Langkawi Events & Festivals

 
All through the year, Langkawi observes many festivals and events that reflect the culture and heritage of the island. While many of such events are celebrations in line with the rest of Malaysia, there are some that are unique to the island. Such events include competitions, cultural celebrations, festivals etc. Most of these are annual in nature, while some may not recur every year. 
 
 
 
Here are all the main events &áfestivals of Langkawi arranged by month: 
 
January 
 
New Year's Celebrations 
Many resorts and restaurants in the island gear up for the big whole night party on 31st December that continues into the wee hours to welcome the first day of the year. Most such parties take place in Pantai Cenang and Kuah town which are the most tourist populated areas. 
 
However on the day of the New Year (i.e. 1st January), the most islanders celebrate by taking their families out for a scrumptious lunch or dinner. The restaurants decorate themselves with many colorful lighting. 
 
About 50 yachts participate in this widely popular sail boat competition. The yachters come from all over the world and take part in 9 different racing classes. This is arguably the most popular yachting regatta in the whole of South East Asia. 
 
Ponggal Festival 
There is significant Tamil population in the island. Ponggal is essentially a Harvest Festival celebrated by the Tamils. Due to its growing popularity, the festival these days is joined by lot many islanders. It is usually held on 14th of January at Laman Padi with lush green rice fields in the background. The festival centers around giving thanks to the nature for giving crops to the islanders all through the year. The festival is organized by World Agri Trade (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. 
 
Further information: 
World Agri Trade (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Phone: +603-7948 5303. 
 
February 
 
Chinese New Year 
After Muslims, the Chinese population in the island would be the next highest. And therefore Chinese New Year is a significant celebration in the island. It is the first day of the Lunar calendar year. It may fall in end January or February beginning. The celebration actually begins on the eve when almost all Chinese families gather for reunion dinner. You will find many restaurants decorated with lights and offering different types of exotic dishes. 
 
Langkawi International Regatta, Perdana 
Many young sailors participate in this yachting competition which is held at the Telaga Harbor. There are several classes including Optimistic, Lager Full Rig, Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, Int 420 &áWind Surfing, Byte &áBig Techno etc. It is organized by Malaysia Yachting Association. 
 
Further information: 
Malaysia Yachting Association 
Phone: +604 966 3099; Email: [email protected] 
 
This increasingly popular event is now drawing international participants who spend a whole night in their boats and compete with each other catching squids. Over 50 boats participate with teams that comprise of local fishermen and anglers from the island &áother countries. Cash prizes are given out next day for both individual &áteam winners in various categories including longest and heaviest catch. 
 
Le Tour De Langkawi 
February 22 - March 1, 2017 
This is a popular international cycling race which usually takes place over 10 days and 10 stages. However since 2015, no. of days and stages have been reduced to 8. 
 
Update December 2016: Tour De Langkawi to be held between 22nd February to 1st March 2016. However this year the race route does not include Langkawi due to budget constraints. 
 
March 
 
March 21 - 25, 2017 
This is the largest event in the whole of Asia where once in every two years the major manufacturers from aerospace and maritime industry from all over the world showcase their latest aircraft and products. The event also includes grand aerial display which attracts thousands of visitors from all over Asia. 
 
 
 
April 
 
Langkawi International Festival of Art (LIFA) 
This is an art festival held in Ibrahim Hussain Museum and Cultural Foundation located in Datai Bay area. This 10-day long grand event sees great artists and artisans participating from various countries including Japan, Europe, Africa, Asian countries and of course Malaysia. The festival includes various areas like painting, sculptor making, dance &ámusic, poetry etc. It is jointly organized by Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) and the Museum.  
 
Further information: 
Langkawi Development Authority; 
Phone: (+604) 966 7186; Website: www.lada.gov.my 
 
Langkawi International Water Festival 
This is a fun water sports competition organized by the Tourism Department. The main objective of this event is to promote international tourism in the island. It includes activities like island to island Kayak race, fishing competition, underwater treasure hunt, building sand castles, beach net ball competition etc. While the activities take place all around the island, most of the actions take place at Telaga Harbor Park. You will see lots of spectators both islanders and tourists gathering at Telaga Harbor Park during this time. 
 
Further information: 
Langkawi Tourism Action Council, LADA. Phone: +604-969 8083; 
 
May 
 
Held usually on last week of May, this is an annual food festival showcaseing various preparations of Laksa (rice noodles) from all over Malaysia as well as many other Asian countries. International Chefs demonstrate cooking Laksas while you can participate in various competitions including eating laksas. Several other activities are held including live music. 
 
