Malaysia Events Calendar 2016
Major Events & Festivals

There's always something going on Malaysia whatever the month. With this Malaysia Events Calendar 2016 you can see month by month all the major festivals and activities planned for this year.

Of course Malaysia, with its year-round tropical climate, does not have the seasonal variations that many countries experience. Most of the top attractions appearing on this website are available all year round such as climbing Mt. Kinabalu, exploring the national parks and caves, or just relaxing on the beach.

Some of the East Coast beaches and islands have a low season when the northeast monsoon makes the seas too choppy (November to February) but beaches elsewhere in the country are enjoyable throughout the year.

If you are planning a trip to Malaysia it is always sensible to check what events are scheduled for your proposed dates. Even if you don't want to participate in the events yourself they might affect hotel room and air ticket availability and prices.

Some of the dates are tentative at this stage. I shall be updating the page throughout the year as and when timings are confirmed.

Unity Asean Lantern Show at The Mines

One colourful event which is scheduled to continue throughout 2016 is the Unity.Asean Lantern & Music Show which is being held next to The Mines Shopping Mall in Seri Kembangan, Selangor. It is claimed to be Asean's biggest light show using a million light bulbs.

Malaysia Events Calendar 2016 Month by Month

Things to Do In January 2016 in Malaysia


In Sarawak the Sibu Street Busking Events will be held at the Sibu Heritage Centre at 6pm on Saturday 9 Jan 2016 (Quan Shi Martial Art performance) and Saturday 23 Jan 2016 (Etnik Revolution).

The Kuching Heritage Race lets teams race through Kuching while solving clues and learning about the city’s heritage along the way. 30 Jan 2016 starting at 8am.

Meanwhile over in Sabah, art lovers might appreciate the New Talents Exhibition introducing fresh works by newcomers on display at Sabah Art Gallery in Kota Kinabalu from 15 Jan - 8 Apr 2016.

Ponggal is a four-day Hindu thanksgiving event with festivities climaxing on 15 Jan 2016 with a celebratory event at Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Penang and at various locales around the country.

If you don't mind huge crowds you could witness Thaipusam Festival 2016 which includes a 15km chariot procession from Kuala Lumpur up to the amazing Batu Caves. This event will be attended by over a million people on 24 Jan 2016. Festivities will take place elsewhere in Malaysia including Little India in Penang.

Lovers of spicy food should attend the World Curry Festival, to be held as part of the Penang International Halal Expo & Conference from 29 - 31 Jan 2016 with cooking demonstrations by international chefs.

Surfing enthusiasts should get along to see the thrills and spills at the 10th Monsoon Mayhem International Surf Challenge held at Tanjung Balau, Desaru Beach, Johor between 9 - 10 Jan 2016.

Also on the water is the 14th Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2016 held on the island from 11 - 16 Jan 2016. 

Exciting Festivals in Malaysia in February 2016


In Sarawak, Sibu Street Busking Events continue at the Sibu Heritage Centre at 6pm on Saturday 6 Feb 2016 (traditional Chinese and Malay music) and Saturday 20 Feb 2016 (Etnik Revolution).

Colour Rush 4.0 is a 5km fun run to raise funds for children with cancer.  It takes place in Kuching on 21 Feb 2016 and Miri on 28 Feb 2016. 

Miri Country Music Festival will bring out all the Wild East cowboys and girls at the Pacific Everly Hotel in Miri on 27 Feb 2016 from 3pm.

Chinese New Year falls on 8th - 9th February this year although celebrations start as early as 30 Jan 2016 such as the Chinese New Year Carnival in Kota Kinabalu’s Gaya Street. You can see how Malaysians welcome in the Year of the Monkey with joyful celebrations, lion dances, fireworks and lots of food. Some of the main temples have splendid light and lantern displays at this time of year, including Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang (from 7 - 22 Feb 2016) and Thean Hou Temple in KL. In Jenjarom, Selangor, the FGS Dong Zen Temple is holding its annual Chinese New Year Lantern & Flora Festival from 5 - 22 Feb 2016.

The Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is to take place from 9 - 100 Feb 2016.

Those looking for economic predictions should get along to the Fire Watching ceremony at Snake Temple in Penang on 12 Feb 2016.

Something special is the International Chinese Kung Fu Festival 2016, also in Penang, where you can see various Masters demonstrate their skills from 19 - 20 Feb 2016.

In Johor, the Pasir Gudang International Kite Festival is usually held in February. This year’s dates are to be confirmed.

The 21st edition of the gruelling cycle race, Le Tour De Langkawi 2016, gets underway in Kangar on 24 Feb 2016 and ends in Melaka on 2 Mar 2016. This year the race does not actually go to Langkawi.

Malaysia Events Calendar 

March 2016


The 5th edition of the Beaufort 60km Ultra Marathon provides a challenge for the toughest of runners over in Beaufort, Sabah on 6 Mar 2016.

In Sarawak, Sibu Street Busking Events conclude at the Sibu Heritage Centre at 6pm on Saturday 5 Mar 2016 (Jackie’s Inspiration - balloon twisting) and Saturday 19 Mar 2016 (local Malay live vocals).

Darts enthusiasts can head over to the 11th International Sabah Open Dart Tournament to be staged at Kota Kinabalu City Hall from 25 - 27 Mar 2016. 

The ever-popular 8th annual Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2016 is to be held from 11 - 13 Mar 2016 in Putrajaya.

Disney On Ice comes to Penang from 26 - 27 Mar 2016 to enthral the family with all the favourite characters.

Bird-watchers will love Raptor Watch, Malaysia's biggest and best eco-tourism event. It is organized by the Malaysian Nature Society and this year it is expected to be held during the first or second week of March 2016 at Tanjung Tuan (Cape Rachado).

If you are looking to buy a private jet, a helicopter or an aircraft carrier then LIMA is the exhibition for you. LIMA (Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition) is a biennial event and no event is planned for 2016. The next one will be in 2017.

Malaysia Events Calendar 

What's on in Malaysia in April 2016?


What must be one of the most gruelling running events in the world is the Borneo Deathmarch 250k Ultra Marathon held in 6 stages over 7 days from 25 Apr - 1 May 2016 starting in Sandakan. This race follows the route of the infamous World War Two death march inflicted on Allied prisoners of war by the Japanese.

Still on this topic, ANZAC Day, 25 Apr 2016, is to be marked in a poignant ceremony at Sandakan Memorial Park, the starting point of the infamous Death Marches.

One of Malaysia’a top fishing events, the 23rd Sabah International Fishing Tournament is scheduled to be held at the fishing grounds at Layang-Layang Reef from 19 - 24 Apr 2016.

You don’t have to go to Thailand to experience Songkran Water Festival as there will be plenty of water splashed about at Wat Chaiyamangkalaram Thai Buddhist Temple in Penang on 13 Apr 2016.

If you have the looks to become a model try your luck at the Vogue For Virtue Model Search auditions to be staged at Queensway Mall in Penang on 30 Apr 16.

One of the more popular trade fairs in the calendar is the Malaysia International Shoe Festival 2016, now in its 7th year. This year's MISF event will be held at Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur from 29 Apr - 1 May 2016.

The Labuan Water Festival is the top event in Labuan's calendar with exciting activities like the Labuan International Deep Sea Fishing Tournament, the Cross Channel Swimming Challenge, the Round Island Kayak, Kayak Sprint and other watersports. It usually takes place in April but the dates for 2016 are to be confirmed.

Regatta Lepa 2016 will be held in Semporna, Sabah from 22 - 24 Apr 2016. The lepa is the traditional sailing boat of the Bajau people and a number of cultural events are held at this time.

Sticking with the water theme, the Balleh-Kapit Raft Safari River Expedition has become one of Sarawak's top tourism events. It is a two-day rafting competition on the Balleh River where participants experience the rich Iban culture. Dates of the 2016 event are to be announced.

