How to Celebrate the Lunar New Year in Malaysia

The Lunar New Year is one of the most important festivals for Chinese people all over the world. If you have just relocated to Malaysia, you can’t miss the chance to witness the fervour that overcomes the Chinese people during this time. In 2018, it’s the Year of the Dog and Chinese communities are preparing for 15 days of festivities, which will begin on February 16.

How Do They Celebrate in Malaysia?

This is a time for families to come together and wish each other good fortune in the coming year. It is common to give cards to relatives and friends, while many family gatherings are held on Lunar New Year’s Eve. People wish to start the year full of optimism, so they will settle any debts they might have and will try to be on their best behaviour. Even bad language or talking about unpleasant topics is frowned upon. If you want to join in, start by giving your home a good clean and decorating it – making sure it is before New Year’s Day in case you accidentally throw out the good luck, instead of the bad from 2017.

Food, Glorious Food

As with any other important celebration, food is an essential element. If you are lucky enough to join a Chinese Malaysian family for dinner, you will be able to sample a variety of dishes that are meant to bring you good luck. Yee Sang is one of the main dishes prepared specially for this occasion. Yee Sang is a salad made with different vegetables, salmon, dumpling wrappers and seasoned with hoisin sauce and other condiments. The salad in itself is delicious, but it is also part of a ritual that families love. The salad plate is placed on the middle of the table and everyone is supposed to take their chopsticks and toss it up in the air. People will try to toss it as high as possible to attract good fortune. Most restaurants will serve this salad so make like the locals and give it a go!

Other New Year Activities

There will be a lot to do during the Lunar New Year celebrations, but most people focus on the first three days. If you are in Kuala Lumpur head to Chinatown or Old Klang Road to enjoy some fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Fireworks are also abundant during the ninth day of the festivities as it is the commemoration of the birth of the Jade Emperor. Chap Goh Mei takes place on the 15th day and single women throw oranges into the sea, while men in boats try to catch them. Women sometimes write their phone numbers on the oranges as this is a ritual that is supposed to help them find a good husband. This is quite a fun tradition and it marks the end of the celebrations. As you can see, there is plenty to do so get ready for two weeks of festive fun and positive energy.


So when you’re ready to make the move to Malaysia, come to Allied and we’ll get your belongings there safely, on time and at an affordable price.


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