February 2003

  • Chinese New Year Celebration (8 January - 2 February 2003)
    Venue: Mahkota Parade, Melaka
    Organiser: Lion Mahkota Parade
    Telephone: 06-282 6151
    Fax: 06-282 7305
    Feast your eyes as streets and buildings in town spruse up with decoratives and illuminated arches and festive spirit galore. Catch lion dances, cultural shows and related activities which bring the Lunar New Year festivities to its height. An experience of a lifetime to cherish.


    1 - 2 February 2003

    Venue: Throughout Malaysia
    Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb 1 this year, is the most important celebration for Chinese people all over the world, regardless of the origin of their ancestors. It is also known as the Lunar New Year as it is based on the lunar calendar as opposed to the Gregorian calendar. According to Chinese astrology, 2003 is the year of the Goat. Chinese people who have forgotten most of their resolutions made on December 31, still have another chance to start anew with the celebration of Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon, 15 days later. The 15th day of Chinese New Year is the Lantern Festival ( or Chap Goh Mei).

    The origin of Chinese New Year is too old to be traced; nevertheless, various interesting legends have surfaced over the years to explain the beginning of this celebration. Many agree, however, that the word “Nian”, which means “year” in Chinese, was originally the name of a ferocious beast that preys on people on the eve of new year. To scare “Nian” away, the people pasted red paper decorations on windows and doors, and set off firecrackers, as “Nian” is said to be afraid of the colour red, the light of fire and loud noises. Therefore, at the end of every year, they repeat these rituals and it is carried on from generation to generation.

    Legend also has it that the people asked a lion for help. The lion wounded the beast, but it returned a year later to harm the people. This time, the lion couldn’t help as it was guarding the Emperor’s gate. So, the people use bamboo and cloth to fashion an image of the lion. Two men crawled inside, pranced and roared, and frightened “Nian” away. This is also the origin of the Lion Dance. It is one of the most impressive sights during the Chinese New Year Festival. The phrase “Guo Nian”, which may means, “survive the Nian”, is used to mean “Celebrate the (New) Year”. The word “Guo” in Chinese means “to pass”. Till today, the customs of having red paper decorations and firecrackers are still observed by the Chinese community. Nevertheless, most people don’t really know the reason they are used except that the colour and the sound adds excitement to the celebration.

    Although the climax of Chinese New Year’s celebration generally only last for four or five days including the eve, the New Year season actually started from early twelfth month of the previous year to the middle of the first month of the New Year. Preparations begin about a month before Chinese New Year, where the Chinese community will be busy shopping for decoration materials, food and drinks, new clothing, groceries and titbits. This is the time when businesses selling these goods will be busiest. Chinese New Year songs can be heard in shopping complexes and there will be sale and promotions. Chinatown at Petaling Street is an ideal place to experience the excitement of the celebration. A major clean up of the house will be carried out, hoping to sweep away any traces of bad luck to make way for the wishful in-coming good luck and fortune. Some even renovate their houses or give them a new coat of paint.

    After that, the house is ready to be decorated with paper scrolls and couplets inscribed with blessings and auspicious words like happiness, longevity, and wealth. Few days before the eve of Chinese New Year, people living far away from their families will begin to prepare for their journey home. Traffic jams will start to build up on highways while airports, bus terminals, and train stations are normally packed. Tickets are usually being snapped up the moment they go on sale. No matter how tiring the journey may turn out to be, it is certainly worth it when all the family members have gathered around the table to enjoy their Chinese New Year’s eve dinner (or reunion dinner), the most important meal of the year. After dinner, family members will spend the night playing cards, mahjoong, watching TV programmes dedicated to the celebration, or just having a good time talking to each other.

    On the first day of Chinese New Year, ritual homage is offered to one’s ancestors and reverence is paid to the gods. New clothes are worn and younger family members will greet their elders “Kong Xi Fatt Chai” (in Mandarin) or “Kong Hei Fatt Choi” (in Cantonese), meaning, “congratulations and prosperity”. In return, they will receive “Ang Pow”, a red packet containing cash. It is given by married couples to children and singles. The seventh day of Chinese New Year is known as “everybody’s birthday”. On this day, the Chinese will eat “Yee Sang”, a combination of pickled ginger, shredded vegetables, lime, raw fish and various sauces. This meal is believed to bring prosperity and good fortune to those who eat it. The participants will mix and raise the ingredients with their chopsticks. They believe the higher they are able to raise them, the greater the prosperity they will enjoy throughout the year. On the eighth day, the Hokkien community will have another family reunion. At midnight, they will pray to “Tian Gung”, the God of Heaven. On the ninth day, numerous offerings are set out in the forecourt or central courtyard of temples to celebrate the birthday of the Jade Emperor. The 15th day is Chap Goh Mei. It marks the end of Chinese New Year’s celebration.

