so the one who telling us an old story is my lovely daddy. It will really perfect if AhGong and Ahma still here with us!! I miss them so much! It’s a warm day not because of the food, it just because of the night that we are together.
It’s a ROMANTIC day. The Mid-Autumn Festival is also a posthumous celebration of bitter-sweet romance. There are a lots of disagreement about the specifics behind the Mid-Autumn Festival, but most people believe the one which was totally amazing, Chuck Norris-like archer named Houyi (hoe-ee) who is in typical awesome-hero fashion, had a beautiful wife named Chang’e (chong-uh). To celebrate Houyi’s eternal separation from his beloved wife, every year on the date of Chang’e’s ascent to the moon, Chinese people like to go out and gaze at the full moon, drinking, lighting incense, and passing out moon cakes to all of their loved ones.
It’s a BRIGHTLY day. Candle and lantern will never been forgotten. Everyone in my kampong switch off the light but it’s bright too because lantern everywhere. I think if you switch on the light, people will treat you like an alien. Laugh!! Because it will be really weird! I can tell honestly, it will not only happen on the festival day but the whole week!! Children were very excited for this. Busy for choosing the AWESOME lantern! I am the one who did it before! One of the famous of my hometown is “Tang Ren Jie” (Chinese Street). Crowd!! Crowd!! It was really crowded!! The street will be closed for about one week to display all the handmade lantern-lantern. All of the lantern will be the GIANT size! They will surprise you with different theme every year. Since I start to read a newspaper, this will never missed out by reporter every year. Proud of ❤
It’s also a FATTENNING day. Anyone realize everywhere mooncake? I went supermarket, they will set up a department especially for mooncake only. I went to a bread stall, he did too! I am thinking about how much the profit are, everyone selling! Even this morning, I received an e-mail to purchase mooncake online. There are lots of shape and flavour in market.
The most attractive mooncake for this year is Hagen Dazs Mooncake.
Although mooncake is not a cake but it can be FATTENNING too!!
That warm fuzzy feeling. -stephaniekaren
-the celebration of something in a joyful and exuberant way,a joyous feast.
Iv always enjoyed festivals.its a time that brings everyone together.
People get patriotic,becoming united,being in the moment of the festival.
Being a malaysian,you have the privilege of experiencing and being apart of the diverse cultures and their festivities.
so festivities in my point of view,is my favorite time of the year.I love how the malls will be filled up with color themes,festive food everywhere you go,tv ads filled with festive greetings,radios playing traditional festive songs.It somehow gives you a sense of home-ly ness,a sense of belonging somehow? people get more humble,they get excited,the sudden will to share. everyone i guess becomes a better joyfull version of themselves.festivities i guess hits me hard sometimes.i come from a small family of two. its just me and dearest mum.relatives are too far away to be visiting,so during festivities i guess it impacts me differently.Festive is the prime time everyone gets together with their families. Iv always gotten very excited during festivities,i loved going over to my friends place,to follow them back to their hometown and to celebrate it with their family.And yes,it feels nice having their aunties and uncles treat me like their own but to see the love the family has for one another always gives me a very warm feeling.A house filled with generations of “Lee” or “Danaraj” or “Putra”.An outsider looking in,hearing the loud chit chats of the ladies,the uncles loud gargle laughters,the kids running,stomping away and scream at one another,while some shy ones sit at the corner awkwardly and the older ones sitting in a group having general conversations.That is why i love festivities,some families have gatherings like those as often as every week,but for some a festive would be the sole reason they come together.You have to understand,that being in my shoes,coming from a house thats only occupied by me and my mum who i see on a very daily basis,to go into a house filled with all that loud noise.It gives you comfort,and the need of family love.In some sense,it trigers that hollow feeling.
To be apart of such occasions is a feeling unexpressed.I guess to really see what is worth in life is to have the absence of it.Festivities without a doubt comes along with alot of delicacies.But one other thing i think festivities bring out is tradition.Tradition,the backbone of familes.Traditions in all families are somehow different,it has the same basic foundation but with a little twist in each family. Some families,after the kids have stopped high schools,duit raya is no longer given out while some families only stop giving away duit raya once you start working.Everyone has their own set of family tradition and as we often joke about our random or awkward family traditions,deep down its what we love about our family,its what you remember them by.Tradition is the foundation of the family name,in some ways its what brings the family closer,making the family what it is.I dont know about the rest of you,but i love tradition.It makes you feel united.
Ohana,ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind.family means you’re not alone,and tradition is the proof of that.So i guess,festivities,to me.Means family,it means culture and belonging,it means you’re going home.
Chinese New Year ^^ -Say Yeing
Those 15 days can be from the last part of January to the middle of February. Chinese New Year is celebrated depending on the Lunar/solar calendar.
Fun Times - Joshua
All of us know that Malaysia is a country with different culture, festival, and races. Well, now that we are all staying in Malaysia, we get to enjoy different festivals such as Hari Raya for the Malays, Chinese New Year for the Chinese, Deepavali for Indian, Merry Christmas for all that are willing to celebrate. Malaysia is one of the countries in the globe that have the many holiday. As you guys can see that festival like Chinese New Year and Hari Raya, both of these festivals consist of 1 week holidays each. So we were lucky to live in Malaysia. Maybe not for you guys but I love holidays.
Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas, the festival that I like the most among all other different festivals. Festival like Merry Christmas is one of the festivals that I enjoy the most. But I kind of hoping that Malaysia would have ‘White Christmas’ like foreign countries such as Japan. Let me brief about white Christmas 1st it’s something like Christmas day but with the snow falling from the sky but I know that is impossible for it to happen in Malaysia. The day that Malaysia snow is the day that we all have to panic as well so probably you guys wish it’s better not to snow in Malaysia. Country such as Japan, snowing can probably happen during Christmas time. Christmas trees, streets, buildings, and everything covered with snow. It really produces magnificent make scenery, it just like you standing at a place that filled with hope and happiness.
