The Lunar New Year is one of the most exciting festivals in Malaysia. Also known as Chinese New Year, this festival of renewal is of huge religious and cultural significance in the South-East Asian nation, where a quarter of the population claim Chinese ancestry. A multitude of lively and colourful traditions have been built up around the holiday over the centuries of its celebration, and it’s a great opportunity to witness the unique and diverse culture for which Malaysia is legendary. As Malaysian locals, we at Allied look forward to celebrating Lunar New Year and have compiled a guide on how to best celebrate.



The Lunar New Year provides an opportunity 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 attempt to be on their best behaviour. Even bad language or talking about unpleasant topics is frowned upon. 

Weeks Of Celebration 

Lunar New Year is more than a one night celebration, instead the festivities extend over 15 days. It’s important to note that many businesses will be closed or have shorter opening hours, many Chinese districts will likely shut down throughout this period. 

A range of fantastic traditional parades and performances, such as lion dances, can be seen for free in public, and special festival foods are on sale only for this period out of the whole year. 
The concluding 15th day of the festival sees things go out with a bang, residents decorating their houses with a cacophony of brightly coloured light displays in an event called Chap Goh Mei. It makes for a great way to see off the celebrations, walking through the streets and enjoying the sights after 2 weeks of hectic activity.

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 the previous year.

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!

Enjoy The Visual Displays

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.


Are you excited to make the move to Malaysia? At Allied, we’re experienced movers who can handle all the logistics for your relocation to Malaysia. You'll be able to enjoy your new home and participate in the Lunar New Year celebrations without having to worry about every aspect of your move. Whether you are moving locally or relocating internationally, you can trust the Allied Malaysia team to make your move a breeze! Get in touch today