Christmas in Malaysia: Celebrating the Holidays

Does reading a line with “Christmas” and “Malaysia” paint a question mark on your face? For the uninitiated, Malaysia is not a Christian country. In fact, it’s one of those countries with several religions and cultures co-existing peacefully. So, if you plan to celebrate Christmas in Malaysia, don’t let that stop you! There are actually several ways in which you can celebrate Christmas in Malaysia.

In this blog, we will talk about how to celebrate Christmas in Malaysia and what to expect during Christmas in Malaysia. Let’s get started!

Celebrating Christmas in Malaysia

How do Residents in Malaysia Celebrate Christmas?

In Malaysia, Christians celebrate Christmas by having meals with their families and friends on Christmas Eve or Day. They also hold various events and activities such as church services and prayer.

In Malaysia, Christmas is also celebrated with a variety of activities and displays in shopping malls. Usually, these displays are displayed around a month before Christmas Day.

The most common elements associated with Christmas are the tree, Santa Claus, and gift boxes. Although these elements are usually used to market products during the holiday season, they have little significance to society at large.

The food served during the Christmas season is very important to the celebrations. It is a time of great joy and generosity when families and friends gather together to share a meal. Giving gifts can be done in various ways. Although there is no set rule regarding what should be given, it is usually customary for each family member to prepare surprise gifts for their friends and relatives.

During the weeks leading up to Christmas, church services are usually conducted with the help of various types of music. On Christmas Day, various churches in Malaysia sing various Christmas songs. In some areas, special events are also held for the community. These include singing in shopping malls and in public areas.

Around the world, Christmas is celebrated on the same day each year, on December 25. Since it falls just a few days before New Year’s Day, people tend to take advantage of public holidays and travel during this period.

Here are some of the ways residents celebrate Christmas in the country:

1. Christmas mass at churches

You can experience the traditional morning and evening mass at local churches during the Christmas season. The programs of these churches vary depending on the season and the message they’re trying to deliver. You can also watch a play inspired by real-life experiences and hear various Christmas songs sung by a live music band.

2. Light Your Christmas Fireworks

On Christmas Eve, many people in Malaysia celebrate the holiday by lighting fireworks. Unfortunately, with all the fireworks and the crackle, we doubt that you’ll be able to get enough sleep before the midnight bell rings. So, just join in and enjoy.

3. Ang Paus Instead Of Gifts

Getting the perfect gift for your loved ones can be a bit stressful. Most people in Malaysia usually avoid this by giving their money in red packets or Ang Paus. This makes sense since everyone knows what they want for Christmas.

4. Festive Meals

One of Malaysia’s most popular things is its food, and during the festive season, you’re sure to find plenty of it. This country is filled with various cultures, and there’s a wide variety of food that you can choose from. Some of the most common food items commonly served during Christmas are Malay, Chinese, Indian, Western, and Indonesian.

During the Christmas season, Malaysians usually enjoy various types of food, such as roast meat, mashed potatoes, and steamed vegetables. They also add in some local dishes, such as satay or curry, to enhance their taste buds.

During Christmas, people usually eat fruit cakes and mince pie. These are typically made with nuts and dried fruits and are served with brandy.

5. Light Up the Night

Besides fireworks, Christmas lights also light up the night sky. The festive atmosphere is created by the glittering decorations and the Christmas lights.

The Christmas decorations in major shopping malls are usually glittering with stars, balls, and lights. The large trees are placed in the center of the malls, and these are surrounded by various decorations such as soldiers, wooden houses, snow globes, toys, and more.

As you enter the shopping areas, you will be taken on a journey through the Christmas Wonderland. Some prominent areas with vibrant decorations include the Midvalley Megamall, One Utama, and Suria KLCC.

Each mall in the country will have their own Christmas decorations and lights, which will show off their special holiday spirit. This is a great opportunity for the entire family to take a photo.

6. Visit and Travel

During the festive season, many people in Malaysia get to experience the full experience of the season by going out sightseeing. Some of our local hotspots include the Suria KLCC, Berjaya Times Square, and Pavillion.

Besides the city, we also like to travel. Some of us take the family out to places such as Penang, Cameron highlands, and Langkawi. There will always be that festive spirit in the air no matter where we go.

7. Shop Till We Drop

One of the most anticipated events during the Christmas season is the year-end sales. With huge discounts, many people start becoming shopaholics and spend most of their time in the malls.