During Christmas 25th of December, my family and I will celebrate together we usually have a party and invite my friends and my mother and father friends to our house and we all celebrate together. My favorite time during Christmas is that we exchange gift with our friends and family because we wouldn’t expect what gift we will get and we are all very excited during that period of time. There also have times that when we exchange gift and I open the gift box guess what I get , it’s a vibrator it’s from my aunt I ask them and they intended to gave it to my mom. Our family are all open minded so something like this is nothing to be surprise of. We also celebrate of course Chinese New Year, for us Chinese are all compulsory to celebrate Chinese New Year. Not that I dislike Chinese New Year but I find it very boring during Chinese New Year the only things that I like about Chinese New Year is that we get to collect red packet also known as Angpao. It’s where all our pocket money come from. As usual all we do is ate together sometimes even played mahjong and cards. All our relatives came of course but it was no fun with them honestly. I only celebrate two festival all together. So we can assume that celebration is fun and sometime is no fun at all. But it’s still festival.
7th Lunar month by Emma
All of the Chinese knew that this month is Ghosts month, also known as the Hungry Ghosts Festival. The celebration of Ghosts festival will run on whole 7th of Lunar month, but the actual Ghosts Festival (Ghosts Day) is on the 15th night of the 7th lunar month. This day is actually the open gates of Hell, permitting all ghosts to hang out / receive food :) In different Chinese countries will have different celebration and ritual. In Malaysia we had the celebration like live performances, they are tradisional Chinese opera, artist singing & sexy girl dancing. We has our own characteristics and is not similar to other Ghost Festivals in other countries( exclude Singapore, they’re same as us), most of the tradisional Chinese family will have some ritual on the street, they will prepare food, incense and burning joss paper for the visiting ancestors and other Casper (Casper : ghost)…
That day people normally will back to home before dark, even though in FB my friend also will post:”back home early”…But I don’t think stay at home is safe, because the ghost can also float ( ghost normally don’t walk) into your home , right…??? =) I personally don’t believe this crap or ghost legends=)… But I’ll respect it…Chinese had say that: “唔到你唔信!” ( you have to believe)… I never meet ghost before, maybe I’m the lucky one…^.* I don’t know what would I do when I meet…While do you guys believe those ghost legends?
Eid Ul-Fitr – Raznina Alysha
Festivities, a time when everyone gets together to celebrate a specific occasion. Eid Ul-Fitr also known as ‘raya’ or Syawal is when all Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadhan and show their gratitude towards God. During Ramdhan, people would start preparing for Eid in advance. You see people shopping clothes for raya like ‘baju kurung’ ‘kebaya’ or ‘baju melayu’ for guys. For families they buy stuffs for their home like curtains, sofa’s, television’s and so many more. We clean or renovate our houses in advance. We bake many different types of raya cookies. We cook foods like ‘rendang’ and ‘ketupat’. During the first day of raya we wake up early in the morning, go to the mosque to pray and usually have a feast afterwards with all our relatives, later on apologizing to our parents, family and friends by texting, calling or by seeing them personally. What we usually look forward to is the food that has been prepared for us and also to the money that we receive by adults. Every year it’s the same routine with minor difference, just that as we grow older we get less money and eventually we’ll be the ones giving them.
This year was my first raya ever in KL, from small I usually go back to my hometown in Alor Setar, Kedah which is my mom’s side of the family. My dad and brother didn’t come back to Malaysia this year because my dad only got a few days off from work. So he decided to stay back. My dad’s mom is fully Chinese, so this year when I went to my uncle’s place majority were Chinese.
At first I didn’t have that raya spirit in me, I was so lazy to leave the house. My mom made me bring my laptop so we could Skype with my dad when we’re there. I went in, wished all my relatives ‘Selamat Hari Raya’, apologized for any wrong doings. My aunt had prepared all the typical raya food. Unfortunate for me, I can’t eat most of the food cooked because of my allergies. I haven’t seen my dad’s side of the family in a while. The first thing my grandma told me was to focus on my studies, and to make sure if I decided on having a boyfriend it should be a Chinese, she says Malay guys are too lazy :p No offense guys!
I WhatsApp-ed with my dad asking him to go on Skype. Everyone was so excited to talk to him, especially his mom and siblings. I find it funny that everyone was talking to him in Chinese; it felt like Chinese New Year instead of Eid. We had our family portrait taken afterwards, my uncle decided to take the laptop and include my dad and brother in the family portrait; we then took pictures of each generation. I got to catch up with all my aunts, uncles and cousin. Later on some of my relatives decided to have a jamming session which was really fun. We ended the night with fireworks. The best part of celebrating Eid in the city is I get more raya money compared to if I went back to Kedah. I’m so grateful that I had fun with my family. Hope you guys enjoyed your holiday ;)
My cousins and I
Mom, me, sister, grandma and cousins
Family portrait with dad and brother on Skype :)
Chinese New Year ^^ -Say Yeing
Chinese New Year is one of the most important events for the Chinese people all around the world. All the people have a holiday during this festival and go back to their hometowns to celebrate. There are 15 days for Chinese New Year. Those 15 days can be from the last part of January to the middle of February. Chinese New Year is celebrated depending on the Lunar/solar calendar. Chinese people also developed twelve different animals to stand for each year. After twelve years, the cycle of animals begins again. The animals are the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. This year is the Year of the Rabbit. =)
During Chinese New Year , we greeting each others , One of the most popular greetings at this time of year is "gongxi facai" or ‘may you be prosperous! That also a "symbol " for children to get red packets with parents and elders !
Lunar New Year comes every year with delicious food, bright red decorations and most importantly for kids, lucky money or red packets (Ang bao). "Ang Bao " just for young children and those who haven't get marry .
The New Year is a brand new year for prosperity. When Chinese New Year , we visit family and friends. They bring candy to start the New Year off sweetly. For about two weeks we eat, pray, and celebrate. So, I almost will gain my weight every year~ Besides , we also pray for ancestors and gods. Red is one of the very popular colors to wear. It means, "good luck."
