Are you planning on a vacation in Malaysia somewhere around June to August? Here are some things that you can expect when it comes to the ⛅weather, ?holidays, ?seasonal fruits and more!
Malaysia is a country located in SouthEast Asia, putting it close to the ?equatorial line with a ?tropical rainforest climate just like Brazil, Madagascar, Indonesia and others. The temperature ranges around 29-32°C on lowlands and coastlines; whereas on the ?highlands like Genting Highlands, Fraser Hill, Kundasang, etc, the temperature is around 17-20°C. Malaysia also faces two monsoons ?wind seasons, the Southwest Monsoon from late May to September and the Northeast Monsoon from October to March.
During the Southwest Monsoon season (May-Sept), the weather is generally ?hot with little to no rainfall at the east coast. It is also the best period to ?snorkel and dive near the islands of Malaysia’s east coast and Sabah & Sarawak. Diving sites such as the Tioman, Perhentian and Semporna will be buzzing with tourists because this is when the sea visibility is the highest and marine life is abundant.
Whereas on the west coast where islands like Langkawi, Penang, Pangkor, etc ⚡ lay, heavy afternoon thunderstorms and ?choppy sea conditions are to be expected. However, the downpours tend to be short-lived, and you can still enjoy your trip around the islands and beaches.
Since there aren’t many downpours, it is an enjoyable time to walk outdoors and explore Malaysia. You can enjoy beautiful sceneries and ?selfies in front of popular tourist attractions.
The period around June to August is filled with ?festivals and celebrations from people of different ethnicities in Malaysia, such as Pesta Kaamatan & Hari Gawai, Dragon boat festival, Hari Raya Haji (Eid al-Adha) and National Independence Day.
Pesta Kaamatan (30 & 31 May) & Hari Gawai (1 & 2 June) are celebrated in East Malaysia. Pesta Kaamatan or Tadau Kaamatan is a public holiday in Sabah & Labuan. It is celebrated by Kadazan-Dusun Murut to express their gratitude for receiving the ?paddy harvest of the year. Competitions are held within the communities, and the most looked forward to competition is the annual ??beauty pageant called Unduk Ngadau.
On the other hand, Hari Gawai or Gawai Dayak is a public holiday in Sarawak and is celebrated by Orang Dayak. It is a religious and social occasion recognised since 1957. Some of the activities done on Hari Gawai include prayers, rituals, dances and many more.
The dragon boat festival is celebrated by the Chinese people in Malaysia. It is not a public holiday, but traditions such as making dumplings and dragon boat races (in Penang) are carried out yearly. The date is determined by the lunar calendar every year.
Hari Raya Haji (Eid al-Adha) is a public holiday celebrated by Muslims in Malaysia on the 10th of July in 2022. Eid al-Adha translates as the "Feast of the Sacrifice". It has a tradition that involves slaughtering an ?animal and sharing the ?meat in three equal parts; family, relatives & friends, and poor people.
National Independence Day or Hari Merdeka is celebrated on the 31st of August annually. Every year, a theme is selected, and an emblem is designed. Usually, there will be an official patriotic song composed each year too. Parades will be held throughout the country in Malacca Town, Johor Bahru, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, George Town, Shah Alam, Putrajaya and Kuantan. However, the main parade is held at Putrajaya where it is broadcasted live on national television. The routine of the parade includes flag raising and the Rukun Negara recitation, cultural and patriotic performances, flypast, floats and many more. It usually starts around 8 am and ends at 10 am. If you are interested in watching the parade, go early to secure a strategic position.
Durians, mangosteens, rambutans, langsat, and pomelo are generally available from June to August. On the other hand; Jackfruit is available from May to July, and if you are lucky, you will spot stalls on the roadside or night market selling Cempedak Goreng (fried Jackfruit).
Did you know that durian, the king of fruit that is well-known for its pungent smell and creamy flesh, is one of the reasons why tourists flock to Malaysia around June to August? During this time, farms would open for tourists to visit and sample the durians. There are also durian buffets where visitors can eat to their ?heart's content.
Malaysia is a shopping haven as we have lots of multi-storey malls that will make you shop till you drop. Most malls consist of retail shops, services, restaurants, supermarkets, etc. So basically, all that you need can be found in a single complex. Since the 31st of August is Malaysia’s National Day, you can expect sales around that period.
Malaysia is a culturally diverse country, which is why you will be seeing lots of events of different cultures all over the world. Here are some of the annual events that you should join!
The Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year (2022) with the theme “Legendary Rainforest Celebration”. The physical concert is set to take place at the Sarawak Cultural Village. It is a physical and virtual event so viewers can live-stream it from their homes. This annual ?music festival celebrates the diversity of world music. Besides the main-stage evening concerts, there will also be daytime music workshops, cultural displays, craft displays and food stalls.