8. Chicken Is King

It’s customary to have a big turkey for Christmas, but in Malaysia, it’s hard to find a similar dish. Instead, many people choose chicken instead. Since there are so many places that serve fried or roast chicken, it’s no wonder that this dish is the main course at Christmas.

9. Party the night away

Christmas would not be the same without a wild Christmas party. There are various places where you can gather, such as bars, nightclubs, and restaurants, where you can find a variety of food and drink. Some of the people who attend these celebrations also bring a bit of the holiday spirit with them by serving hot chocolate and cookies.

10. We celebrate together as one

In Malaysia, Christmas is a special occasion that everyone can celebrate regardless of their backgrounds. This is one of the reasons why the country is unique. We will always celebrate various holidays together, such as Hari Raya, Deepavali, Chinese New Year, and Christmas.

11. Gift-shopping at Christmas bazaars

Looking for the perfect gifts for your loved ones this Christmas season? At Christmas bazaars, you can find unique gifts for everyone, such as greeting cards, clothes, and scented candles. You can also browse through the stalls and meet the artisans and vendors who make these items. After you have purchased the various products, you can enjoy some homemade baked goods, such as cookies and brownies.

12. Watch live Christmas performances

Most Christmas showcases are held in shopping malls and hotels. Various groups and entertainers bring the spirit of the season to the audience. Some performers may also invite you to join in the fun.

For a more unique experience, watch theatre and music concerts at the Theatre Lounge Cafe. While watching the performances, you can dance and sing along to your favorite Christmas songs.

Holiday Shopping in Malaysia

What better way to celebrate Christmas than by decorating a Christmas tree? In Malaysia, Christmas trees can be found in malls, offices, and homes. Some businesses even have their own Christmas trees that are decorated with lights, tinsel, and baubles. These trees are usually put up during the last week of November or the first week of December. And if you’re looking for places where you can find Christmas trees along with the decorations that go with them, you can check out the following:


IKEA is the undisputed king of holiday decorations and home furnishings. Their VINTER catalog features a wide range of Christmas tree and plant designs, 24-piece hanging decorations, candle holders, and gift-wrapping options.


SSF is a well-known home goods store that has outlets in various states. With a wide selection of Christmas trees, decorations, and cushions, you can find something for everyone at this time of year. They also have LED lights and hanging ball decorations. If you’re looking for something more traditional, you can check out their candle holders and candle boxes.


If you’re looking for a cheap and festive Christmas without breaking the bank, then head over to Daiso, which has the best selection of holiday decorations and stocking fillers.

There, you’ll find everything you need to decorate your home, including reindeer headbands, silver and gold bells, Santa ornaments, stockings, stick-on nails, and more. Besides decorations, this is also a great time to get some Secret Santa gifts.


As a leading store for crafting needs, it’s no surprise that the team at Spotlight is ready to celebrate the season of giving with a variety of projects that are made with do-it-yourself (yourself) techniques. There are plenty of supplies and decorations that you can use to make your own tree hangings or holiday cards, as well as quilts and beads.

Robinsons Malaysia

The Christmas Trim Shop at Robinsons is where you can find all kinds of festive decorations. These include tree decorations, snow globes, tree baubles, stuffed animals, and more. The company takes the holiday season seriously and doesn’t use cheap materials. Their products are made to order and show.


Metrojaya is known for holding holiday sales before the year-end. It’s a great time to buy your holiday decorations and gifts. Most of the items are from Living Quarters, and various other decorations for the dining table and living room.


Parkson is a great place to start your holiday shopping this season, as it offers a wide range of reasonably priced but gorgeous products. Whether you’re looking for ornaments, curtains, or plates, this store has something for everyone. If you’re a fan of cute toys like the aforementioned reindeer and bear plushies, you’ll want to check out their Facebook page for their promotions.


Holiday decorations can be found in Chinatown, which is located in the heart of the city’s commercial district, Jalan Sultan. Here you’ll find various shops selling holiday decorations, including the popular Kek Lok Si Temple. The temple has a yearly holiday bazaar where you can buy beautiful figurines and decorations. If you’re looking for something more unique, head to the nearby Batu Caves, famous for its Hindu temples and statues carved into the rocks by devotees.


Kaison has a huge selection of home décor, gifts, and soft furnishings in shopping centers all across the country. Their holiday ornaments are reasonably priced and come in various shiny colors.