"Yusheng" symbolism of "good luck" for the new year , usually consists of strips of raw fish (most commonly salmon), mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments, among other ingredients.Proceed to toss the shredded ingredients into the air with chopsticks while saying various "auspicious wishes" out loud~!!The height of the toss will reflects the height of the diner's growth in fortunes. =)
Celebrate Chinese New Year with my family ^^
All of us wear red in color =) ~
Lights and Santa Claus - Vittal
Deepavali! Where there is lamps everywhere, wearing new clothes, great Indian food and not to mention lighting firecrackers(my favourite part of celebrating Deepavali) First off, Deepavali acknowledges the return of Lord Rama from his 14 year exile vanquishing the evil demon-king Ravana. Usually on the first day of Deepavali i’ll wake up early around 5am and visit the temple to pray wearing new clothes from top to bottom. Mind you, I don’t wear traditional clothes anymore during Deepavali. Later in the afternoon, there will be an open house for friends filled with Indian dishes and delicacies. There was several occasion where I didn’t celebrate Deepavali either I was on vacation or a family member kicked the bucket. For me Deepavali is filled with lights, great people and awesome food. During the night is where the fun begins! I’ll usually light up fire crackers with friends and family till the wee hours. Thats pretty much how I celebrate Deepavali. I know it sounds boring reading it, but try coming and celebrate it with me and you will have tons of fun ☺
Celebrating Christmas have always been part of a tradition in my family. I don’t know how it got started but we celebrate Christmas every year. Now, I’m sure during our younger years we all believed in Santa Claus, I’m no exception to that. When I was 5, I used to write the things that I want for Christmas on a piece of paper and give it to my parents thinking they will give it to Santa Claus and get me the toys that I wanted. On the day of Christmas I woke up and all the toys that I wanted was at the foot of my bed. I actually really believed that it was Santa Claus when it was my parents who got me the toys. Nowadays, during Christmas I’ll attend Christmas parties. Last but not least, fatten myself by eating lots of honey smoked turkeys and chicken.
One of our many festive seasons - Calvin "with the C" Tan
The raya breaks have just come to an end. And although I didn’t visit any open houses this year , I still managed to absorb some of the culture from this specific Muslim holiday. This might sound pretty weird coming from a local Malaysian boy but before this , I had never visited a Hari Raya bazaar. Their a lot like pasar malams or night markets in my perspective but the food available are more Malay influenced . It is however some of the best tasting food you will ever find this time round in Malaysia, and their also real value for money.
As soon as it was early enough for raya to be a topic of conversation , a friend of mine had already started bugging me to visit the raya bazaar situated right outside his neighborhood . I agreed and didn’t think much of it but little did I know that going to these bazaars became a somewhat daily thing for me after that first trip of mine. When I was back at home I’d find myself thinking about what kinds of food I was gonna nab the next time I was at the bazaar. There was just so much to choose from! And close to every stall there were makinf mouthwatering food that lived up to its looks. Aside from that its also crazy how much money you would save from eating at the bazaar. Id usually find myself at the bazaar at 6pm which would usually be a peak hour for the bazaar. All the stores would be set up by then and the pungent smell of the foods would be invading the neighborhood. It was quite convenient for me as classes back then would usually end late and by the time I was done with the jam it’d be just in time for me to hit the bazaar. It being 6PM. I’d usually be there grabbing something to fill myself up for dinner and instead of spending the usual RM10 or more for dinner , all I really had to spend was RM6-8 to be filled up and have a variety of dishes to choose from. They’d usually consist of little snacks but they still find their way to fill my stomach up.
It being my first time bazaar however , I quickly got accustomed to some unwritten rules there are when visiting a bazaar to be respectful of the vendors and other visitors as they might be puasaing. It is rather rude to be eating your food while walking around the bazaar and people will tend to give you stares and scoffs as they pass by. In one of our lectures, we were shown the very controversial commercial made by 8TV about how to be respectful of others during Hari Raya. A lot of non-Muslim viewers found it offensive , but I thought that it was actually informative , for there are people that would be blind to these offenses when they visit a bazaar.
However all in all , Its still a really unique experience to be visiting a bazaar , the food themselves will be a unique pulling point . It’s something every Malaysian should experience if they haven’t already. I hope everyone has enjoyed their holidays . See you guys tomorrow!
Mid-Autumn Festival - Cassie Chee
Malaysia is a country blessed with ethnic diversity. Along with that come the many festivals celebrated by the different ethnic groups. One of the major upcoming festival which is mainly celebrated by the Chinese is the lunar mid-autumn festival that takes place on the eve of the first full moon during the 8th month on the lunar calendar. It usually translates to a date in late September however it falls on the 12th of September this year. According to ancient legend, this festival is about a beautiful wife of a famous hunter who accidentally swallowed a pill of immortality which she found hidden among the belongings of her husband. She is then believed to have floated up to the sky and lived as an immortal being with her companion, a jade rabbit on the moon. On this occasion, family and friends tend to get together for a meal and to enjoy the huge variety of mooncakes that are on the market these days. The mooncake is associated with this festival due to its shape which resembles the moon; supposedly at its fullest and brightest of the year. In this modern day and age, mooncakes have come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours and fillings. The most traditional ones are the round or square shaped lotus paste or red bean paste baked mooncakes. A more modern take would be the durian flavoured or chocolate flavoured frozen mooncakes which the younger generation seemed to prefer. Now that I’ve given you guys a take of what this festival is all about, I would like to share my personal experience for this occasion. We would usually start the day by decorating the house with a varieties of beautiful lanterns. Usually mum will then prepare a grand dinner for us. After the dinner, we will invite some friends over for a mooncake party where we would try out all the different mooncakes and some good Chinese tea to go along with it. We would also light up candles and lanterns to add some warmth to this occasion. So, there you go, my brief take on what this festival is all about and how I go about celebrating it.
