George Town World Heritage City Day

In the Malaysian state of Penang, the 7th of July is observed as George Town Heritage Day. This regional public holiday commemorates the anniversary of the date in 2008 when George Town was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

George Town is the capital city of Penang and was formerly known as Tanjung Penaga. It is the sixth most populous city in Malaysia. The city was named after King George III and was founded on August 11, 1786. Its World Heritage Site covers 2.6 square kilometers of the city center and includes the administrative district of the city, as well as places of worship such as Kapitan Keling Mosque and St. George’s Church.

This is a day for residents of this Malaysian state to take pride in their history and a day during which people are reminded that the historic core of Penang needs to be protected and preserved.

The History of George Town Heritage Day

George Town was the first British settlement in Southeast Asia. It formed a part of the Straits Settlements and officially became a British colony in the latter part of the 18th century. George Town was officially named a city by Queen Elizabeth II in 1957. This made it the first official city in Malaysia.

Twelve years after becoming an official city, the Malaysian federal government revoked the free-port status of the city. This caused the city to enter into a period of decline. Many residents began to move out of the historic core of George Town, and this led to many of the historic buildings being abandoned and allowed to fall into disrepair.

In 2008, after sustained efforts by the residents of the city and by non-governmental organizations to clean up the city, George Town was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This declaration would lead to even more rebuilding efforts and by 2010, George Town had become Asia’s eighth most livable city.

Fun Facts About George Town

George Town is a city that has a lot going for it. It’s not only one of the most livable cities in Asia but is also full of history. It’s also a city that has a lot of other things going for it, so we decided to find out what we could about it. The result was that we came up with a list of fun facts about this city that we feel everyone will enjoy.

  • More than five international films have been shot around George Town.
  • The films shot in (and around) this city include “Indochine” (1992), “Anna and the King” (1999), “The Blue Mansion” (2009), and “Crazy Rich Asians” (2018).
  • Fort Cornwallis is home to the oldest chapel in Malaysia. It has existed since the late 18th century.

Observing George Town Heritage Day

This holiday is observed with official ceremonies, continued restoration efforts, and many people spending time with their friends and family members. Since it’s a public holiday, many people in the area have the day off and can do the things that they enjoy.

Where is it celebrated?
Malaysia (Local holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
July 7 Sunday
Next year (2025)
July 7 Monday
Last year (2023)
July 7 Friday