Christmas in Malaysia

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In 2004 the government ordered an unofficial ban on Christmas symbols, Christmas festivities and even the name Jesus Christ.This was jointly organised by the Arts, Culture and Heritage ministry, the government of the state of Selangor and the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM).

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Dr Rais Yatim later denied that this ban had been "issued officially or unofficially". Also adding that there's "nothing wrong in singing songs such as Silent Night and Merry Christmas" as they are "joyous songs for the festival".

Lee Min Choon, legal consultant to the CFM and the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship issued a statement which said "It means that churches can celebrate Christmas as they have been doing all along. Otherwise, the very meaning of the occasion will be lost." "Now, everybody should take the government at its word and celebrate Christmas the way they normally celebrate and express their religious faith."

Despite the problems Malaysia have encountered in the past, it is classes as a public holiday and they now enjoy a very joyful and loving Christmas with family and friends as other countries do.

However, with their average temperatures ranging from 22 °C to a high of 33 °C, it’s most likely to be a sunny Christmas for them. So our idealistic image of Christmas with white snow layered everywhere and chestnuts roasting on an open fire don’t quite fit in around this area.

Christmas is looked upon as a universal and commercial holiday by far. If you simply think about the effect Santa Claus has on children. Maybe because of this broad appeal (or some would say, commercialisation), retailers and hoteliers take an active approach by decorating their properties with the non religious Christmas tree, candy canes, snow, stockings. Red, Green, Gold and white are the traditionally used colours of Christmas.

Urban places such as the capital city of Kuala Lumpur and the greater Klang Valley come to life during the Yuletide, with vibrant colourful lights and decorations sprucing up homes and business premises, displaying a festive atmosphere.

Shopping malls try to outdo each other and their opponents by competing to attract more customers by investing in more sophisticated decorations every year.

Christmas in Malaysia is a public holiday and it is still very much a religious one at that. To prepare themselves spiritually, the Christian community here, who constitute about 7% of the population, observe Advent, the four-week period