It's different this time by Sara Halysa
Why did I put my title as that? Well it's because this year was little bit different for me celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri. I didn't get to celebrate my Raya with the family. My parents are at UK celebrating their Raya with my older brother this year, so they left me and my 2 little brother behind. Their flight was at 10 in the morning on Raya day itself so you can imagine how hectic it was. My father asked me to send them to the airport but unfortunately I got to spend just 10minutes with them. But I did manage to do our yearly routine which is the "salam-salaman for forgiveness" at the KLIA that morning. It wasn't that bad I guess? Me and my brothers spent the first day of raya at my Opah's house. Opah is my grandmother on my father's side. Then we went to Ampang, where my grandmother Tokku lives. She is on my mother's side. How was my first day of raya? Well it was okay. even though my parents weren't around to celebrate with us, that didn't stop us. We had fun, we had a joyous time, and the best part we had lots of duit raya.
Every year on the 4th day of Raya, the whole family on my father's side would go back to my Moyang's house at Johor. My moyang died last 2 years but we always went back to the old kampung house because that's our family tradition. This time I drove from Shah Alam to Johor with my grandparents and brothers too. By the way , I have a very huge family back in Johor. Reaching up to 50 persons? Now that's what I call Family.
I took a lot of pictures and posted it on my Facebook account so that I can show my parents that we're doing good here celebrating Raya. My mum would call me everyday just to see if we're okay. Looking at their pictures posted on their Facebook , they look like their having fun. So envy. Maybe next year , is gonna be my turn? Who know's right. Well so far this , this is how I celebrate on one of Malaysia's main festivities. I know it doesn't sound much but no matter where we are, we still celebrate it. It's our culture.
The very first day of Eid ul-Fitr by aLhanafi J
The end of Ramadhan has come. The month that I’ve been looking forward to has come. Why am I looking forward for this month? It’s because this year is a bit special. Me and a friend of mine named `Mr.Locks’(not actual name) went to `Istana Negeri Sabah’ where the governor of Sabah resides in. The `Istana Negeri Sabah’ opens for all the people of Sabah to celebrate together with the Governor. Of course you’ll be expecting a lot of fancy or grand foods there for free. That is the main goal for me; to eat as much as I can before I go back to Kuala Lumpur. I have to cook for my ownself or rather buy myself a nice `mamak’ food outside when I’m back there. Sad but true. So I might as well take up the chance to eat as much as I can.
Let’s get back to the main topic.
When I woke up early morning for first day of Eid ul-Fitr, It felt different. Maybe it’s because I was used to waking up at 4:30 due to fasting for a whole month. Now, it felt great because I can get to the water filter and drink without any worries. I know it’s not so nice of me to think that way but that’s what come across inside my mind sometimes in that very particular morning. I had to get ready for prayers for Eid ul-Fitr so I dressed myself up with my ‘Baju Melayu’, and It’s a new one too. Fits perfectly. Anyways, at the mosque we had to look for a place for us to pray because it was already filled with lots of souls praying. Right after praying I drove to `Istana Negeri Sabah’ and it was packed. Obviously you couldn’t drive in the place so I found a parking that is pretty far. I walked inside to meet up with `Mr.Locks’.
As soon as I met up with `Mr.Locks’. We had to wait for several hours for the main gate to open. It took us quiet awhile to wait but it was worth it. There were a lot people there waiting to get in just like us. I might say thousands of them. So as a photographer, I took plenty of shots there but mostly videos. Just click the play button right below here to experience the adventure at `Istana Negeri Sabah’.
(Video will be up tomorrow.Got a problem with youtube uploader.)
We rushed in once the gates open to get in queue for the foods and plus get our own tables. Everybody was rushing. It was like a war for foods. It’s my first experience too. First thing first, the food there was great. They catered from several great hotels from Sabah like Sutera Harbour for instance. I can still taste how great the beef rendang was. Another great moment for us there is to be able to see the people who was less fortunate that came with their children. They had the chance to taste expensive food which they had never tasted before. The Governor also paid a visit to look at the people. He shakes hands with them. It was such a heart warming for us to be able to experience Eid at `Istana’.
Overall, Eid ul-Fitr there was awesome and we’re looking forward to go there again.
Euphoria - Shadman 'Kay' Kamal
Festivities in my dictionary has always revolved around one common meaning: GO ALL OUT!.
I've spent a multitude of time and energy into making sure our day went just as planned especially when it came to EidEid. Both Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-ul-azha has traditionally been a prominent occasion in our lives as there isn't another holiday full of sound merriment and nostalgia as this. When it came to national holidays our hectic timetables would cripple, our days released from the agonizing workload, and our minds untethered from the strenuous chores and activities we're obliged to. My family has always upheld traditional values when it came to holidays and every year they would go all out just to maintain coordination and productivity, but without compromising the 'fun' elements. As the first day of Eid breaks dawn my father and I would go to the mosque early morning to cite our Eid prayer as per our religious customs. Subsequently, we would head to the market to buy decorations and the traditional holiday sweets made exclusively for Eid day before returning home and awaiting for the party to commence.
However, hosting parties consume a lot of effort and its usual for this time of year to go all out in making your guests feel as comfortable as possible. My mom and sister would usually prepare the food with occasional helping hands from my aunts and cousins. They would cook such tasty delights as roast chicken, beef pies, spicy vegetable curries and grilled fish while complementing it homemade sweets such as shemai, HalwaHalua and Malpuashondesh. My father, uncle and I would usually orchestrate the entertainment, everything from the music systems, the board games, movies, fireworks etc. Also in time around the less privileged would normally knock on our doors asking for charity and it was customary for everyone to donate something worth their wait such as food, clothes or money and without the slightest hesitation. As the sun falls to its knees we begin to welcome the mass number of guests gathering outside our house and soon pandemonium unleashes and its time to party :D
Our friends and family come together and rejoice with the traditional Eid hug that unlike a normal hug the two participants hug each over one another's shoulders twice. As usual with our parties the men and women both disperse to join their respective genders for group discussion and mingling, my father and his friends head to the terrace to smoke cigars and rekindle old times and memories while I attend to my friends by offering them cold beverages and chatting over humorous events that preceded the day. My sister and my cousins would normally startle us from behind, surprising us with an exploding can of confetti while my uncle turns on the music system and hell freezes over as we start to dance. Screams and roars of excitement blasts through the roof as we dance the night off, disco lights flashing on and off, the ground erupting to the groove of the music while we sing with our voices to the highest pitch.
