Malaysia Travel Guide
Held annually on Dec 25th, Christians celebrate the Nativity, or the birth of Christ. The origin of the festival is obscure and scholars believe that it is derived in part from rites held by pre-Christian Germanic and Celtic
peoples to celebrate winter solstice.
Christians have generally observed Christmas festivals since the 4th century.
At times incorporating pagan customs, such as the use of holly, mistletoe, Yule logs and wassail bowls. The Christmas tree itself, an evergreen trimmed with lights and other decorations, is derived from the so-called paradise tree, symbolizing
Eden of German mystery plays.
The English name of the legendary jolly, red-garbed man on the sleigh who delivers presents to good children at Christmas, Santa Claus, is derived from the
Dutch 'Sinterklaas', a modification of Saint Nicholas.
Christmas celebrations here in Malaysia are a little different from the rest of the world. Since we live in a multi cultural country with no snow. All Malaysians tend
to celebrate all festive seasons visiting friends and families in their homes
during the festive season.
As with everywhere, Christmas preparations are done up to the last minute of December 24th. On Christmas Eve, Christians dress up in their new clothes and
go to church for midnight services. Before mass begins they normally have sketches or plays by the children and Christmas caroling.
On Christmas day, families have a feast and this is the time when friends of all faiths make their rounds to wish Merry Christmas. Some visitors bring presents
and gifts. The children laugh with joy as they receive gifts and money in a
modified version of 'ang-pow' from friends and relatives.