Malaysia Events Calendar 2020
Major Events & Festivals

COVID-19

Due to coronavirus many of the events listed on this page have been disrupted, postponed or cancelled. Check with the organisers for details.


There's always something going on Malaysia whatever the month. With this Malaysia Events Calendar 2020 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.

School holidays also affect hotel prices and availability. These are the school holiday dates for Malaysia in 2020 as announced by the Ministry of Education:

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS CALENDAR FOR 2020

For schools in Perlis, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya

Term Holidays

  • Term 1 Holidays: Sat 14 Mar  - Sun 22 Mar 20
  • Mid-year Holidays: Sat 23 May - Sun 7 Jun 20
  • Term 2 Holidays: Sat 25 Jul  - Sun 2 Aug 20
  • End-year Holidays: Sat 21 Nov - Thu 31 Dec 20
  •  

NB Schools in Johor, Kedah, Kelantan & Terengganu begin and end a day earlier.

Source: Education Ministry (www.moe.gov.my)

Other School & Public National Holidays

  • New Year's Day Wed 1 Jan 2020 (all states except Kedah, Johor, Kelantan, Perlis and Terengganu)
  • Chinese New Year: Thu 23 Jan - Sun 27 Jan 20
  • Labour Day Fri 1 May 2020
  • Vesak Day Thu 7 May 2020
  • Hari Raya Aidilfitri * Thu 21 May - Mon 25 May 2020
  • Yang di Pertuan Agong's Birthday Sat 1 Jun 2020
  • Hari Raya Haji * Fri 31 Jul 2020
  • Awal Muharram Thu 20 Aug 2020
  • National Day Mon 31 Aug 2020
  • Malaysia Day Wed 16 Sep 2020
  • Deepavali (all states except Sarawak)*: Sat 14 Nov  2020
  • Prophet Muhammad's Birthday Thu 29 Oct 2020
  • Christmas Fri 25 Dec 2020

* Subject to change

In addition to the above there are a number of state holidays which apply in specific states only. 


One venue which has different events going on all year is Istana Budaya, Malaysia’s national performing arts theatre, home to cultural events such as classical music concerts, local and international theatre shows, traditional local music, opera, dance performances and so on.


If you are organising any events in Malaysia this year which you would like to publicise, feel free to provide details on my Contact page and I will include them on this calendar free of charge.

Malaysia Events Calendar 2020 Month by Month

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


Things to Do In January 2020 in Malaysia

january

The Sun Life Malaysia Resolution Run takes place on Sunday 12 January 2020 at Perdana Botanical Garden, Kuala Lumpur. Sign up for the 5km or 12km event with medals for all finishers and cash prizes for the top 5 in the 12km category.

Ponggal is a four-day Hindu thanksgiving event with festivities climaxing on 15 Jan 2020 with a celebratory event at Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Penang and at various locales around the country.

The 18th Royal Langkawi International Regatta 2020 returns to the island from 6 - 11 Jan 2020 with an exciting line up of race participants.

Chinese New Year falls on 25 January this year although celebrations start earlier such as the Chinese New Year Carnival in Kota Kinabalu’s Gaya Street. You can see how Malaysians welcome in the Year of the Rat 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 19  Jan - 21 Feb 2020) 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 23 January - 9 February 2020.

There's more running at the Dragon Back 12 Hour Endurance Run which happens on 18-19 January 2020 at Kem Wawasan Negara, Meru, Klang, Selangor.


Exciting Festivals in Malaysia in February 2020

february

If you don't mind huge crowds you could witness Thaipusam Festival 2020 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 Saturday 8 Feb 2020. Festivities will take place elsewhere in Malaysia including Little India in Penang.

Surfing enthusiasts should get along to see the thrills and spills at the Tioman Surf Festival 2020 set for 31 Jan - 2 Feb 2020 taking advantage of the rough monsoon seas which impact the idyllic island at this time of year.

Miri will throb to AfroLatin dance music at the Miri AfroLatin Fiesta 2020 organized by La Danza Fitness & Dance Studio in Miri from 27 February - 1 March 2020.

The Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is scheduled to take place again this year at George Town's Padang Polo on 1st and 2nd Feb 2020 from 7am - 9pm.

