Deepavali is one of the biggest festivals celebrated by Hindus in the world. This celebration is an official public holiday for some countries including Malaysia.
|27 Oct||Sunday||Deepavali||National except Sarawak|
|28 Oct||Monday||Deepavali Holiday||National except Kedah, Terengganu, Kelantan, Johor & Sarawak|
Known as the ‘Festival of Light,’ Diwali or Deepavali celebration is a famous Hindu festival celebrated around the world. The reason why Deepavali date varies each year is that it is calculated and determined based on the Hindu calendar with the date usually falling on either October or November. Deepavali festival is celebrated annually to symbolise the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.” The light signifies the elimination of darkness for enlightenment, knowledge and success.
Like many other festive celebrations, Diwali is a day for family, relatives and friends to get together. Hindu houses and temples will be accompanied by lights and oil lamps called ‘diyas’ that shines brightly to commemorate this religious festival. Deepavali is a 5-day festival to honour Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity; hence the houses are decorated with lights and lamps to help Lakshmi find her way to the homes.
Indian food is highly favoured by many for its unique spices and sweetness. In Malaysia, the Indian restaurants are referred to as “mamak” where it is one of the most popular and convenient places for locals of all races to have a meal. There are different types of mouth-watering dishes that are served during Deepavali ranging from heavy to light meals including Dhal Curry with Dosai, Ghee Ball, Ladoo, Murukku, and Biryani, to name a few.
Dhal Curry is a type of vegetarian gravy eaten with a tasty Indian pancake called Dosai and sometimes with the flavourful Biryani, which is a type of flavoured rice, are the best combinations suitable for everyone’s taste buds. Ghee Ball and Ladoo are delicious and exceptionally sweet traditional Indian desserts great for a pick-me-up. There is also a famous snack called Murukku made with different flavourings and is always presented as a welcoming treat for guests to snack on.
Many customs are practised by Hindus when this festive season approaches. As for Deepavali in Malaysia, Hindus would perform some common traditions that are widely known by many Malaysians. Other than visiting relatives and wearing beautiful traditional garments, Diwali celebrants would grace their homes with rows of lamps and gorgeous drawings of 'kolam.'
The presence of light is significant during Deepavali celebration to embrace the descending Lakshmi from the heavens. Like many other celebrations, house cleaning plays a big role to ensure the place remains pure and clean. ‘Kolam’ is a Diwali decoration that can be seen in many areas especially the shopping malls. It is a form of drawing that comes in many designs and they are drawn with coloured rice flour, chalk or rock powder.
During this long Deepavali holiday weekend, many would go on exciting trips to some of the fantastic holiday destinations the country has to offer. Among the recommended places to visit are as follow:
This capital city of Malaysia is home to numerous tourist attractions such as the famous Petronas Twin Towers, KL Tower, Bukit Bintang, Central Market, as well as a wide range of shopping malls and museums. Travellers who wish to witness the authentic merriments of Deepavali festival should visit KL's Little India called Brickfields, which is an area with rows of shop of various items and food operated by the Indians. There is also Batu Caves, where a complex of natural caves with many Hindu temples and statues can be seen inside. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about the Hindu culture and traditions too.
Penang is a popular holiday destination in Malaysia that offers beautiful beaches, delicious local food, historical sites and different kinds of sightseeing places. It is recommended for travellers to make it a two-night stay to explore this heritage island as much as possible. Some of the well-known attractions in Penang are Batu Ferringhi, Penang Fort Cornwallis, Bukit Mertajam Recreational Forest, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Han Jiang Ancestral Temple and Old Georgetown that would make great photo opportunities as well.
Malaysians would make plans to visit Pahang for short getaways as it boasts beautiful nature like the tropical rainforest, stunning islands, freshwater lakes, national parks, mountains and uphill integrated resorts. Visitors get to participate in fun-filled activities at Cherating Beach, Tioman Island, Lake Chin, Genting Highlands, Cameron Highlands, Fraser’s Hill and Taman Negara. Each place offers something different and is suitable for the entire family to create new memories too.
Keep in mind that the date for Deepavali 2019 is scheduled to fall on Sunday; hence Deepavali holiday will be replaced on Monday making this public holiday as it is considered a long weekend in Malaysia. For a pleasant trip, travellers should plan the trip ahead because the Hindus celebrate Deepavali in Malaysia, the rest of the people in the country would take this time to go for holidays as well.
Expect heavy traffic on the roads as Malaysians will take this opportunity to go for a quick getaway. Everyone would most likely be on the road at the same time so major roads will be congested and cause some delays. Traffic congestion during the festive season is hard to avoid, but travellers are advised to plan early by booking travel tickets early and since the festival is a part of a long weekend, it is advised to take a day or two of leave days from work to escape the busy roads.
Seeing that Diwali 2019 falls on a Sunday, Malaysians get to experience a long weekend as the Deepavali holiday will be carried forward a day to Monday. This 3-day holiday will give everyone the opportunity to plan trips accordingly whether it is a balik kampung trip to see the family or to a nearby island with friends.
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