Malaysia in June: Food, Fun and Festivity for All

From Hari Gawai to Hari Raya, cooking classes and a full-on durian eating event, June is a month filled with fun and festivity for everyone! Here is our list of what’s happening in and around our beautiful country this month.

Gawai Dayak Festival

Photo: gomadnomad.com

The Gawai Dayak is a rice harvest festival celebrated by the Dayak people in Sarawak. During the festival, Sarawakians wear their traditional dresses and offer traditional food to the god of rice and prosperity as a sign of gratitude for the plentiful harvest.

Preparations for the festival begin in early May. Notably, most Sarawakians would prepare the often raved tuak, or rice wine, since it is one of the offerings made during the festival. This famous, not-to-be-missed concoction is made from glutinous rice collected from the recent harvest and mixed with home-made yeast to ferment it in time for the festival.

Other traditional delicacies include pulut ngelulun, which is glutinous rice roasted in bamboo, and the penganan, which are cakes made from rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk.

DATE: 1 – 2 June 2017
VENUE: 
Statewide (Sarawak)
HIGHLIGHTS: 
traditional food and dresses, drinking tuak, cultural exchange
Find out more.

Irau Aco Lun Bawang Festival

Photo: Facebook / Irau Aco Lun Bawang

The Lun Bawang people are an ethnic group living in northern part of Central Borneo. Their annual festival, the Irau Aco Lun Bawang, enters its 30th year in 2017. Essentially, it is a showcase of Lun Bawang culture and their heritage — from traditional music and dances, to local handicrafts and delicious Lun Bawang cuisine.

DATE: 1 – 3 June 2017
VENUE:
Lawas, Sarawak
HIGHLIGHTS:
Lun Bawang traditional music, local handicrafts, cultural exchange
Find out more.

Penang Durian Festival


Crowned the King of Fruits, Durian is one of the most popular fruits in Malaysia, and Penang is no exception to this trend. This unique festival is a must-try for all visitors making their way up to this beautiful island. During the durian season, there will be ample durians grown locally that are displayed to satisfy your appetite.

You won’t believe how many different kinds of durian out there! In fact, there are many award-winning durians grown in Penang, such as the Ang Hae, D16, Ang Jin, Ang Bak, and D700.

DATE: 1 June – 31 July 2017
VENUE:
Georgetown, Penang
HIGHLIGHTS:
Variety of durians to try, especially the Musang King

Terengganu Peranakan Festival

Photo: Flickr/ Arif Kori

Besides the cultural strongholds of Melaka and Penang, Terengganu also houses a thriving Peranakan community. In this celebration of diversity in Malaysia’s ethnic makeup, visitors can see and experience the rich heritage of the Terengganu Peranakan community who are fondly addressed as Awang (men) and Mek (women).

DATE: Until 4 June 2017
VENUE:
Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu
HIGHLIGHTS:
Peranakan fashion and cuisine, cultural exchange
Find out more.

Iftar@KL

Photo: ammar-s4team

For the third consecutive year, the National Department of Culture and Arts is organizing Iftar@KL, a public event for buka puasa or breaking of fast. This happens on every weekend throughout the month of Ramadan.

You’ll see KL residents and tourists sitting side by side on woven mats, with the commanding backdrop of the city’s skyscrapers and historic monuments. Participants wait for the call for prayer heard from the National Mosque before breaking their fast with dates as well as other traditional Ramadan dishes. Notably, a popular local delicacy served during this is the spiced rice porridge, or bubur lambuk.

DATE: 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, & 18 June 2017
VENUE:
Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur
HIGHLIGHTS:
Traditional food, bubur lambuk, cultural exchange
Find out more.

Ramadan Bazaars

Photo: Coklat Eyes

Malaysia celebrates Ramadan in the most glorious form, as streets from all corners in the country turn into massive street food fiestas, also known as Bazaar Ramadan. Muslims, Malaysians of other faiths, and foreign visitors gather at these bazaars to taste delicious Malay dishes, such as ayam percik, murtabak, kuih tepung pelita, and laksa utara.

DATE: Until 25 June 2017
VENUE:
Available in districts and towns nationwide
HIGHLIGHTS:
traditional Ramadan dishes & desserts
Find out more.

