Find out how Christmas is distinctively celebrated in Malaysia!
Featured image via Travel Triangle
We all know, celebrations and festivities in Malaysia is everything but small. With our diverse demographic background, we have multiple festivals celebrated, from Hari Raya to Kaamatan Festival, we never hold back on the celebration, and this remains true for Christmas.
Despite having only 9.2% of Christians in our population, Christmas has remained one of the biggest festivities throughout a year. Now, Christmas is often associated with snow and Santa Claus (aka Christmas Daddy) giving out presents, but all we have in Malaysia is all-year-round sunlight (and heavy rain, apparently), so how does Christmas is celebrated here?
Let’s find out how Malaysians uniquely celebrate Christmas below!
- Experiencing winter inside a mall
Image via Malaysian Foodie
The closest that we can experience winter in Malaysia is probably the full-blasted air-conditioned malls and shopping complex. Like any other celebrations, shopping malls would thoroughly decorate their compounds with towering Christmas trees inside the mall, Santa Claus’ booth and other activities packed for Christmas, accompanied by Christmas songs echoing from the speakers.
Some malls will also host a snow show by fuming bubbles to create snowy effects in the mall.
Not just big shopping malls, even your neighbourhood supermarket will most likely to put up small scale decorations and playing festivities songs throughout the period approaching the D-Day.
Not to mention, retailers and shops would normally put up year-end and Christmas promotions with tempting discounts and rebates!
- Rendang, lemang and pansuh for Christmas?
From Hollywood movies, we would typically see traditional Western Christmas dishes such as turkeys, puddings, jellies and pie being served on for the occasion. But here, in Malaysia, we do have certain unique dishes served for the merry celebration.
In Sarawak, typical food would be lemang, rendang, pansuh, curry, five-spice duck and ayam masak merah. A must-have menu in Sarawak for Christmas would be laksa sarawak!
Chicken pansuh. Image via Tourism Malaysia
Although lemang and rendang are typically associated with Hari Raya, it is quite refreshing to learn that those are served in Christmas too.
For the Kristang community in Malacca, the delicious feast would consist of the devil’s curry, feng curry and also ambila curry.
Kristang’s devil’s curry. Image via Rasa Malaysia
- Christmas gathering over hot pot or steamboat
Image via reanaclaire.com
What’s more heart-warming than to have a get together over hot pot and steamboat for Christmas Eve dinner?
It’s the best way to get everyone together and enjoy the hearty meal, plus it’s easy to set up and clean!
- Giving ang pao
Image from Shopee
Call it what you want, ang pao, duit raya, red envelope, but this culture of kind gesture has seeped deeply into our modern culture of celebration and Christmas is not an exception.
A festive day would only be more meaningful with a form of goodwill such as angpao is displayed with sincerity.
Image from Panay News
Fireworks are a must when it comes to celebration in Malaysia, from Chinese New Year to Christmas.
There we have it. The unique ways of how we, Malaysians celebrate Christmas. However, in the midst of us preparing for Christmas with all of the shopping and eating scrumptious food, it is important to remember the key message of Christmas itself; love, joy and blessings for us and our family.