Celebrating Deepavali in Malaysia
October 10, 2017
This year’s Deepavali, also called ‘Diwali’ or Festival of Lights, falls on October 18. Deepavali is one of the biggest celebrations for the Hindu community in Malaysia. The festival falls on the day before the new moon according to the lunar calendar.
People would gather with lively open houses, fireworks displays, and indulging in Indian delicacies. A week before the festival, Hindus spring clean their homes and place oil lamps around the corners of the house. Markets and shops put out an array of colourful lights and decorations this time of year. From flower to animals, peacocks to elephants festive themed, there are decorations for everyone.
What to do ?
Restaurants and shops are operating as usual during Deepavali, but Indian-owned business and offices are closed.
To witness how local Hindus are celebrating Deepavali, visit Lttle India in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown, Penang. People start shopping a week before for spices, religious items or decorations, as well as traditional apparel such as saris, Punjabi suits and colourful bangles.
For something a bit different, visit one of the many Hindus temples to hear their prayers and ceremonials. The temples aren’t just a place to visit for holy reasons, they’re also make for excellent photo moments.
1. Sri Kondaswamy Kovil Hindu Temple, Kuala Lumpur
2. Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur
3. Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur and Penang
4. Arulmigu Balathandayuthpani Temple, Penang
Reminder: All visitors are required to dress modest to the temples (no shorts and sleeveless tops).
If you are new to Malaysia and would like to begin your research into adapting to a new culture, check out our destination guides. Best wishes for Deepavali!