Today, we are going to talk about exciting events and festivals in Penang. Penang – the Pearl of the Orient has so much to offer. We have amazing food, people, sights, and of course – only in Penang’s events.
A Little Introduction About Penang
If there’s a better microcosm of the exotic east than Penang, we’ve yet to find it. Located at the intersection of Asia’s great kingdoms and Europe’s powerful colonial empires, Penang has long served as the link between Asia’s two halves and an important outlet to the markets of Europe and the Middle East.
This is one of Malaysia’s most diverse, cosmopolitan and exciting cultures. It culminates in George Town, Penang Island’s main city and an urban centre that delivers old-world Asia in spades; think trishaws pedalling past watermarked Chinese shophouses and blue joss smoke perfuming the air.
Penang Events & Festivals List
- Hari Raya Puasa. Muslim holiday celebrating the end of the fasting month
- Chinese New Year. Chinese festival celebrating the lunar new year. Fourteen days later, during the full moon, there is a festival in which the gods from numerous temples around the island are brought out for a procession, with the route including Chulia St.
- Thaipusam. A Hindu festival celebrated on the full moon in the Hindu-Tamil month of Thai (Jan/Feb). Vesak, (Wesak). A Buddhist festival celebrated mainly by the Chinese community on the full moon of the 5th or 6th lunar month. It is characterized by a street parade. Temples will typically be filled with devotees and there will be a variety of activities by the various Buddhist associations and societies on this day.
- George Town Festival. Held annually since 2010 to commemorate George Town’s listing on the UNESCO heritage listing in 2008, it is a month long festival celebrating art, music, theatre, dance, opera and film. It usually runs from June to July and has attracted a lot of attention around the globe as one of the leading arts festivals in the region. It has a unique blend of local as well as international cultural showcases.
- OBSCURA Festival of Photography. This is one of Asia-Pacific’s most successful and vibrant photography festivals. The festival includes print exhibitions and slideshows, workshops, talks, a photobook micro-festival, portfolio reviews and fringe events. OBSCURA Festival takes place in August annually and visitors come from all across Asia, Europe and the Americas to participate.
- Penang International Dragon Boat Festival. Staged annually since 1979 and has successfully attracted teams from all over the world including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Canada, and the USA. The event is now usually held at the Teluk Bahang Dam.
- Penang Bon Odori Carnival. A Japanese traditional carnival usually with Japanese culture, drum and dance performances.
- The Feast of St. Anne. Late July at St. Anne’s Church, Bukit Mertajam. A Christian religious festival that includes a candle-light procession at the church.
- Nine Emperor Gods vegetarian festival, held at Taoist temples for 9 days of the 9th lunar month in the Chinese calendar, normally at the end of Sept or Oct.
- Deepavali. The Hindu Festival of Lights which, according to legend, celebrates the triumph of Lord Rama over the demon Raavana.
- Penang Floral Festival. Held at the Penang Botanic Gardens annually.
- Songkran (Thai water festival). Held around Wat Chayamangkalaram Buddhist Temple in April every year.
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