Malaysia Chinese New Year Holiday

Chinese New Year is an annual public holiday in Malaysia. It is a national public holiday. Here’s what you can do if you’re celebrating the festival in Malaysia.

DateDayPublic Holiday
25 JanSaturdayChinese Lunar New Year's Day 2020
12 FebFridayChinese Lunar New Year's Day 2021
1 FebTuesdayChinese Lunar New Year's Day 2022
22 JanSundayChinese Lunar New Year's Day 2023
10 FebSaturdayChinese Lunar New Year's Day 2024
29 JanWednesdayChinese Lunar New Year's Day 2025

 

What Is Chinese New Year in Malaysia All About?

Chinese New Year is also commonly referred to as a Lunar New Year or Spring Festival. Most locals, however, simply refer to it as Chinese New Year. They celebrate it according to the Chinese lunar calendar and falls sometime between January and February annually.

The Chinese zodiac consists of 12 animals. Every year, they designate Chinese New Year to one animal from the zodiac, and every year it rotates between all 12 animals. 2019 for example, is the Year of the Pig and 2020 will be the Year of the Rat. The designated animal will characterise the year and anyone who was born under that zodiac sign.

 

How Do They Celebrate It?

For those of Chinese descent, Chinese New Year is the most important festival that occurs annually. It is a celebration which has been in place for over a thousand years. The traditions of the festival are deeply rooted in Chinese culture. It is a day full of prayers, acts of devotion and offerings, and of course, good food and family gatherings.

People in Malaysia prepare for Chinese New Year well ahead of the actual day. They thoroughly clean homes to “sweep away all the bad luck” in preparation for new beginnings. On an actual day, they hide the brooms to avoid “sweeping away all the auspicious luck” that the new year brings.

Families prepare to feast together, decked out in new clothes. The official celebrations begin the day before, known as Chinese New Year Eve. Although only the first 3 days are the most important, celebrations will go on for the next 15 days consecutively. However, Chinese New Year public holiday days are only observed during the first two days.

 

What to Do During Chinese New Year in Malaysia

One of the best things about visiting Malaysia is a chance to witness the many festivals that take place. Being a multi-cultural society, Malaysia is rich with tradition and different nationalities enjoy celebrating it. Being a national public holiday, you can expect schools and most offices to be closed during this time of year.

If you happen to be in Malaysia, one of the most notable things to see is the auspicious Dragon Dance. Dragons have always been legendary helpful animals to the Chinese, renown for bringing wisdom, prosperity, wealth and luck. In addition, dragon dances are held on Chinese New Year day to chase away evil spirits and usher in good luck and fortune.

Chinese New Year is a good time to visit states like Penang, where the temples have beautiful decorations. Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown area is the best place to witness lion dances on the street. For the adventurous at heart, Sabah’s Kinabatangan River Cruise is a chance to get away from the busy city life and be one with nature.