Today Penang is an important cultural center. It offers many interesting, original, national and international cultural activities, especially because of its fusion of different nationalities mixed in time.
Each year, from January to December locals celebrate different Penang carnivals and festivals. It is very hard to decide what holiday, festival or carnival is the most important to Penang. It can be Chinese New Year for local Chinese people that are the majority. 43% of Penang’s populations are Chinese.
For young and unmarried women the most important fest can be Chap Goh Meh. Ladies toss oranges into the sea to would-be suitors. This festival is very unusual and, in the same time, very popular in Penang. Locals believe from hearts that this tradition helps them to organize their destinies.
Hari Raya Aidilfitri is also the new year for Muslims that marks the end of Ramadan, the end of the fasting month. This is the biggest holiday among Muslims in Penang and whole of Malaysia. Muslim families often dress in the same color to signify unity. During the 3-day celebration, a wide variety of spicy dishes are traditionally served.
For sure Songkran is the most important annual event among Thais. This symbolic spiritual festivity features water-splashing in honor of the Thai New Year. The Thai community celebrates it at the Burmese Buddhist Temple and Thai Chaiya Mangalaram Buddhist Temple at Burma Lane.
Besides these few national festivals Penang offers two big international and annual sport events: Penang International Triathlon and International Dragon Boat Festival. Both are held in May. Triathlon brings hundreds of athletes to Penang. They will participate in a 24/7 race that involves swimming, cycling and running. The second festival is a friendly competition for fun. This race has the world’s most colorful boats.
The most interesting holiday for travelers can be the Penang Cultural Festival. This represents a month-long festival that celebrates Penang’s multi-cultural heritage. During this festivity locals celebrate the Penang Food Festival. Visitors are invited to try out the many varieties of cuisines that Penang offers.
Each September, for two weeks – the Malaysian Fest, hotels join forces with the country’s largest shopping complexes to attract visitors for this special celebration of Malaysian culture, cuisine and handicrafts.
Shopaholics must note that Penang has Shopping Carnival. There are two weeks special sales. During those special days prices are lower than the outside grass. Every person can buy anything he ever desired, from electronics to brand clothes and shoes.
Besides this special feasts Penang offers museums, temples, churches and many other attraction points. No matter how picky you can be, this place won’t disappoint you!