Wilderness Langkawi Challenge 
This is an adventure race where over 400 participants from many countries all over the world participate. The challenge includes a series of races and competitions including kayaking, racing, abseiling, running through jungles, swimming and more. Participants come from countries like Australia, Sweden, Spain, US and all over Asia. Note that the event has not been held every year consistently. In fact there is a gap for several years now due to lack of sponsorship. 
 
Further information: 
Wilderness Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur 
Phone:+603-2730 5000; Email: [email protected] 
 
June 
 
Langkawi Geopark Carnival 
Since being accorded the World Heritage Geopark status in 2007 by UNESCO, Langkawi has been celebrating the event as an annual carnival. It is held over 4 days with fun filled activities and educational sessions. The activities include children's fancy dress, competition with chickens, cooking competition, beach volley ball, ice carving, local music &ádance showcasing traditional local culture, lots of yummy local food, treasure hunt, art &ácraft demonstrating local skills, and lot more. It is held all over the island but mostly in Kuah and centered around the Eagle Square. The carnival is organized by Langkawi Development Authority (LADA). 
 
Further information: 
Langkawi Development Authority; 
Phone: (+604) 966 7186; Website: www.lada.gov.my 
 
July 
 
Fire Extinguishing Contest 
This is a strange competition organized by the Fire Department where teams from the fire department and local community compete to put out set fire. The team which is able to do it first becomes the winner and gets a prize. The event is held to create awareness about fire safety. Teams are formed from various cross section of the community including staffs from restaurants, hotels, government department, NGOs, and others. 
 
Further information: 
Langkawi Fire &áRescue Department 
Phone: +604-969 3004 
 
 
 
Mu'adzam Shah Golf Tournament 
This is a well established golf tournament in the island organized by Bay View Hotel. Golfers from all over Asia participate in the tournament. You will also find golfers from government department and large corporate also participating. The chief patron is Sultan of Kedah state himself. 
 
Further information: 
Bayview Hotel Langkawi 
Phone: +604 - 966 1818 
 
Rambutan Trail 
This is all about the fruit Rambutan, a hairy fruit which is found in abundance in Langkawi. There are competitions that involve picking up and eating rambutans. You will also see amazing fruit carving demonstrations as well. Anybody including tourists can participate. There are many other fun filled activities and competitions. It's organized by the Langkawi Department of Agriculture. 
 
Further information: 
Langkawi Department of Agriculture 
Phone: +604 - 955 6566 
Website: doa.gov.my 
 
Langkawi Food &áFruit Fiesta 
This is a nation wide festival held in this month and Langkawi too celebrates it. Locals and visitors are able to taste and buy variety of local delicacies as well as fruits that are grown locally in the island. You can also see cooking demonstrations and learn about way of making different exotic local dishes. 
 
August 
 
Langkawi Ramadan Bazaar 
During the month of Ramadan, the Muslims fast everyday from sunrise to sunset. The Ramadan Bazaar sets up at Kuah everyday in the evening when the local Muslims break their fast after sunset and come there to eat many traditional goodies and great delicacies. There are usually double the varieties of food compared to what you may see in Night Markets. On any evening, you can expect to get about 100 varieties of food here. 
 
The food sold from the stalls are mostly authentic local dishes and some of Nyonya and Indonesian style. The food is really great &ácheap. The Ramadaan Bazaar sets up just behind the Water Garden Hawkers Center in Kuah and very close to Hotel Baron. It starts around 4pm and remains open until the food lasts. 
 
Further information: 
Langkawi Municipal Council 
+604 - 966 6590 
 
Eid Mubarak 
The Muslims in the island, like in any other place of the world, greet each other after performing the Eid prayer. They visit their friends and relatives houses and greet each other saying 'Eid Mubarak' Where 'Eid' refers to the occasion while 'Mubarak' means blessing. It is customary that all Muslims wear their traditional Malay attire during the celebration. 
 
Hari Merdeka (Independence Day) Celebration 
The independence day of Malaysia is celebrated in the country on every 31st August. This marks the end of British regime in Malaysia. Langkawi hosts a lot of cultural, social and sport activities during Independence Day in great patriotic spirit. Parades take place in Kuah. 
 
Further information: 
Office of the Langkawi Member of Parliament 
Phone: +604 - 966 8386 
 
September 
 
Malaysia Day Celebration 
Malaysia Day is celebrated on every 16th of September through out the nation including in Langkawi. This was the day when the Federation of Malaysia was formed in 1963 by joining Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore, although Singapore was separated two years later. 
 
Further information: 
Office of the Langkawi Member of Parliament 
Phone: +604 - 966 8386 
 
October 
 
Hari Raya Aidil Fitri 
This marks the end of Ramadan or the month of fasting for the Muslims. The islanders enjoy two days of holiday when varieties of food are prepared by the families and offered to friends and relatives. 
 
Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge (LIMBC) 
First launched in 2010, this international biking event has grown in popularity over the years and has now become the best and technically one of the most challenging mountain biking stage race in the whole of Asia. Hundreds of bikers take part from all over the world as well as from Malaysia. It is a Class 2 cross country stage race and included in the calendar issued by world cycling governing body (UCI). The race however includes all kinds of biking enthusiasts of almost all ages. The top 25 finishers are awarded world ranking points. The course passes through amazing landscapes including paddy fields, mountainous jungles, rubber plantations, lovely village trails and 300 million old Geopark &árainforests of Langkawi. 
 
Update 2014 LIMBC: The stage event was held between October 11 to 18, 2014. The stage venues included Lagenda Park, Eagle Square, Oriental Village, Perdana Quay and Lagenda Park Beach. Slovakian Michal Lami won the challenge and bagged $15,000 cash prize. 2011 champion Karl Platt took the second place. 
 
Further Information: 
Official Website: http://www.limbcmalaysia.com 
Email: [email protected]; Phone: +60 3-9222 0786 
 
Langkawi International Fishing Tournament 
Over 400 anglers from various countries like Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and of course the home country Malaysia participate in this two-day long fishing competition. There are cash prizes in categories like heaviest and biggest catch etc. Note that the venue and the month of the event changes. The event is free for all spectators and organized by Langkawi Development Authority. 
 
Update October 2014: Miri Anglers Club was the overall champion in this year's Langkawi International Fishing Tournament which was held between October 24 to 26, 2014. Over 120 participants took part in the competition from Malaysia and Thailand. 
 
Further information: 
Langkawi Development Authority; 
Phone: (+604) 966 7186; Website: www.lada.gov.my 
 
Langkawi International Lawn Bowls (Mahsuri Cup) 
This is an international lawn bowling championship that attracts many international teams from South East Asia. However there are participation from countries like Canada as well. Over 100 teams participate in the competition. The championship is held over several days. It is jointly organized by Langkawi Development Authority, Malaysian Lawn Bowls Federation and the Kedah Lawn Bowls Association. 
 
Further information: 
Langkawi Development Authority 
Phone: (+604) 966 7186; Website: www.lada.gov.my 
 
November 
 
Deepavali 
Also known as 'Festival of Lights', Deepavali is celebrated by the Hindus who have a significant presence in the island. After dark the firecrackers illuminate the sky. Hindu homes as well as many shops &áestablishments lit up oil lamps. This is a way of praying to god for happiness, prosperity, peace and wisdom. For tourists this would be a great spectacle to watch island wide. 
 
Raja Muda Selangor International Regatta 
This is an international and challenging offshore annual sailing race. The yacht race begins at Port Klang, to Pangkor, to Penang and finishes at Langkawi. It involves three overnight passages with a total course distance of about 240 miles plus three days of harbor racing in Penang and Langkawi. The race is organized by Royal Selangor Yacht Club. 
 
Further information: 
Royal Selangor Yacht Club 
Phone: +603 3168 6964; Email (General Inquiry): [email protected] 
 
Langkawi Nature Festival 
This is a relatively new festival that celebrates the wide range of birds, butterflies and wildlife in Langkawi. There are recorded 226 species of birds including the Great Hornbill, the rare Brown Winged King Fisher etc and over 500 butterflies. One of the key objectives is to build a bird &ábutterfly list for the island. The festival will also include activities like Eco &áNature Walk at Gunung Raya mountain, Nature Workshops &áTalks conducted by renowned naturalists of the island, and Nature Trade &áExhibition Fair where various related items would be on sale. The festival is organized by Natural History Tours Sdn Bhd. 
 
Further information: 
Natural History Tours Sdn Bhd 
Phone: á+6019 225 2300; Email: [email protected] 
 
December 
 
Langkawi Craft Festival 
Every year the Langkawi Craft Complex provides retail space to local businessmen to showcase and sell art &ácraft created by local artists and artisans. Some of the great handicraft items include batik prints on silk, silverware, wood &ápaper crafted items and more. The Craft Complex itselfs is a massive storehouse of local handicraft items of all types. 
 
Further information: 
Langkawi Craft Complex 
Phone: +604 959 1913 
 
Christmas Celebrations 
Due to large tourist influx during this time, the entire island gets into festive mood. On 25th of December, many shops, restaurants and other establishments ornate themselves with colorful lights and other decor in the evening. The glittering restaurants offer innovative dishes and get full with tourists and locals. The best places to enjoy the lights would be Pantai Cenang and Kuah town. 
 
 
 
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