Social Customs And Traditions In Malaysia
Family Customs in
Islamic laws are followed for marriages, funerals and other parts of the Malay's life, while Hindu traditions are followed for ethnic Indians, such as with wedding ceremonies which are planned by a Hindu astrologer.
A traditional Chinese family is patriarchal, will have a strong preference for sons, and their family ties are very strong with the extended family.
Malaysia's Festivals and
Hari Raya Puasa (Aidilfitri) is a joyous and important Muslim holiday that is celebrated throughout the Muslim world. It is the end of a month month of fasting and each day is started with children asking their parents forgiveness for anything they have done wrong, before they go to prayers. It is a time for special food, visiting friends and relatives and the children are given gifts of money.
Chinese New Year is a very festive time for Malay Chinese and is observed on the first day of the first moon on the Chinese calendar. The date of this celebration will vary from year to year depending on when this time falls on the lunar calendar and usually lasts for about 15 days. Sometimes this event is in January, other times in February, since it follows the lunar calendar, not the solar calendar. It is celebrated with a traditional dinner on New Year's Eve and subsequently continues with visits to family, friends and the honoring of the elderly. Packets of money called ang pow are given away at this time as well.
Wesak Day, in May, is Buddha's Birthday and is considered to be the most important day of the year for Buddhists. This day is celebrated with prayers and incense at the temples with the main celebration being a lantern procession at night.
The birthday of the Yang di-Pertuang Agong, Supreme Head
of State, is celebrated on the first Saturday in June and is obeserved as a public
holiday. On this day, awards and titles are given by His Majesty to those people who have
set themselves apart from other Malays with their service to Malaysia.