    During Chinese New Year’s day and several days that follow, the Chinese will hold open houses. This is the time when relatives and friends, regardless of their races and religions, will visit one another, exchanging good wishes and gifts like tangerines (called “Kam” in Cantonese, meaning “Gold”) and other traditional New Year’s delicacies. As festivities in Malaysia are celebrated by ALL communities, the open house concept bears testimony to the fact that tolerance and mutual respect are evidently observed in this multi-racial country. In fact, this is a very unique practice in Malaysia that symbolises the unique diversity of culture and religion here. Like other major celebrations in the country, Chinese New Year is also celebrated at national level where open house will be held. Malaysians, as well as tourists around the world, are welcome to join in the celebration of this auspicious event. There will be an array of local delicacies for all the guests, cultural show and other performances.

    This year, the Chinese New Year’s open house is jointly organised by The Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism, and the Selangor State Government. It will be held at Petaling Jaya Square in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, on February 8, 2003, at 8:00pm. The open house will be graced by His Majesty, the King and Her Majesty, the Queen of Malaysia, along with the Chief Minister of the State of Selangor, Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo and other distinguished guests. Although the customs and traditions of Chinese New Year vary from place to place in the world, the spirit of the celebration is similar: to have peace, good health, happiness and prosperity among family members and friends.


  • Federal Territory
    1 February 2003

    Venue: Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, Putrajaya
    Organiser: Kuala Lumpur City Hall
    Telephone: 03-2691 6710
    Fax: 03-2691 9446
    Established to creat autonomous federal constituencies, the three independent federal jurisdictions of Kuala Lumpur, international off shore financial centre and holiday island of Labuan, and the nation's newest federal and administrative centre, Putrajaya, Celebrate this unique day in a kaleidoscope of colour and ceremony with parades, fireworks displays, cultural shows and exhibitions as well as the andrenalin filled 'Tower Jump' to commemorate Federal Territory Day.


  • Fishing Competition
    1 February 2003

    Venue: Putrajaya Lake, Putrajaya
    Organiser: Putrajaya Corporation
    Telephone: 03-8925 0025
    Fax: 03-8925 8744


  • KL International Tower Jump
    1 February 2003

    Venue: Kuala Lumpur
    Organiser: Menara Kuala Lumpur Sdn Bhd
    Telephone: 03-2020 5421
    Fax: 03-2032 8409
    Menara Kuala Lumpur bursts with life on Federal Territory Day. This not-to-be-missed annual events has sports enthusiasts from all over the world displaying their skills in amazing activities such as 'light aircraft fly past', fast roping' from the helicopter, aero modelling - radio controlled aircraft, motor gliding and base-jumping. The base-jumping display of 50 jumpers over a 6-hour period has become a hallmark of the event with a three-fall required to clear the tower-head before jumpers deploy their chutes. Some top names in the world of B.A.S.E (Building, Antennas, Spans and Earth) jumping and skydiving take part in this adrenalin filled event!


  • Colouring & Drawing Competition & Community Carnival
    2 February 2003

    Venue: Multi-Purpose Hall
    Organiser: Putrajaya Corporation
    Telephone: 03-8925 0025
    Fax: 03-8925 8744


  • Federal Territory Eve Celebration 2003
    3 February 2003
    Venue: Dataran Labuan (7.30 pm)
    Organiser: Labuan Corporation
    Telephone: 087-408741
    more info on organiser :- Tourism Malaysia - Labuan Office
    Telephone: 087-423445


  • Arts Programme
    5 February 2003
    Venue: Teratak Za'aba, Negeri Sembilan
    Organiser: State Museum Board
    Telephone: 06-763 1149
    Fax: 06-761 5355


