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Chinese New Year Celebrations in Malaysia

by 1Malaysia Travel Blog on February 12, 2010 · 3 comments · Festivals

Chinese New Year Decorative Lanterns

Chinese New Year Decorative Lanterns

Chinese New Year festival starts on the first day of the lunar calendar year which is also the first day of the new moon and the festival ends on the 15th day, the last day of the full moon which is also known as Chap Goh Mei.

Usually the celebrations are observed on the first few days and as mentioned on the last day while in Malaysia the first two days are considered public holidays.

Usually the preparations for the festivals will start a month in advance where the people will start buying decorations for the house, new clothes as well as foodstuff. Every inch of the house is cleaned and then it will be adorned with colourful decorations especially in red.

The reunion dinner is the most important occasion of the celebrations which is held on the eve of CNY, this is where the family members who are living close by or from far away will return home for the dinner. In adherence to ‘shou sui’ the family members will stay up all night after the reunion dinner, this is a practice that is said to bring one’s parent longevity. In order to pass the time it is not uncommon for the members of the household to gamble.

The Chinese New Year is ushered in at the stroke of midnight with firecrackers and fireworks, however these items are prohibited in Malaysia but some still manage to get their hands on them. Not only do relatives come to pay visit but in Malaysia it is a common practice for people of other races and religions to be invited as well. However to visit a house during CNY it is essential that you bring mandarin oranges which symbolises wealth or it will be considered disrespectful.

Chinese New Year Ang Pow and Mandarin Orange

Ang Pow and Mandarin orange are important part of Chinese New Year celebrations in Malaysia

Another common practice on this particular day is for the married couples to give the children as well as the adults who are not married money that is inserted into red packets or commonly referred to as ‘ang pow’. The giving of the ang pow signifies that the recipient will enjoy a wealthy and fruitful life.

As with other forms of celebrations, CNY is also a time where some of the taboos and beliefs must be adhered to with some being spiritual in nature. A popular example of such beliefs is on the first day of the New Year where no one is allowed to sweep the floor; the reason for such practice is because the act of sweeping is considered to be unlucky as all the fortune would be swept away.

While sweeping the floor may bring you misfortune, it is believed that the lion will not only bring you good fortune but at the same time ward off evil. That is why the lion dance is such a widely popular tradition and it one of the most spectacular sights during this period. In fact it is so popular that you will not only see it during CNY but also during grand occasions such as the opening of businesses.

And of course there is the final day of CNY known as Chap Goh Mei or also regarded as the Chinese Valentine’s Day where you can see maidens throwing mandarin oranges into the rivers to attract potential suitors.

I would like to wish Happy Chinese Year to my Chinese readers and may the new year of the Tiger will bring more wealth, health and prosperity to us all.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ching Ya February 13, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Thank you Roseli, that’s very kind of you to share this info introducing the festival. Just had our final shopping yesterday, my, everywhere was crowded with people. Went home and did some cleaning, hectic day. Missed my online networking and writing. lol..

Have a great year ahead and enjoy the holidays!

Social/Blogging Tracker


EzyBlogger February 13, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Thanks for being my new blog first commenter Ching Ya. This show that you will be more prosperous in the coming year of the Tiger LOL.

Yep, everywhere is jam packed. A friend just call me that traffic heading north are basicly CRAWLING… it’s that bad.

Hope you will have a great year ahead too and enjoy the Chinese New Year holidays with your loved ones.

You can continue your networking and blogging after the holidays :)

Gong Xi Fa Chai


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