Observed annually on the 31st of August in Malaysia, National Day is a holiday that commemorates the Independence of the Federation of Malaya from British colonial rule. This event occurred on August 31st, 1957, as thousands of people gathered to shout at government officials in a declaration of freedom.
Today, the holiday is celebrated with a variety of events and celebrations. It’s a national holiday, so it’s a day off for the general population, and most businesses and non-essential government offices are closed for the day. It’s also a day when the Malaysian flag is proudly displayed from public buildings, businesses, and private homes.
The History Of National Day In Malaysia
On August 31st, 1957, approximately 20,000 people gathered at Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur with the singular purpose of declaring independence for themselves. All of these people stood in solidarity and shouted “Merdeka” as their declaration of freedom from British colonial rule, a dream that would finally happen in 1963 when Malaysia was formed.
Malaysia was formed from the former British colony of Singapore and the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak joined the federation. That’s the event that’s now celebrated by National Day. However, in 1965, Singapore ended up leaving the Malaysian Federation and becoming the Republic of Singapore.
Observing National Day In Malaysia
The day begins in Malaysia with people hanging up the Malaysian flag everywhere they can. This can include homes, businesses, government buildings, and sometimes even vehicles. There are also parades, open-air concerts, theater and stage shows, exhibitions, and competitions.
Many of these take place in Kula Lumpur, but there are also celebrations that occur across the entire country. It’s a public holiday for the general population and a day when people gather together with their friends and loved ones. This is a holiday to celebrate independence and at parade routes, people will often shout out “Merdeka!” in honor of the first declaration of independence in the country.
When is Malaysia’s National Day?
|This year (2023)||August 31 (Thursday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Next year (2024)||August 31 (Saturday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Last year (2022)||August 31 (Wednesday)||Multiple dates - more|