As the party comes to a monumental close we would all head out to the car for a nighttime drift down to the outskirts to ignite our final event: THE FIREWORKS!. Friends and family would grab their belongings and race out of the house like a coyote and swiftly arrive to the countryside. My father, Uncle, my Cousins and I enter through the cold mist in the almost deserted area and light our fireworks concurrent with the countdown which we all begin to speak out. As the hand of the clock falls to one the fireworks takes flight to the teal-silver sky. Our eyes glistening with joy and astonishment in an almost disbelief state, the fiery wonders exploding in the vast space and being reflected onto the pupils in our eyes with our hears racing and our hands going numb, it was a fitting moment for all of us to say that this was a truly epic conclusion to a day that we love and cherish.
- Eid Mubarak Everyone!
An upcoming festival - The Cake That Represents The Moon (Kelvin Ng)
Guess what Malaysian festivities am I going to write about? I suppose it should be already very clear due to the title of my post ; It is the MOONCAKE Festival!!!
This festival falls on the 12th of September, which is the next Monday. It is a chinese traditional and cultural celebration. What makes this festival so special is because it makes the night really unique and filled with a peaceful yet enthusiastic atmosphere in the neighbourhood. I remember when I was young until this day, I never failed to ask my parents when does the Mooncake Festival fall on each and every year. When the night comes in, you could always see a full moon without fail at the starry and clear black sky, giving the moon a complete, yet eerie and powerful glow, which adds up more to the suspicion and mystery behind the ancient tale of the Moon according to the Chinese.
Well like the above I have just mentioned, this festival belongs to the Chinese ethnic. There were four elements that we need to know about this festival, which is : The Lady(or also known as Chang Er), The Man(Wu Kang), The Hare(Jade Rabbit), and The Cake(MoonCake). It is mainly of this four elements that give birth to the Mooncake Festival we are celebrating today. But sadly and obviously the only popular culture and element still mainly remembered now is only the Mooncake by the future generations. This was what my primary school teacher told me, I still remembered. Back then Mooncake was invented to be used as a medium to secretly send messages. It was being rumoured that a deadly plague was spreading around China, and the only way to be immune to it was to eat special mooncakes. This triggers the increased speed of mooncake distributions. And also another method of hiding the desired message was printed as a puzzle on the surface of the mooncakes. The receiver must then cut the mooncakes into quarters altogether and rematch them together to form the original message. After solving the puzzle, the receiver must then eat the mooncake to destroy the secret messages.
Besides of the amazing tales and history of this festival, what makes it so special is the uniqueness of the night. For my family, my mother will cook a lot of delicious food to celebrate the night with, set up a table with candles and joss sticks with the dishes all presented for the Chang Er (the Lady) outside of the house at the porch. It is considered offering to the Chinese Deities and in return we hope we get to be more fortunate and blessed in the future. Excusing my mother's good cooking, the Mooncakes itself are just simply irresistible too! The thin, tender skin eveloping the sweet and dense filling is just mouth-watering to be imagined over and over again. But mooncakes don't come cheap though. At least it's still worth it as it is only produced and marketed when the festival is drawing near. And for the taste of it, it is never seen as wasted. *HUGE grins*To accompany this celebration, we do other additional cultural or regional customs such as carrying brightly lit laterns, lighting laterns on towers or even floating sky lanterns. The children around my neighbourhood will carry their electronic lanterns that comes together with sound when it's on ad walk around the housing areas during the night of the festival. It is much lovely to see them walking around jovially and kill the dull night with their cheeky laughs. Another tradition is to burn incense in reverence to deities like what my family would always do each year. A more rare and special one is to perform fire dragon dances. This far in my life I've never came across this tradition yet, I hope I will encounter it soon or maybe this coming Mooncake festival itself! *gentle giggles*
That is all for the mooncake festival. People should appreciate the creation of this festival and also the moon cake, as the moon cakes today are supposedly eaten to commemorate the legends in the ancient times. Till then, see you next week in the
next post! Happy Mooncake Festival everyone!!! CHEERS :D
Gift - matthew zubin
When i personaly talk about festivities it has to something than i enjoy celebrating.That celebration for me is christmas.The very word christmas defines the joy for giving,its wonderful occasion fill with joy and laughter happens and the very last month.What am i saying means the month december.For me expecially living at this country christmas would be more enjoyable if snow was falling.But you dont get there here,Let me tell you before celebrations begin.Rapping papers has to be bought the reason for this it to rap the presents.It takes awhile with my family you know you gotta get the gifts according to the person interest.Ya money has to involve for buying the gifts but the feeling for giving from my family its so much better than receiving.Giving money as a gift isnt something worth it for me because the gift is something that you as an individaul can cherish.Hey now christmas for my speaks the word traveling,ya we all get together than we pick a scenic place usually somewhere nearby.For Christmas decoration is needed what am i exactly saying is that for chrsitmas you definetly need christmas tree.You know its not that easy to get one by it is essential.Fun for me is decorating it this little small decoration item than you can purchase.You gotta place them at the proper place at the tree and star has to be place at very top and the finaly the lights i like a nice combination for the lights.Hey if i had some snow to play with there will be a snow man as well hahaha.There will be food expecialy a turkey will be prepared followed by the mash potatoes,baked beans,coleslaw and fruit cake.Yeah and the joy for singing the christmas songs with your family members.The entire feeling for chrsitmas brings a bond between families and relations.Hey now i am going to tell you about the man which comes with candies and gifts with his slay with the rain dears pulling it.Its santa claus that will arrive with huge sack that is filled with things that is sweets and gifts for eveyone.The dressing for santa claus a red coat,white beard,white gloves and red pants lift the entire place when he arrived.He goes by saying ho ho ho merry christmas everybody will be laughing.Ya but we all know that santa claus dont actually exist its normaly somebody dress as a disguise.That person is probably somebody from our family members.The love for christmas should be something that you can learn from that when you give you will receive even more.Even if you dont have much its the gift that count.You know christmas is over sadness will be there but you look forward for the happiness that you had the presents that you received.For me its the most wonderful festival for me and these are the reason.The laughter that we share for christmas is priceless.