No walk in the park is the Bukit Kiara Ultra Challenge, a 6 hour and a 12 hour race around KL's popular Lembah Kiara Park. It is happening on 9 Feb 2020. 

Another challenging running event is the Borneo Marathon with a half marathon to be held in Kota Kinabalu on 23 Feb 2020 and a full marathon scheduled for 21 June 2020.

In Johor, the Pasir Gudang International Kite Festival is due to be held from 26 Feb - 1 Mar 2020 at Bukit Layang-layang, Taman Bandar, Pasir Gudang. 

The 24th edition of the prestigious 1100 km cycle race, Le Tour De Langkawi 2020, gets underway on 7 Feb and ends on 14 Feb 2020. 


Malaysia Events Calendar 

March 2020

march

If you are looking to buy some fabulous Malaysian-made furniture products then the  Malaysian International Furniture Fair 2020 (MIFF) is the place to be. It will take place at MITEC & PWTC in KL from 6 - 9 March 2020. It is aimed more at trade visitors but the general public can attend on the last day, 9 March.


If you think you are fit enough, the Borneo Ultra-Trail Marathon takes place again this year from 14-16 Mar 2020 on a challenging 100 mile course in the spectacular scenery of the Kiulu Valley north of Kota Kinabalu.

The ever-popular Miri Marathon is back with full and half marathon events, and a 10km speed run all taking place on 22 March 2020 at the Stadium in Miri. 

Malaysia's oldest and biggest balloon event, Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, is scheduled to take place next to Monumen Alaf Baru from 19-22 March 2020 in Precinct 2, Putrajaya. 

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 from 9 - 10 March 2020 at Tanjung Tuan Wildlife Reserve (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 is taking a rest this year. It should be back in 2021.


Malaysia Events Calendar 

What's on in Malaysia in April 2020?

april

Something different is the 9th International Bornean Frog Race 2020 scheduled for 4 April 2020 to draw attention to the island's rich amphibian life, much of which is threatened. 

Golf fans will look forward to the Maybank Championship 2020 which take place from 16-19 Apr 2020 at a venue to be confirmed (last year at Saujana Golf and Country Club).

ANZAC Day, 25 Apr 2020, is to be marked as usual in a poignant ceremony at Sandakan Memorial Park, the starting point of the infamous Death Marches.

BASE jump enthusiasts will be throwing themselves off KL Tower again this year in the KL Tower Jump Malaysia 2020 to be held on 19 April 2020.

You don’t have to go to Thailand to experience Songkran Water Festival as there will be plenty of water splashed about at Wat Chayamangkalaran Thai Buddhist Temple in Penang on 13 Apr 2020.

Also in Penang this month is the Penang International Food Festival from 4 - 19 Apr 2020 presenting delectable Penang food at various outlets across the island.

Regatta Lepa is set to be held in Semporna, Sabah on 25 and 26 April 2020. 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. To be held from 3 - 5 April 2020.

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 23 April - 23 May 2020.

The 2nd International Conference on Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Medicine  is scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur, on April 20-21, 2020. The theme of the conference is “For Safe and Healthy Pregnancies”. Ob/Gyn surgeons, Gynaecology consultants, MFM Specialists, perinatologists, neonatologists, researchers, students and delegates are welcome to attend 


Malaysia Events Calendar 

Things to do in Malaysia in May 2020

may

Wesak Day marks the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. This year, Wesak Day falls on 7 May 2020 and activities will be held in Buddhist temples all over the country such as at Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple in Brickfields.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a nationwide celebration marking the end of the fasting month. This year it falls around 24 - 25 May 2020.


Malaysia Events Calendar 

Exciting Festivals in Malaysia in June 2020

june

The award-winning London West End production, Matilda The Musical, comes to Malaysia with an international cast commencing 2 June 2020 for a strictly limited season. Find more details and book your tickets here.

Fraser's Hill International Bird Race is another bird watching highlight of the Malaysia Events Calendar. It takes place at Fraser's Hill, Pahang from 20-21 June 2020.

