Water Festival, Malaysian Style

Water Festivals are an important cultural event in Southeast Asia. Pouring water on one another is part of a cleansing ritual to welcome the new year. They generally fall in April, which is one of the hottest months in these parts. People get doused with water as a sign of respect, but the celebratory festivities can get boisterous so anyone in the area can expect to get drenched! But, it’s all in good fun and  traditionally it’s a show of blessings and good wishes.

WET AND WILD!

Different countries have different names for the festivals. Songkran in Thailand, Pi-Mai Lao in Laos , Chaul Chnam Thmey in Cambodia, and Thingyan in Myanmar.
The Water Festival isn’t a Malaysian tradition per say, but Malaysian Water Festivals can now be found throughout Malaysia . From Penang, Fort Dixon, Malacca to Sarawak.  Another such Festival can be found in Langkawi at Pantai Cenang, one of the more ‘touristy’ beaches.

LIVE MUSIC

As a native Floridian  I had originally thought, “Cool! beach party!”. Being a simple lover of a good time, I embrace events like these. So I look forward to this annual Langkawi event as do many others. It wasn’t until recently that I came to realize there was more to water festivals in Southeast Asia, so now it means even more to me.

LOCAL WARES

Tourism Malaysia sponsors wonderful annual local events like the Langkawi / Pantai Cenang Water Festival. In fact, their mobile tourism unit was in Pantai Cenang during the festival to share information brochures and speak with tourists about Malaysia.  Lots of information !

TOURISM MALAYSIA REPRESENTATIVE (on left)

I’m looking forward to Water Festival 2013 and hopefully this annual event will only get bigger and better. It really is a wonderful opportunity for tourists and locals to meet and possibly make new friends. I did .

 

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