Malaysia Events Calendar 

Things to do in Malaysia in May 2016


The spotlight is on Miri in Sarawak this month where the Borneo Jazz Festival is to be staged (13-14 May 2016).

Sabah Fest is a cultural event showcasing the Murut people and their unique heritage. This three day extravaganza will be held from 29 Apr - 1 May 2016 in Kota Kinabalu.

Also on 1 May 2016 in Kota Kinabalu, if you are up for it, is the Borneo International Marathon 2016.

The Sabah FCAS International Dragon Boat Race takes place from 21 - 22 May 2016 at Likas Bay, Kota Kinabalu.

Another dragon boat race, the Penang International Dragon Boat Festival, is planned for 28 - 29 May 2016.

On the same dates, also in Penang, at the Esplanade, is the Penang Anime Matsuri Summer Party 2016 which promises fun and excitement for lovers of Japanese modern culture.

One of Malaysia’s leading golfing events, the Penang Golf Tournament, take place at the Penang Golf Club on 15 May 2016.

Wesak Day marks the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. This year, Wesak Day falls on 21 May 2016 and activities will be held in Buddhist temples all over the country such as at Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Brickfields.

Penang Botanic Gardens will attract garden lovers to the popular Penang Floral Festival from 28 May - 5 Jun 2016.

If white water rafting is your thing, the International Pahang River Rafting Expedition normally takes place in April or May (2016 dates to be advised) in Kuala Lipis.

Fraser's Hill International Bird Race is another bird watching highlight of the Malaysia Events Calendar. It is to take place at Fraser's Hill, Pahang from 21 - 22 May 2016 (dates to be confirmed).

International kiting competitors descend on Kelantan in May for the Kelantan International Kite Fest (2016 dates to be confirmed) at Pantai Geting Tumpat.

Floria 2016, Putrajaya's highly popular annual flower and garden festival, is scheduled for 27 May - 4 Jun 2016 and should not be missed by garden lovers.

Malaysia Events Calendar 

Exciting Festivals in Malaysia in June 2016


The dramatic coastline at the Tip of Borneo at Tanjung Simpang Mengayau provides an idyllic backdrop to the Sunset Music Fest scheduled for 3 - 4 Jun 2016.

Still in Sabah, the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival is lined up for 22 - 23 Jun 2016 at the Sutera Marina Golf & Country Club.

Durian season means the Penang Durian Festival will be on from 1 Jun - 31 Jul 2016, mainly in Nibong Tebal but also at various markets around Penang.

The annual Penang International Lion Dance On Stilts Championship, 11 - 12 Jun 2016, is a great place to witness the incredible skills of local and international lion dancing teams.

The fasting month of Ramadan is one of the highlights of the annual calendar and special food stalls and bazaars spring up all over Malaysia during this time. Ramadan this year will last approximately from 7 Jun - 5 Jul 2016.

Gawai Dayak, 1st - 2nd Jun 2016, is a harvest festival celebrated all over Sarawak by the state's indigenous people in traditional costumes. 

Malaysia Events Calendar 

Activities in Malaysia in July 2016


Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a nationwide celebration marking the end of the fasting month. This year it falls around 6 - 7 Jul 2016.

The 11th Sabah International Folklore Festival 2016 is scheduled for 24 - 30 Jul 2016 in Kota Kinabalu. World culture enthusiasts should not miss this folklore event.

The Japanese Bon Odori Festival attracts more and more visitors every year. Events will take place in Shah Alam and Penang Esplanade. Penang’s date is 16 Jul 16 (Shah Alam to be confirmed.

St. Anne's Church in Bukit Mertajam, Penang is the focal point for the annual 10-day St Anne's Novena and Feast Day celebrations which take place from 22 - 31 Jul 2016.

Malaysia Events Calendar 

What's On in Malaysia in August 2016?


The Rainforest World Music Festival, one of the largest musical events in Malaysia, will be held in the shadow of legendary Mt. Santubong near Kuching, Sarawak from 5 - Aug 2016.