One of my favourites is the Penang Durian Festival as Malaysia's favourite pungent fragrance fills the air during the ripe season from 1 Jun - 31 Jul 2020. These delicious fruits can be sampled at Jalan Burma, Jalan Macalister, Jalan Anson, Anjung Indah Balik Pulau and Bao Sheng Durian Farm among other places.

Gawai Dayak, 1st - 2nd Jun 2020, 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 2020

july

Challenge your limits at SCORE Marathon 2020 which returns again this year on Saturday 18 July 2020 at Dataran Putrajaya and features 42km, 21km, 10km and 5km runs.

The spotlight is on Miri in Sarawak this month where the Borneo Jazz Festival, now in its 15th year, is to be staged at the Coco Cabana (17-19 July 2020).

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 10-12 July 2020.

July 6th has been declared Agnes Keith Day (her birthday) and visitors are invited to visit the famous author’s former residence in Sandakan which has been turned into a museum.

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 takes place at the end of July annually. Dates for 2020 are 17-26 July 2020.

The exciting Japan Expo Malaysia 2020 is happening again at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur this year from 17th - 19th July 2019.  Don't miss it!

Another Japanese-themed event is the Bon Odori Festival 2020 which is set to take place at the Shah Alam Sports Complex on 20 July 2020. Admission is free of charge. 

In Penang, the George Town Festival celebrates George Town's living heritage and features multi-cultural arts and dances, delicious food and traditional activities. It is happening from 11 - 26 July 2020.


Malaysia Events Calendar 

What's On in Malaysia in August 2020?

august

National Day, or Hari Merdeka, is on 31st August 2020 and as usual, parades and other activities will be held to celebrate the day on which the country achieved its independence from Britain.

Royal Floria 2020, Putrajaya's highly popular annual flower and garden festival, should not be missed by garden lovers. This year's event is scheduled to take place at Taman Botani Putrajaya, Presint 1 from 14 - 23 August 2020.

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 22 Aug 2020.


Malaysia Events Calendar 

Things to do in Malaysia in September 2020

september

Despite Covid-19 you can still celebrate Onam this year with the World Malayalee Federation's virtual onam event on 16 September 2020.

Penang is set to stage the Penang Pet Lovers Fiesta from 19-29 Sep 2020 where pampered pets will be showcased at Kompleks Bukit Jambul.

The Royal Pahang Billfish International Challenge takes place at Lanjut, Kuala Rompin, Pahang. This popular annual angling event attracts competitors from around the world. Dates for 2020 to be confirmed.


Malaysia Events Calendar 

Exciting Events in Malaysia in October 2020

october

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

Over in Sarawak, the Siniawan Heritage Fiesta, usually held during October each year, is when this small town about 20km away from Kuching shows off its cultural heritage. Look out for dates.


Malaysia Events Calendar

Activities in Malaysia in November 2020

november

Deepavali (Diwali) or the 'Festival of Lights' falls on 14 November 2020 this year. Open houses are held where family and friends visit each other and enjoy delicious traditional food. 

Miri Country Music Festival competed its 6th year last November and hopefully will be returning again in 2020. This event brings out all the Wild East cowboys and girls at the Coco Cabana in Miri.

Annual Remembrance Day ceremonies will be held at the Labuan Commonwealth War Graves on 11 Nov 2020 to remember those who fell in the defence and liberation of Borneo during WWII.

The Penang Bridge International Marathon to be scheduled again for this year on 22 November 2020.

Malaysia's main shopping festival, 'Malaysia Year-End Sale' is expected to begin around 1 Nov 2020 and continue until the year end.

Malaysia's premier agro fair, MAHA, returns in 2020. This hugely popular biennial event for the whole family as well as trade exhibitors is scheduled for 26th-29th November 2020.


Malaysia Events Calendar 

What's on in Malaysia in December 2020?

december

Big Bad Wolf Books is a hugely popular annual book sale event and takes place every year at The Mines in December. Dates will be confirmed closer to the time. 

Penang International Dragon Boat Festival is a popular boat race held at Teluk Bahang Dam and this year is scheduled for 5-6 Dec 2020.

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. Light and Motion Putrajaya LAMPU illuminates Putrajaya with a spectacular sound and light display projected on some of the city’s major landmarks and this year is to be held from 31 December 2020 - 3 January 2021.

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

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