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Penang hosts numerous exciting events and festivals throughout the year. All the major religious and cultural festivals are celebrated in Penang just like any other state in Malaysia. The Chinese population in Penang is quite large and thus you witness numerous vibrant Chinese festivals celebrated here, which is quite unlikely in other parts of Malaysia. So, you get to enjoy the Penang International Floral festival, where flowers of various shapes, sizes and colors are displayed. This event takes place every year and attracts visitors from all over the world. In addition, several other top festivals in Penang include:
George Town Festival:
George Town festival is a month-long celebration that comprises of film, music, dance, theatre and local art. The festival was introduced in 2009 when Georgetown was listed as a UNESCO heritage site. For the whole month of August, visitors can witness a diverse range of attractions and shows apart from exploring the colorful street arts and well-preserved heritage buildings. The festive month in Georgetown offers ample time to flock over shops selling snacks, delicacies, books, local artwork, souvenirs and trinkets.
Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta:
Your stay in Malaysia becomes successful when you attend Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. The event takes place at Padang Polo in Georgetown. Visitors get many opportunities to participate in fun-filled activities apart from watching magnificent balloons floating in the sky. The event sports fifteen hot air balloons from participating countries like Belgium, US, Netherlands, South Korea and Thailand. Visitors can explore the interior of the cold inflated balloon or enjoy a ride in a tethered balloon.
Nine Emperor God Festival:
Emperor Gods is a widespread practice in Malaysia. This festival is held for nine days from the first day to the ninth day of the ninth lunar month every year. The notion behind this celebration is- the spirits of the Nine Emperor Gods that reside in stars begin to descend to earth through spirit mediums.
Many devotees prefer to live on a vegetarian diet during the festival. Various stalls are set up for selling vegetarian food. An opera is performed to show respect to those gods. Apart from worshipping, you will get the opportunity to witness challenging activities like fire walking ceremony, spear skewing ceremony, etc.
Bon Odori Festival:
Malaysian Japanese Society organizes the BonOdori Festival. This festival is the Japanese version of the Hungry Ghost festival of China. Japanese expatriates, including old and young attend this festival for paying homage to their descendants.
Penang International Dragon Boat Race:
Penang International Dragon Boat Race festival attracts participants from all over the world. The festival made its debut in 1979. The festival is held to show respect to the celestial dragon of the Chinese culture. The concept of dragon boat festival originated in China and this event is held worldwide currently. The event starts with boats racing with each other, with dragon heads fitted to them. The event becomes vibrant with the rhythmic beating of drums.