In Penang, the George Town Festival (29 Jul - 28 Aug 2016) celebrates George Town's living heritage and features multi-cultural arts and dances, delicious food and traditional activities.

National Day, or Hari Merdeka, is on 31st August 2016 and as usual, parades and other activities will be held to celebrate the day on which the country achieved its independence from Britain.

Fans of athletics will enjoy the Port Dickson International Triathlon (swimming, cycling and running) which will happen on 20 - 21 Aug 2016 at Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan.

Malaysia Events Calendar 

Things to do in Malaysia in September 2016


One of the main sporting events of the year is the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix which will be held at Sepang International Circuit from 30 Sep - 2 Oct 2016.

Vinayagar Chaturthi is when thousands of Hindu worshippers gather at temples such as Kortumalai Pillayar Temple in Jalan Pudu Lama to make offerings to the deity Lord Ganesh. This festival will fall on 5 Sep 2016.

The Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge 2016 usually takes place in September each year at Rompin, Pahang. This popular annual angling event attracts competitors from around the world. Dates for 2016 to be confirmed.

Similarly, September is when the Sarawak Regatta is normally staged. It consists of racing in traditional longboats along Kuching's waterfront. Dates for 2016 to be confirmed.

The Borneo International Orchid Show will be held in Kota Kinabalu in September (TBA) to showcase the passion and skills of Sabah's orchid cultivators.

Malaysia Events Calendar 

Exciting Events in Malaysia in October 2016


The Sarawak leg of the Borneo Bird Race will be held at Gunung Mulu National Park on 1 Oct 2016.

Another birders’ event, the Borneo Bird Festival takes place in October (2016 days TBA) at Kinabalu Park, Sabah.

Extreme fitness fanatics can try the 29th Mt Kinabalu International Climbathon, a challenging 23km run on Malaysia's highest mountain. This year's race will be held from 15th - 16th October 2016.

Deepavali (Diwali) or the 'Festival of Lights' falls on 29 Oct 2016 this year. Open houses are held where family and friends visit each other and enjoy delicious traditional food. 

The Tamu Besar traditional open-air market is usually held in Kota Belud, Sabah in October. Highlights include Bajau Horsemen (known as Cowboys of the East), a beauty pageant and water buffalo race. 2016 dates to be confirmed.

Malaysia Events Calendar

Activities in Malaysia in November 2016


Annual Remembrance Day ceremonies will be held at the Labuan Commonwealth War Graves on 8 Nov 2016 to remember those who fell in the defence and liberation of Borneo during WWII.

The Penang Bridge International Marathon is scheduled for 20 Nov 2016.

The Bayview Beach Resort will be full of glitter and glamour as it hosts the Penang International Open Ballroom Dancing Championship from 25 - 26 Nov 2016.

Malaysia's main shopping festival, 'Malaysia Year-End Sale' is expected to begin in mid Nov 2016 and continue until early January 2017.

Langkawi Island is set to host the Ironman Malaysia event on 12 Nov 2016.

Malaysia's premier agro fair, MAHA 2016, takes place from 24 November - 4 December 2016 at MAEPS Serdang and is always a hugely popular event for the whole family as well as trade exhibitors.

Malaysia Events Calendar 

What's on in Malaysia in December 2016?


The Penang Island Jazz Festival returns again this year from 1 - 4 Dec 2016. 

The Penang Chingay Parade is a multi-cultural street parade with Chinese Lion Dances that will be held on Penang Esplanade on 18 Dec 2016.

In the run up to Christmas, i-City in Shah Alam, with its forest of digital lights and Snowalk attractions, is especially popular at this time of year. Homeowners in the Portuguese Settlement in Melaka take pride in decorating their houses inside and out at Christmas. Elsewhere, some of the best Xmas decoration displays can be found in KL's top shopping malls such as Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysians like to see in the New Year with enthusiastic celebrations and plenty of cheer. Lavish firework displays are held in major towns all over the country.

That's it! I'll add more items to this Malaysia Events Calendar as the year progresses.

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