Chinese descent is part of the populations in Malaysia and they represent the second largest ethnic group after the Malay majority; hence Chinese New Year is celebrated in the country every year and is recognised as a national holiday.
|5 February||Tuesday||Chinese New Year||National|
|6 February||Wednesday||Chinese New Year||National|
Chinese New Year is one of the most prominent festivals in the world, and it has always been a significant holiday in Malaysia. The event is celebrated on the first day of the Chinese Lunar Calendar by a quarter of the population in the country. CNY 2019 date falls on the 5th and 6th of February, which are public holidays for all Malaysians.
Each year, the celebration is named after one of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac, and for CNY 2019, it is the year of the pig. Chinese New Year Malaysia is usually celebrated for 15 consecutive days, where the first three days are the most important and cheery days of the celebration. Also known as “Spring Festival” and “Lunar New Year”, the celebration was traditionally a time to honour household and heavenly deities.
Just like any other celebrations in the country, Chinese New Year is the time of the year to get together with family and friends. It is celebrated worldwide in countries that have high populations of Chinese community including Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Cambodia.
The New Year Eve’s dinner is important and traditionally includes dishes of meat and fish that was symbolic of abundance. In modern days, family members will gather for a reunion dinner or also known as “Nian Ye Fan”. For Lunar New Year 2019, the dinner table will be filled with all kinds of delicious Chinese cuisines, hot pot, Mandarin oranges and the famous Yee Sang.
Yee Sang is a traditional dish made of raw sliced salmon fish, pickled vegetables, ground peanuts and other condiments, which is a type of fish salad of explosive flavours. The dish will then be tossed together by everyone on the dinner table high in the air while uttering good wishes for the coming year. It is believed that the higher you toss the dish; better things will happen to you.
Leek, which is a type of vegetable and sticky cake is also among popular foods that usually prepared as Chinese New Year meals. The name of these dishes in the Cantonese language rhyme well with the words “wealth” and "new height of success”. Hence, Lunar New Year 2019 will be merrier with the dishes that are claimed to bring prosperous and better fortune.
For Chinese New Year Malaysia, the concept of the open house is the usual practice where the homes of those celebrating the festival are open for friends and relatives to visit, regardless of race and religion. For the first five days of Chinese New Year, longevity noodles will be the main dish which symbolises long life or long-term healthy living.
Apart from being a time to feast with the loved ones, the festivities are accompanied by various traditions and rituals to make it more meaningful. The most typical tradition practices during Chinese New Year is the cleaning and decorating process of the house.
This would usually take place a few days before the celebration where families would give their homes a thorough cleaning, while doors and windows are decorated with red lanterns. During the process, floors are swept, and furniture is dusted to sweep away the bad luck of the past year. However, when New Year's Day arrives, the floor should not be swept, as this action is believed to sweep away all the good luck out of the door.
On the day of the festival, it has been a tradition for every Buddhist family to visit relatives and friends. Older people will be giving out Ang Pow (a red packet containing money) to the young kids who are visiting their house. During Chinese New Year 2019, be ready to witness lion and dragon dances on the streets and residential areas, as these colourful performances are said to bring good vibes and scare away evil spirits.
If travellers are travelling Malaysia during Chinese New Year 2019, here are a few suggestions of amazing places for them to visit:
Georgetown city in Penang is a highly recommended place to explore during Lunar New Year 2019. Here, visitors would get a chance to visit ancient and uniquely decorated temples across the streets. The famous tourist attraction of Kek Lok Si Temples offers the most spectacular display you will see in the city during the Chinese New Year festival. The temple will be beautifully lit up with many lanterns for photo opportunities.
If you are a food lover, travelling to Ipoh would be the best idea during the CNY 2019 celebration. Lots of Chinese hawker stalls and restaurants are available for visitors to enjoy tasty and fresh cuisines. Most of the dishes that will be served in the town of Ipoh during the celebration day will demonstrate Malay, Chinese and Indian culture, that is surely satisfying.
Travellers should visit Chinatown in the Petaling Street area if they choose to travel to Kuala Lumpur to get most joyful experience during Chinese New Year 2019, especially for those who like to watch lion and dragon’s dance. On the first few days of Lunar New Year 2019, the visitors will be able to witness lion dances within the streets or stores. The shops and malls in the area will mostly be decorated with beautiful red-themed decorations.
During Chinese New Year 2019, thousands of people will be going home for holidays and traffic will be heavily congested. All major transportation hubs such as airports, railway stations, ferry and bus terminals will be crowded with people. The festive season is also the time when most Malaysians plan to go for long trips and drive across the country, where standstill traffic is expected to take place for hours. This situation, however, will usually get less hectic after Chinese New Year Eve.
If travellers want to enjoy a stress-free and smooth journey for CNY 2019, it is advised to keep in mind some useful travelling tips to avoid the frustrations from the lack of proper planning. Travellers should book their flights, bus, ferry or train tickets as early as possible before the official CNY 2019 date to avoid the hassle. For those who are going for long-distance trips, make sure to wear comfortable clothing for a convenient journey.
So, are you ready to travel to your favourite destinations in Malaysia for Chinese New Year 2019? Easybook believes in making things easier for you. To make your travel experience quicker and more accessible, Easybook allows local and international travellers to make an online booking for their transportations without having to go through a complicated process.
Remember to purchase the tickets much early to avoid disappointments. Look out for deals on Easybook’s official website and follow our social media pages for updates. Wait no more and create unforgettable memories by booking holiday trips with us to be with your family and visit the popular destinations for CNY 2019!