This picture shows that santa claus came and giving gift to everyone
Malaysian Festivities -Kai
I’m very pleased that I am a Malaysian, why?? You know, as a Malaysian we could celebrate many different festivities as it could be Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa, Deepavali, Mooncake Festival, Hungry Ghost Festival and more… So that, we could get different experience that other country people couldn’t have it. Ya also, because of these Festival, our country having many Public holidays to celebrate it. That's also a reason why I am pleased to be Malaysian(kidding kidding :D) Which festival that I like most?? Of course, is Chinese New Year which most major festival for Chinese. During Chinese New Year period, most offices businesses will be closed for 7 days for holidays. And also during Chinese New Year’s Eve, families will gather for their reunion dinner. Fish will not eaten completely as the Chinese phrase “may there be surpluses every year” Everyone will stay in their own house and open house for other people to visit them. They will prepare many snacks, drink, food to serve their visitors. Children or whom haven’t get married will get “ang pow” from elder. During the holidays of Chinese New Year, I will try to visit all my friend houses and pray for their family. That is also a short period in a year when everyone could gather because most of my friends are study in oversea or different state.
Not only Chinese New Year, but also the Hari Raya . I like those stall which in the street during hari raya. You can find out many delicious food at there. And also could get that spicy food that most I liked. I visit my malay friends in their houses. Sometimes I also “buka puasa”with them, I feel it is special experience. I would like to join Deepavali in the future if i could. However, I’m please to be Malaysian so I could celebrate so many festival of different culture.
The coming festival is Mooncake Festival, this year is the first year that I didn’t celebrate with my family. I will be stay in KL because of my study. Whatever, I received a mooncake from my friend, he makes me feel warm even I’m alone to celebrate this incoming festival.
Festivals! They bring us closer - Suresh -
Festivities!! Ahh yes that reminds me of the Good old days when i was a kid and i would follow my parents to their friends house for Chinese New Year,Hari Raya and not forgetting dropping by at my relations house during Depavalli.The first thing that comes into thought during the festivals period would be the wonderful delicacies you get to taste.I’m bless that at a young age i was expose to alot of different cultures and learned to understand the many believes we have here..
If there is one thing i’m proud of is gotta be the various cultures we have here in Malaysia.Through out the year here in Malaysia we get to experience the many different festival,celebrations that never fails to bring all races and cultures together.As of now there’s a big iniative being carried out by the government by creating the 1 Malaysia campaign which is aimed at bringing all Malaysian from various different backgrounds and religion together and i’m very much looking forward to seeing how this impacts the nation because unity among the people of the nation should not be seperated just by races,cultures,religion but everyone should come together as one.
A photo of me taken at last year on Merdeka Day.
As the festival calendar goes here in Malaysian,we always start the year with the Chinese New Year celebrations.Chinese New Year has always been a special occasion for me because we get to collect red packets filled with money from the different house we visit and the food we get to eat is pretty delicious as well.That reminds me from small i had a good mix of friends in school who were indians,chinese and muslim and that gave me a upper hand over a few other students whom usually stick to their own races.Don’t get me wrong its not wrong at all but mixing around with different races teaches you to have a broader view of different cultures and background.
As for the next big festival celebration would be Hari Raya.Exactly 1 month before the celebrations all muslims from all walks of life would have to observe a fasting period of 30 days and that is said to be a test from God.During the Hari Raya Celebration i usually get a host of invitation from friends to attend their open houses and the best part of it,you get duit raya as well if your not married from the elder.Talk about collecting money from Chinese New Year but now you get to collect more during Hari Raya.Money aside, the food you get to taste during Raya is simply sinful i tell you.For an example we get to indulge on the famous lemang,ketupat,lontong and a personal favorite of mine would be the ayam percik.
Moving on,here comes Depavalli next in the calendar and of all the festivities this one represents me the most.I am a hindu at heart and Depavalli is yet another wonderful festival of lights that never fails to bore me simply because on this very day i get to meet all my cousins and relatives,all on the same day as we indulge on the many different authentic indian dishes from south and north and yes lighting up oil lamps outside our home to welcome in the new year.Oh we also get money packed in a purple envelope as well.So i would say during the festival periods the young and unmarried ones get to collect money from the Chinese New Year,Hari Raya and Depavalli celebrations.
For this i am blessed that i get to experience all this year in year out. I shall conclude this posting by saying We Are One!
Merry, Merry Christmas by WeiHong Tham.
Merry Christmas!! The second festival that I like the most besides Chinese New Year.(because that Chinese new year can get ang pow) LOL kidding. =D
Hmmm.. Still remember that few years ago I joined a Carol singing group which held by my Church and we went caroling house by house. It is a very good experience! But seriously, I don’t know why I can’t remember too many things about the caroling that day..I think maybe is because I’m sick that day. =(
What is the meaning of the photo on top?? OK, let’s talk about the Christmas Day that I went with my friends last year (2010). It is the BEST Christmas Day I have ever been!! I will never forget this Christmas celebration with friends once I still alive. LOL. Still remember, Christmas eve that day, me and my friends went to the Theme Park in Time Square to find some “shiockness”! After having those crazy roller coaster, we also bought a lot of “accessories” for our war next day which means the coming 12am. I know you are now thinking what is the meaning of the “accessories” we bought? OK, what we bought is a few dozen of Snow Sprayer and some scary mask to scare those “enemy” of course. Haha. Ya, you can see those freaking things we bought at the picture below that we captured that day.
