There are certain festivals in Malaysia which are special days gazetted to be public holidays in the state. As there are 13 states in the country, each state will have its own set of traditions and culture which are significant to its people. As such, these days are observed only by that state and no other in Malaysia.
Significant state holidays
Malacca Heritage Day – This is the date when Malacca was declared as a Historical City which falls on the 15th of April each year.
Georgetown World Heritage City Day – This comes around on 7th July where it commemorates the date when Georgetown was declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO.
Religious State holidays
Israk & Mikraj – This is a day to commemorate the 2 parts of the Islamic journey taken by Prophet Muhammad. This celebration is only observed in Kedah, Negeri Sembilan and Perlis which is in April.
Nuzul Quran – In June, the states of Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Selangor, Terengganu and the 3 Federal Territories observe the Nuzul Quran. This day commemorates the time when Prophet Muhammad first received the Holy Quran.
Harvest Festivals in East Malaysia
The East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak celebrates the harvest each year with much fanfare and in large scales. 2 respective public holidays are observed in these states although the celebrations usually go on for a week or two. They are as follow:
- Sabah and Labuan – Harvest Festival is held on 30th and 31st May each year. In Sabah, it is known as the Kaamatan Festival.
- Sarawak – Known as Hari Gawai or Gawai Festival, this comes around on the 1st and 2nd June each year.
Birthday of Rulers
Each state in Malaysia has its own ruler whether it is the Sultan or the Yang di-Pertuan. Each of the ruler will celebrate the official birthday on certain months of the year. Generally, they are as follow:
- Yang di-Pertuan of Negeri Sembilan – January
- Sultan of Kedah – January
- Sultan of Johor – March
- Sultan of Terengganu – April
- Raja Perlis – May
- Governor of Penang – July
- Governor of Sarawak – September
- Governor of Sabah – October
- Governor of Malacca – October
- Sultan of Pahang – November
- Sultan of Perak – November
- Sultan of Kelantan – November
- Sultan of Selangor – December