A true melting pot of cultures and traditions, Kuala Lumpur has a host of annual festivals and celebrations. Many of these are specifically organised by the state to showcase the country’s diverse culture and history. They offer a wonderful opportunity for expats to learn more about the Malaysian people and way of life.

Below are some of the most popular annual events in Kuala Lumpur:

Chinese New Year (February)

The most important event for Chinese Malaysians, the Chinese New Year celebrates the first day of the lunar calendar. Celebrations take place across the region over 15 days. This is usually a time when Chinese people go back to their family homes outside of Kuala Lumpur, so the city sees a mass exodus of people into the surrounding territories.

Federal Territory Day (February)

Federal Territory Day is held on 1 February every year to commemorate the city’s status as a federal territory. There are parades and fireworks to enjoy, with the main celebrations taking place at Merdeka Square.

Colours of Malaysia (May)

Known locally as Citrawarna Malaysia, this annual festival is organised by the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism to showcase the country’s arts and crafts through traditional performances, parades and exhibitions.

King’s Birthday (June)

This is a public holiday to honour the birthday of the Malaysian King, who is also referred to as Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Celebrations take place throughout Kuala Lumpur on the first Saturday of June, with the most important one being held at Istana Negara (the National Palace), where an official ceremony is held. A ceremonial trouping of the colours is also held to demonstrate the military’s loyalty to the king.

National Day (August)

National Day, also known as Merdeka Day, celebrates the independence of Malaya, as Malaysia was formerly known, from British rule. Concerts and fireworks displays can be enjoyed across Kuala Lumpur, with the main festivities taking place at Merdeka Square.

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