Cool huh? :P
Oh ya, forgot to tell you that my whole gangs were wearing the bloody red shirt that night!
To top it off we gathered together to take a group picture with the help of a foreign stranger. in the count of three, we all sprayed fake snow into the air while smiling and making funny faces to the camera. thank god the bangla didn't run away instead. xD
A Chinese Festival – Su Jin
Yup, just like everyone mentioned, Malaysia is known as a country with quite an amount of very different and interesting festivities happening throughout the year. People from different races to different culture; from different religions to different beliefs, we celebrate various types of festivals together. Instead of talking about those big festivals like Chinese New Year or Hari Raya for instant, I chose to talk about a very important festival among Chinese, which is the Hungry Ghost Festival. As a Chinese, I find it very important for us to understand why is there a festival like this and what we should respect and do during this festival.
Just like the Americans have Halloween, we Chinese have the Hungry Ghost Festival. This festival falls on the 7th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar every year which is roughly around August or September on our Western Calendar and is generally known as the Ghost Month. During this month, the Chinese believes that the gates of Hell are opened for the deceased to ‘pay a visit’ to Earth and after month, they will return to where they belong.
During this festival, many Chinese families will prepare lots of food and also burn ‘hell money’ as a respect for the deceased as they believe that their ancestors and dead family members will return to their homes to visit their living family and relatives. Some even burn paper hand phones, televisions, computers and other modern gadgets for their dead relatives as they believe it will reach them and help them live a more comfortable life in the other world. Another belief among the Chinese and is also the main reason why this festival is named as the Hungry Ghost Festival is because it is believed that there will be lots of unknown ghosts and sprits wandering around looking for food thus the Chinese pray and burn extra ‘hell money’ to satisfy and avoid them from intruding our world or bringing us misfortunes, they believe that pleasing those homeless and neglected souls will bring good luck to the family.
The Chinese have many many superstition beliefs during this festival especially the elderlies. I remember those time when my grandma is still around, she would nag us for the whole month reminding us over and over again not to stay out late at night as it is believed that the wandering ghosts or spirits may possess children. My grandma told me many things which scares me a lot like for example, it’s dangerous to go swimming during this month as they think that there’s a possibility that an evil ghost may make you drown. I was also told to be very careful and not to step on burnt ‘praying papers’ or else the deceased will get mad. She also told me to avoid shouting or whistling during midnight as it might draw ‘them’ to our home. In addition to these beliefs, the Chinese also believes that it is not suitable for starting a business, moving houses, weddings and many more as it will bring bad luck. Due to all these beliefs, the Chinese find this month a very scary and dangerous month thus everyone will tend be extra careful with what they do and speak throughout the month to avoid disobeying or disrespect to the deceased.
What else? Oh, during the Ghost month, Chinese opera shows or puppet shows are held in many places. It is known as the ‘movies for the brothers’, these shows are open to public but is believed to entertain the dead. Every year during this month, a Chinese association will build up a big tent just at the field opposite my house for praying and all these stuff for the festival, they also had this Chinese opera show going on. I remember when I was younger, I went and saw people filling up all the seats at the back and leaving the first few rows empty, I find them strange and just innocently sat on the front row thinking that it’s the best seat with the best view. I then got scolded from an old lady and she explained to me that those seats are actually reserved for the ghosts and spirits!
Creepy right? :/
Till today, I can’t deny that I’m extremely afraid of ‘ghosts’. I would easily creep out when I hear dogs howling together during this month as it is also believed that dogs howl when they see ‘them’. So yeah, I guess that’s basically all. Believe it or not, I think that everyone should respect this festival or the deceased by at least avoid stepping on burnt praying things or so. Well yup, a very interesting yet creepy festival.
The Value - zikrimarzuki
The month of Syawal will alway be a joyful time of the year but as I grew older, my perspective towards the festive celebration of Eidulfitri changes. Perhaps as time goes by, we became wiser? Eidulfitri celebration in my early years was all about new clothes, the food and of course, “duit raya”. But all that later faded with a gain of understanding to what Eidulfitri is really about.
It’s 7.19 in the evening of 7th Syawal, 1432 Hijrah. My elder brother and I were at the airport waiting for my aunt and cousin’s arrival from Brunei when i receive a text message from our father of grandfather’s death. “Tok Wan” took his last breath during the adzan calling of maghrib. My reaction upon receiving the news wasn’t a surprise but rather regret that I wasn’t there when he left to meet his maker. But nevertheless, I was prepared for it and faith had definitely helped me to understand that this is a phase of life that we will eventually witness or perhaps even experience it ourselves. Only God knows.
By the time Aunt Intan and Aziz arrived, it was too late. They just missed Tok Wan’s last hour by only a few minutes. The journey back to “kampung” was sad and dull and there wasn’t much conversation between us until we arrived at our kampung in Sri Petaling. As we arrived, there were sights of many cars parking along the streets. Family and friends were already gathered inside reciting the “Yaasin”. There, the atmosphere was gloomy throughout the night as the family members were grieving for the loss of a great family man.
Tok Wan’s remains was buried peacefully the next morning in Bandar Baru Bangi with friends and family attending the funeral ceremony. It was cloudy, everyone had their heads nodded down in grieve, tears were shed as the imam recite the prayer from the Qur’an. The ceremony later ended with family members sprinkled flower petals and pouring rose essence water onto the grave as a final respect. We left the cemetery moments later for kampung to further continue with the funeral reception. In Islam, after the burial of remains, it is followed by 3 nights of “tahlil”. Family and friends gathered round at the home of the deceased to recite the Yaasin, later ends with a small feast .