Babulang Festival

Photo: Sarawak Tourism

Pesta Babulang is a festival significant to the Bisaya community, who are one of the twenty-seven ethnic groups officially recognized in Sarawak. Organized by the Bisaya Association, this annual event is a means to promote greater tourism for Limbang.

DATE: 9 – 11 June 2017
VENUE: 
Kampung Batu Danau, Limbang, Sarawak
HIGHLIGHTS:
Buffalo racing, cooking contest
Find out more.

Sibu Street Art Festival

Photo: Facebook/ Sibu Street Art

This is for the art aficionados out there: the Sibu Street Art Festival makes its debut this year, so mark your calendars now! The festival aims to provide a platform for young local artists in Sarawak as well as the Peninsula to meet and share their creative works.

Ultimately, the organizers want to showcase the town’s norms and cultures, from their local food and snapshots of Sibu daily life. 

DATE: 9 – 16 June 2017
VENUE:
Chuan Square, Sibu, Sarawak
HIGHLIGHTS:
Street art that reflect Sibu’s culture, local living
Find out more.

Fiesta San Piedro

Photo: The Star Online

The Fiesta is a week-long festival celebrating the life of St. Peter, the patron saint of fishermen. It features decorated boats, a special water festival, and traditional food fair.

DATE: 23 – 29 June 2017
VENUE: Portuguese Settlement, Melaka
HIGHLIGHTS: Song & dance, decorated boats, traditional food, cultural exchange
Find out more. 

Tambunan Strongman Competition

Photo: Visit Tambunan 2017

See these ‘Hulks’ battle it out in the ultimate supremacy of human strength at the Tambunan’s first ever Strongman Competition! Watch how they overcome the extreme challenges specially designed to test out the limits of a human being’s physical and mental strength.

DATE: 23 June 2017
VENUE: 
Pisompuruan Square, Tambunan, Sarawak
HIGHLIGHTS:
 Sports competition with local ethnic group, cultural exchange
Find out more.

An Evening of Lights at Khoo Khongsi

Photo: placeslizgoes.com

An Evening of Lights at Khoo Kongsi is when Khoo Kongsi turns on all its lights at its courtyard, in order to accommodate interesting Chinese arts and cultural performances. It is a spectacular sight to behold , as the event only occurs once a month and the Khoo Kongsi is closed in the evenings. 

Additionally, the evening will host cultural dance, acrobatic performance and snake artist performance while stalls sell handmade knick knacks, and famous Penang street food!

DATE: 24 June 2017
VENUE: 
Khoo Kongsi, Georgetown, Penang
HIGHLIGHTS:
Chinese traditional music, lion dance
Find out more.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri

This festival marks the end of the fasting month, and many Malaysian Muslims will return to their kampung or hometowns to celebrate Hari Raya with family and friends. Many have open house gatherings to visit each other on these festive days.

If you have the chance to attend your Malay friends’ open houses, do not forget to munch on the traditional Malay kuih and Raya cookies. It is also a period during which Muslims seek forgiveness among each other for any past wrongdoing.

DATE: 25 June 2017
VENUE: 
Nationwide
HIGHLIGHTS:
Visiting open houses of Malay friends

LOKALOCAL JUNE HIGHLIGHTS

Check out our two Featured Tours this month, and see which class stirs your appetite and inner chef.

Noor’s Nyonya Laksa Cooking Class, June 17th

Learn to make laksa from experienced chef on June 17
Book now at LokaLocal.

In this class, Noor will teach you to cook Nyonya Laksa based on one of Chef Wan’s family recipe. Noor is an experienced cook and a former assistant of Chef Wan, Malaysia’s most famous celebrity chef.

You will see how she flawlessly makes the prawn broth and sambal belacan from scratch. In fact, you will also learn how to assemble an appetizing bowl of this signature Malaysian dish!

DATE: 17 June 2017
VENUE: Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur
PRICE:  RM132 per pax

Healthy Indian Cooking with Ruth, June 18th

Learn to cook healthy food from a local cook on June 18
Book now at LokaLocal.

Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Instead, we eat to feel great about ourselves, have more energy and a balanced mood. So, let’s start cooking with class, guided by this home cook!

DATE: 18 June 2017
VENUE:
Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur
PRICE:
RM100 per pax

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