Rainforest World Music Festival
Some of the performers this year include Tuni Sundatang (Malaysia), Nikita Sarna (Malaysia), DongYang Gozupa (Korea), Blu Guru (Australia) and many more. Shuttles are available to get you to the venue.
🎟Admission: RM150 - RM500
📅Date: 17 to 19 June 2022
🏃🏼Venue: Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching, Sarawak
This festival was first held in 2010 to honour the city’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This year, the Festival is back for its 13th edition! Themed “A Festival for Everyone”, this event showcases the artistic talents in Malaysia. There will be captivating ?dance & ??music performances, ?theatre acts, and lots of other activities.
The line-ups of performances and exhibitions this year include A concert to “浪(lang4) x lepak” by Orang-Orang Drum Theatre, Cahaya XR: First Edition by White Bones, Kabilan Murali Dharan & Ysabel Loh, IBU by Iron Gang Puppet Theatre and many more. Besides that, there are also art & cultural exchanges between Penang and Taiwan named Isle to Isle and G-Short, a 90-second ?short film contest.
🎟Admission: Varies according to act
📅Date: 9 to 24 July 2022
🏃🏼Venue: Various places in Penang (check the website to find out)
This event started as a small affair for Japanese expatriates to immerse their children in ?Japanese culture. It has been held annually since 1977, and after a 2-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Bon Odori event is back. It is organised by The Japan Club of Kuala Lumpur, The Japanese School of Kuala Lumpur, and the Embassy of Japan.
This lively event attracts over 35,000 Japanese and non-Japanese attendees each year, many of them clad in ?yukata. There are drum performances, "Wadaiko" performances, guest performances, Bon Odori dance (which the public can join) and ???food stalls. Many people are also spotted spreading a mat and picnic while enjoying the festivities from 6 pm. However, recently it ran into some sort of controversy...
📅Date: 16 July 2022
⏰Time: 7.00pm - 9.15pm
🏃🏼Venue: Kompleks Sukan Negara Shah Alam (Panasonic), Shah Alam, Selangor
📅Date: 30 July 2022
⏰Time: 5.00pm - 11.00pm
🏃🏼Venue: Esplanade Pulau Pinang, George Town, Penang
The actual St Anne Feast Day falls on the 26th of July every year. However, at Bukit Mertajam, it is celebrated for 10 days by the Roman Catholics. It is also known to attract over 100,000 pilgrims from Malaysia and neighbouring countries like Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia. The celebrations include a 45-minute long candlelight procession, a nine-day novena and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
📅Date: 22 to 31 July 2022
🏃🏼Venue: Minor Basilica of St. Anne, Bukit Mertajam, Penang
Weeboos and otakus rejoice! The AniManGaki physical event has returned! This is one of Malaysia’s largest animation, comics and games conventions that are held annually. Visitors can enjoy performances by guest artists, meet cosplayers, shop for anime & game merchandise and many more. This year's stage performance, special guests and event highlights have yet to be announced, so stay tuned.
📅Date: 27 to 28 Aug 2022
⏰Time: 10:00am – 10:00pm
🏃🏼Venue: Mines International Exhibition & Convention Centre, Seri Kembangan, Selangor
Celebrated by the Chinese communities on the seventh lunar month, the hungry ghost festival is something like a Chinese version of Halloween. Throughout this period, you will see Chinese people lighting up candles and offering food on the roadside for the wandering ghosts (ghosts with no families to pray for them).
At night, some temples will organise Chinese opera and ?getai performances for the entertainment of ghosts, spirits, and the public on a nightly basis. If you plan to watch any of the performances and spot an ?empty seat in the front, do not rush to sit on it! I repeat, DO NOT SEAT ON IT! That is because the seats on the front row are traditionally reserved for the “unseen” VIP? audiences. However, these large scale celebrations will not be there for the whole lunar month. It depends on the tradition practised by the respective committee. Some will be there for only two days, some three to five days and one of the longest ones in Bukit Mertajam is 15 days.
🎟 Admission: Free
📅Date: 29 Jul to 12 Aug 2022
🏃🏼Venue: Chinese temples all over Malaysia but a much better chance to spot one in Penang
This is the leading annual ??flower and garden festival in Malaysia! This year, there will be lots of activities and competitions such as Floria Bazaar, Terrarium Competition, Royal Orchid Exhibition, Plants Sale and many more. This event has just been announced in early June 2022, so stay tuned for the admission fee.
🎟 Admission: TBC
📅Date: 29 Aug to 4 Sept 2022
⏰Time: 9.00am - 10.00pm
🏃🏼Venue: Presint 4, Putrajaya
Malaysia is generally fun and eventful from June to August, making it a popular period to visit among international tourists. We hope that by reading this blog post, you can plan your trip better before coming to Malaysia!