The death of my beloved grandfather had called upon a miracle. At the last night of the tahlil, as I was going in and out the house helping with the arrangement, I stopped halfway through the crowded living room. Having myself looking at the people around me, it opened my eyes to something that we spent most of our lives struggling to achieve, that is togetherness. A value that hold us together, through bitterness and sweet.
There were presence of family members whom I never met. Relatives from everywhere were all gathered under one roof, some from Singapore and a few from Indonesia. Two decades have I lived, never have I seen my kampung crowded as if there was a “Bersih” 3.0 rally, but on a smaller scale. Of course, I took some time getting to know few of them.
At the end of it, I caught a glimpse of smile on my grandmother’s face, despite the bitterness that we went through only days before. A sight of which i will never forget. This Eidulfitri, I gained an understanding to what festivities really are. Appreciating the people around us and cherish every moment with them. Value it while we still have each other because nothing can tear us apart when we are together. My family is something i value the most no matter what the circumstances are. Throughout the course of my life, each Eidulfitri i experienced added value that will always keep within myself. It took a loss of loved ones to have everyone reunite, should it take another loss just to have everyone to gather and reunite again?
-Tok Wan and I enjoying a peaceful nap together. He was a great man. May Allah rest his soul-
KABOOOM BY JOYCE
I am not familiar with Malaysian festivals, but from what I have heard, Malaysians celebrate their festivals with joy, and vibrance.
Tanzania, my motherland, celebrates festivals with bright colours. The timing for one’s festival sometimes depends on the religious faith one holds.. Tanzania is a country where we have an incredibly wide of range of tribes and religions beliefs. The majority of the people in the population are Muslims and Christians. But we also have Hindus, Sikhs, and other religious groups, including indigenous African local religions. Each category have their own festivals. When they celebrate, the days when the large religious groups do it are declared public holidays. Indeed in Tanzania we do not have a shortage of holidays and festivities. When it is a festival for Muslims, Christians and Hindus have a holiday as well. We respect each person’s religious faith. For example I am a Christian, but when Muslims celebrate their Eid el Fitr, I join them in their celebrations. Similarly when it is Christmas or New Year, my Muslim friends also join us in our celebrations.
The Christmas festival for Christians is celebrated on December 25 every year. This is the day when Jesus Christ is said to have been born. In my country people go to different churches to worship. After the worship services, they like to visit their friends, or go places of tourist attraction, such as our beautiful beaches, or our national parks, or go to visit the Zanzibar Island. But many others they just gather their family members together in their homes, cook good food, and celebrate together, since Christmas is a public holiday. In Tanzania, especially in the large cities, we are increasingly seeing many orphaned street children, whose parents died of HIV/AIDS. Some good people like to take such children to their homes during Christmas and celebrate with them, giving them good food and various gifts. In Tanzania, just before Christmas begins you will find many shopping malls, offices, homes, and streets are decorated with lights, making the Christmas festival very colourful. Often you will find decorated Christmas trees placed in public places, churches, and homes to show that it is Christmas season. And at night, in people’s homes you will always see Christmas candles burning, and hear good Christmas music. The night before Christmas, around midnight, you will hear many church bells ringing, and many beautiful choirs singing, with people inside the churches holding candles in their hands.
What is beautiful about Christmas in my country is the traditional way of celebrating it. In Tanzania we have 125 tribes, each with their own traditional way of celebrating Christmas. Local dances, local foods, local attire, and local songs, add flavour to variety in our Christmas festivals. Often, various organizations also arrange big Christmas dinners for their workers every year. As a result the workers always look forward to the coming of the Christmas season.
Eid el Fitr is also a day which is highly celebrated in Tanzania. There is no definite date on the calendar when this festival will be held. It varies with the day of the appearance of the new moon, and is a Muslim festival. It comes following the ending of the fasting season during the holy month of Ramadhan.In my country on the first Eid day, all Muslims goes to pray a mosque to pray early in the morning, and often wear new clothes, and give charity to the poor. This is very good practice. On the second day, families like to visit their loved ones, and their friends, and also exchange gifts. In Tanzania, Christians also enjoy the Eid el Fitr festival because it is a public holiday.
New Year festival comes just a few days after Christmas, on January 1 of every year. In Tanzania we always celebrate the day with much joy, pomp, and music. Many things happen on New Year’s day. Church celebrations are always held, people thanking God for having allowed them to see a new year. Marriage anniversaries often also occur on this festival, to signify a new beginning. Engagements often also occur on this day, to celebrate new promises; and new plans and ambitions for the new year are announced on this day. Thus it is a festival of seriousness. But some irresponsible individuals often also drink too much on this public holiday, causing accidents and deaths to occur. Many others use the festival productively, going to visit friends and relatives, or to visit places of tourist attraction, enjoying themselves, and broadening their minds.
In my country we also have many other public holidays, such s the Zanzibar Revolution Day, Chama Cha Mapinduzi Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Union Day, Labor Day (May 1), Saba Saba Day, Independence Day, etc. The Zanzibar Revolution festival marks the day in 1964 when the people of Zanzibar successfully staged a political coup against the Sultan of Zanzibar. The Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) festival marks the day when the ruling political party of TANU of Tanzanian mainland merged with the Afroshirazi party of Zanzibar to form a united party, CCM. The Union Day festival celebrated the day when the Tanganyika mainland and Zanzibar united to form the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964. The political festivals involve public speeches by leading political leaders in the country, a lot of local music and dancing, a heavy involvement of various diplomats in the country, and would normally dominate the television screens and newspaper pages, when they occur.
All the festivals mentioned in this essay involve a lot of financial expenditure on the part of individuals, for buying gifts, special clothes fit for the occasions, and for local transport. Those in which the Government and politicians are also involved, similarly involve heavy financial expenditures. Shop owners, public transport owners, and supermarket managers, always look forward to the onset of the various festivals because they make a lot of money when they come.