Where to Spend the Holidays in Malaysia

Sungai Chiling Waterfalls

Situated in Selangor, Malaysia, the Sungai Chiling Waterfalls are a must-visit for adrenaline junkies. This place is only accessible after a challenging trek through a river. There are six different river crosses that you have to complete in order to reach the falls.

The walk to the Sungai Chilling Waterfall is very safe even though the water is deep and the current can get strong. This beautiful waterfall is surrounded by dense vegetation and feels like it’s part of nature’s hidden treasure. It’s closed during the Puasa month.

Temenggor Lake

Temenggor is a man-made lake that’s located near Banding Island and has several species of fishes, such as Toman, Kelah, Baung, and Sebarau.

It’s a great recreation area popular with locals and tourists. It’s also a great place to spend time with your family and friends. One of the most prominent man-made lakes in Malaysia, Temenggor is a great place to spend time with your family and friends.

Cantaloupe At Troika Sky Dining

The magnificent views of the Petronas Twin Towers and the Kuala Lumpur skyline can be enjoyed at the Troika Sky Dining’s Cantaloupe. This restaurant is one of the best romantic establishments in Malaysia. It offers a wide variety of world-class services and the perfect ambience.


In Malaysia, Legoland is known for its holiday festivities. During this grand festival, the theme park offers a special deal that allows you to win great prizes by sending in your postcards. Apart from being a great place to visit with family, Legoland also has a variety of activities for children.

Genting Highlands

This holiday season, this place is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys getting in touch with the spirit of Christmas. It’s located in Pahang, and it offers a pleasant climate and cooler weather. One of their main attractions is their “Tour the World with Santa,” which features a visit with the jolly old man.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the number of days for holidays in Malaysia during Christmas?

One of the most significant Christian festivals is Christmas Day, which is celebrated on December 25 in many countries, including Malaysia.

2. Is Christmas big in Malaysia?

In Malaysia, Christmas is mainly a secular and commercial holiday. Christians make up only 10% of the country’s population, and people tend to only think of Christmas as a time for parties and presents.

3. What do Malaysians do during Christmas?

Unlike in Western nations, where Christmas is a religious festival, in Malaysia, it is celebrated as a non-religious holiday. Most people consider Christmas in Malaysia to be a fun and festive occasion. Christians make up only 10% of the country’s population, and most people enjoy having parties and receiving presents.

4. Where should I go for Christmas in Malaysia?

There are plenty of places to celebrate Christmas in Malaysia, including the cities of Kuala Lumpur and Penang. You can also visit the Cameron Highlands, which is famous for its cool climate and lush greenery during the winter season. But if you’re not an outdoorsy person, you can also head to shopping malls and department stores for some Christmas shopping.

5. Is December a good time to visit Malaysia?

Malaysia is known for its warm and humid weather throughout the year, which is why it’s best to visit during December to April. The country’s tropical monsoon season can provide short periods of rain, which is why it’s important to carry an umbrella. Moreover, Christmas in Malaysia features a lot of lights, decorations, and food. You can also enjoy the various activities organized by shopping malls and hotels during this time.

6. Does Malaysia have Santa?

In Malaysia, Christmas is associated with Santa Claus, fireworks, and midnight feasts. Although Christians make up only a minority in the country, we were surprised to see how festive Christmas is here. The streets of Kuala Lumpur are filled with lights and decorations.

7. What can you expect to see in Malaysia on Christmas?

The goal of shopping malls is to create the biggest and most impressive holiday displays. These usually include large trees, Santas, and fake snow. Sometimes, these can be several stories high. Aside from these, some malls also have attractions such as an indoor ice skating rink.

8. Is Christmas a public holiday in Malaysia?

In Sabah, Christmas Day is a national holiday, while Christmas Eve is a public holiday.

9. How should you greet people on Christmas in Malaysia?

In Malay, the word “Selamat Hari Krismas” or “Selamat Hari Natal” can be used to refer to Christmas. This is also used in other languages.

Final Thoughts

Celebrating Christmas in Malaysia
Credits: Eirien / Flickr

Christmas in Malaysia is a great time to visit. It is one of the most exciting times of the year, and there are plenty of things to do and see. From shopping for presents at the mall to taking part in holiday events or even visiting a theme park, there are many options for you to choose from during this period.

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