  • International Canoe Championship
    5 - 8 February 2003
    Venue: Putrajaya Lake, Putrajaya
    Organiser: Putrajaya Corporation
    Telephone: 03-8925 0025
    Fax: 03-8925 8744


  • Malaysia Open House : Chinese New Year
    8 February 2003
    Venue: Petaling Jaya , Selangor
    Organiser: Petaling Jaya Municipal Council / Ministry of Culture, Arts & Tourism
    Telephone: 03-2693 7111
    Fax: 03-2693 4789
    Chinese New Year is celebrated over a 15-day period, beginning on the first day of the lunar calendar. On the eve of the New Year, family members gather for a reunion dinner, it is a loud and boisterous festival, as gongs and cymbols clang and clash in accompaniment to lion and dragon dances performed in Chinese neighbourhoods. Chinese families hold 'open houses' for relatives and friends. It is customary to give ang pow (red packets containing money) to the young and the unmarried. This is an exciting time to be in Malaysia as visitors are sure to come upon lion and dragon dances throughout the country. There is an abundance of mandarin oranges and stalks of plum blossoms everywhere for good luck. The Malaysian Open House for this celebration will be held on 8 Febrauary in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.


  • Penang Chinese New Year Open House
    9 February 2003
    Venue: Khoo Kongsi Cannon Square, Penang
    Organiser: PenEvents Sdn Bhd
    Telephone: 04-645 1934
    Fax: 04-645 1953


  • "Majlis Berkorban"(Hari Raya Haji & Berkorban)
    15 - 16 February 2003
    Venue: Kota Bharu, Kelantan
    Organiser: Kelantan State Government
    Telephone: 09-748 5534
    Fax: 09-748 6652
    Muslims mark the end of annual pilgrimage to Mecca with this day of celebration. The annual pilgrimage is required to be performed by Muslims at least once in their lifetime, in accordance with Islam's fifth tenet. There are special early morning prayers and sermons at mosque throughout the country. Cattle and sheep are sacrificed, and the meat is distributed to the poor and needy.


  • "Merbuk" Singing Competition
    15 February 2003
    Venue: Wetland Park, Putrajaya
    Organiser: Putrajaya Corporation
    Telephone: 03-8925 0025
    Fax: 03-8925 8744


  • Chap Goh Mei Festival
    15 February 2003
    Venue: Esplanade, Penang
    Organiser: PenEvents Sdn Bhd
    Telephone: 04-645 1934
    Fax: 04-645 1935
    Chap Goh Mei is celebrated on the last day of the Chinese New Year. It is regarded as a night of courtship with lanterns lit up through the night. Accroding to folklore, young maidens are prohibited to venture out of their home except on this occasion when they are allowed to visit the temples. Prospective bride-grooms would gather at vantage points to admire the rarely-seen damsels and this is why Chap Goh Mei is also known as a night of romance.


  • Johor Chinese New Year Open House
    15 February 2003
    Venue: Batu Pahat, Johor
    Organiser: Johor State Government
    Telephone: 07-224 9960
    Fax: 07-223 7554


  • Kelantan Community Chinese New Year Open
    15 February 2003
    Venue: Kota Bharu, Kelantan
    Organiser: Kelantan State Government
    Telephone: 09-748 5534
    Fax: 09-748 6652


  • International Kite Festival 2003
    17 - 23 February 2003
    Venue: Bukit Layang-Layang, Pasir Gudang, Johor
    Organiser: Johor State Government, Johor Corporation, Johor Tourism Department, PBT Pasir Gudang & Johor Kite Flyer's Society
    Telephone: 07-251 3720
    Fax: 07-251 5280


  • Chingay Parade
    20 - 23 February 2003
    Venue: Johor Bahru, Johor
    Organiser: Johor Bahru Tionghua Association
    Telephone: 07-224 7910
    Fax: 07-224 1530


  • Kedah Chinese New Year Open House
    22 February 2003
    Venue: Alor Setar, Kedah
    Organiser: Kedah State Government
    Telephone: 04-730 1957
    Fax: 04-733 0908


  • Putrajaya Day Market
    23 February 2003
    Venue: Multi-Purpose Hall, Presint 8, Putrajaya
    Organiser: Putrajaya Corporation
    Telephone: 03-8925 0025
    Fax: 03-8925 8744

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