December is usually the favourite month of many, as families begin their school holidays, get ready to go on their year-end vacations, and celebrate the new year and the festivities. The festive mood is definitely “on” in Malaysia and you’ll find lots to do to mark the last month of the year.
For a start, December will see the final part of the 1Malaysia Year End Sale where shopping malls across the country make that last effort to attract shoppers with discounts and bargains galore. Bargain-hunters can flock to the malls and bring home cart-loads of merchandise. Don’t be put-off by the crowded malls – it’s just the last minute Christmas shoppers and overzealous parents getting ready for the new school year (Malaysian schools begin their annual term in January).
If you are heading south with your family, Legoland in Johor has special holiday activities in store. The “Snow” Village is set up to shower “snow” upon visitors for that wintry effect while the one-of-a-kind Christmas market will be selling various festive items not forgetting some unique festive themed Lego products. Special Christmas shows will also be performed as the resort counts down the days towards Christmas and lights up the tallest Christmas tree in Asia made entirely of DUPLO Blocks.
Meanwhile Resorts World Genting offers endless fun and joy up in the cool mountains of Pahang. Its School Holidays Package features the Monkey King Show: The Golden Hooped Rod that will enthrall audiences with exciting acrobatics, music, dance, magic tricks and amazing 3D effects.
And if you are a cartoon fan, Tour the World with Snoopy will feature everyone’s favourite beagle and the Peanuts gang parading around the hill-top resort in 52 custom-made international costumes of different countries and cultures. These colourful characters complete with Christmas tree floats will meet and greet visitors as they spread festive cheer at SkyAvenue and Genting Grand in their daily street parade.
While here, do pop in to SeniKome Péng Hēng, East Coast Arts & Cultural Centre at the adjacent First World Plaza for a bit of a culture buzz. The 15,000 square foot gallery is dedicated to promoting the beauty of East Coast Malaysia’s local craft, fashion, games, food and music. Besides viewing the authentic artefacts and paintings, visitors can also watch performances such as the wayang kulit, and try their hand at folk games such as congkak, batu seremban and traditional hopscotch.
The multicultural Malaysia ensures that all races are equal and free to practise their traditions and rituals. The differences in language, culture, history and traditions, and the peaceful harmony among all races are, in fact, the very attractions that appeal to visitors and tourists from other countries. Certainly, December is the month to talk about how truly Asia Malaysia is.
Evidently, pre-Christmas countdown starts in shopping malls as early as in November. Nationwide, and especially in Kuala Lumpur, the spirit of Yuletide is in the air as hotels and shopping malls get decked out in reds and greens, Christmas trees, “snow,” and colourful baubles, and Santas, Santarinas and their elves make an appearance. While Christmas songs get extra airplay at this time of year, the carollers, too, warm up their vocal cords for some festive singing. Catch all this at your favourite shopping malls or nearby hotels.
For instance, Pavilion mall has gotten into the Christmas holiday spirit with reindeers Dasher, Dancer and Rudolph dashing to its iconic Pavilion Crystal Fountain, making this spot the best place for a festive family photo opportunity. Meanwhile, indoors, shoppers will find Santa making his rounds in hot air balloons, creating a magical and festive atmosphere.
Intermark Mall creatively celebrates this festive season by designing seven of the world’s most iconic landmarks made entirely of Coca-Cola products. Visitors can model themselves in front of Coca-Cola-made structures resembling the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Empire State Building, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Colosseum, Burj Khalifa and the Taj Mahal. Intermark Mall’s anchor tenant, Jaya Grocer, used a total 60,562 Coca-Cola cans and bottles, and took over 60 hours to construct the landmark replicas displayed around the mall. The Malaysia Book of Records was on hand to present the certificate of achievement to Coca-Cola for this incredible feat.
Meanwhile, Quill City Mall has transformed its main atrium into an Andalusia Spanish Village with a courtyard and flower-decorated building facades. The mall décor is inspired by scenes from the Christmas movie Ferdinand which tells the story of a giant bull with a big heart. A 3D Ferdinand the bull in a field of sunflowers, along with a 40-foot tall Christmas tree present many photo opportunities for shoppers.
For tourists who find themselves in tropical Malaysia during the Christmas festivities and wish to attend mass to mark the special day, there are plenty of churches of various denominations to head to. In the capital city stands the famous Cathedral of St John The Evangelist, with its white-washed walls, twin spires and stained glass windows, a favourite for many tourists, expatriates as well as the regular parishioners. It was erected in 1883 in the heart of Bukit Nanas, and has become one of the national monuments that remains of the British administration of Malaysia.
And as the final day of the year descends upon us, what better way to greet the new year than with a spectacular fireworks show? Well, in Kuala Lumpur, there are a couple of places that offer “front-row seats” to a great fireworks show. Go early to book a spot on the lawns of Merdeka Square or KLCC Park. Alternatively, take in a nice dinner and late night drinks at the city’s rooftop bars such as Troika Sky Dining and Sky Bar, before the light show starts!
Venue: Various, nationwide
Date: Whole December