Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Malaysian Christmas

The celebration of Christmas in Malaysia is undoubtedly lively. Christmas day itself, is designated as a public holiday in all of Malaysia and this enables all citizens of this multi-ethnic ad multi-cultural society to enjoy the revelries associated with the festival.
Christianity is currently practiced by approximately 9% of the Malaysian population and Christians in Malaysia generally begin their celebrations in early December, when they clean and spruce up their homes and decorate them with fairy lights, decorations and sparkly Christmas trees.  Gift shopping and the preparation of traditional Christmas foods like mince pies, sugar cookies, Christmas log cakes, roast turkey, leg of lamb, bread and butter pudding and more also form part of these celebrations.

Christmas carols are sung in the evenings leading up to Christmas, though on the eve, most Malaysian Christians attend midnight mass at their local churches. On Christmas Day, gifts are exchanged with near and dear ones and in true Malaysian tradition, Malaysian Christians host a ‘open house’ for their friends of other races and faiths, as they invite them to enjoy the festivities and partake of the yummy Christmas goodies.
Visitors to Malaysia will be happy to know that the festival is celebrated with much gusto in all of Malaysia, as malls and shopping centers all over the country are usually decked out in Christmassy décor for the occasion. In fact, many malls pull out all the stops and erect winter wonderlands and Santa’s grottos with fake snow and ice for the occasion.  Malls like the Sunway Pyramid in the Klang Valley, The Mines, The Curve in Petaling Jaya, and the Snowland at the Megamall in Penang are also equipped with ice-skating rinks offering mall-shoppers the chance to truly get a snowy wintertime feel in tropical Malaysia.

Malaysia’s many hotels and restaurants also organize for special meal promotions for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, as they serve up a smorgasbord of glorious Christmas treats and spread much Christmas cheer. Additionally, in cities like Miri and Kuching where substantial Christian populations reside, lively parades are rolled out on Christmas Day, which never fail to enchant and delight the on looking hordes.


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