Malaysia is a great country with great cities and places worth visiting, but as the second smallest state in the country, Penang is one of the most hidden gems that most travelers overlook. However, there is no doubt that Penang State is worth visiting while on your trip to Malaysia. Visiting Penang during summer is better as this is the season the state hosts a good number of festivals, exhibitions, cultural events and fairs.
Some of the awesome cultural events worth attending while in Penang include:
Penang Bon Odori Festival
This is a wonderful cultural diversity that is meant to celebrate the Japanese culture and is often accompanied by amazing performances, fun games, and preparation of delicious Japanese cuisine. During the cultural events, fireworks are displayed in the evening at around 10pm. During this time, several stalls display and sell various Japanese arts and crafts as well as Japanese food. Visitors also have the opportunity to dress up with yukatas and kimonos and take pictures worth remembering.
The George Town Festival
The George Town Festival is a month long festival meant to celebrate the city’s precious status as stated by UNESCO World Heritage Site and often features a variety of performances, exhibitions, and several cultural performances. Since it was first launched in 2010, the festival has become one of the most celebrated cultural event in Penang and it incidentally ends on an extremely high note when the country celebrates its National Day on 31st August.
This is a party that celebrates the cultural heritage of the Eurasian community that lives in Malaysia. Also celebrated in August, the Eurasia Fiesta is celebrated along the George Town Festival every year for a double sensation. Usually, there are a lot of cultural performances that display the cultural heritage of the Eurasian community.
Penang International Dragon Boat Race
This event attracts participants from across the globe and was incepted in 1979. This cultural event was created as a way to celebrate the dragon of Chinese culture.
This cultural event originated from China and is now celebrated in various places across the world. During this event, you will be able to watch colorful boats decorated with dragon heads race each other accompanied by a loud rhythmic drum beats.
Nine Emperor God Festival
The worship of Nine Emperor Gods is prevalent in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. This cultural event is celebrated every year for nine days from the first day to the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. It is believed that this is the time the spirits of the Nine Emperor Gods dwell in the starts, descend to earth and put them in a trance. During this time, most devotees go on a vegetarian diet. Stalls are usually set up to sell vegetarian food, cakes, and goodies. A show is often performed to mark respect to the Gods.