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Special Events
Gendang Nusantara Festival
The Gendang Nusantara Festival in historic Melaka is celebrated the traditional cultures and music of the Malay Archipelago. It is held in the various parts of the city such as Padang Pahlawan, Mahkota Parade and Dataran Sejarah in Ayer Keroh reverberated with excitement in April. People from all walks of life joined in the revelry brought about by the 21 participating groups, which came from all over Malaysia and Indonesia such as Jambi, Pekan Baru and Pontianak in Kalimantan. Not only were they adept drummers, but their drums themselves came in all types and sizes much to the delight of the crowds. In addition, dancers from Penang, Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu, Perlis and other states presented traditional dances to the accompaniment of the drums. A highlight was the Dabus dance from Perak when the performer pricked himself with a sharp iron rod.

Melaka Historic City Celebration
This is an annual event to commemorate the Declaration of Melaka as the Historic City of Malaysia which falls on 15th April. The grand launch of this celebration is followed by a parade of brightly lighted and colorful floats. Accompanying the floats is a colorful procession consisting of cultural troupes representing the various communities in Malaysia, decorated trishaws and bullock carts and music bands.

Mengamay Festival
More than 2,000 people from the Chitty community in Malaysia and Singapore gathered in Melaka for the annual Mariaman Thirunal or Mengamay Festival normally held at the end of April till the beginning of May. The Chitty are descendants of wealthy traders from the Coromandel Coast in southern India. They came to Melaka in the mid-15th century, and some married local Malay women. Islam had not come to Melaka yet, so the women were taught Hindu rites and rituals by their staunch Hindu husbands. Later, the Chitty adopted some Malay customs as well and became fluent in Malay, the lingua franca of Melaka.

This two-week long festival comprises night chanting prayers and a special ceremony called 'Akhni Kapray' performed at the end of first week. The highlight of this festival transpires on the Goddess's birthday which will be more than 1,000 devotees take place in the procession starts from dawn till dark. Some were fulfilling their vows by performing the Alboo, the piercing of cheek and tongue with long skewers or embedding of hooks at the back of their body and showing no pain as they fell into a trance.

Melaka Tourism Week
A week-long celebration held in the final week of May showcasing the unique traditions, culture and cuisine of Melaka. Local hotels offer a tempting variety of dished during this occasion.

Melaka Historic City Marathon
An international marathon for both locals and foreigners held in the month of June. The route takes in Melaka's many tourist attractions and historical sites.

Feast of San Pedro
Festa de San Pedro or the Feast of St Peter is a festival unique to the Portuguese Eurasian community of Melaka. This festival is held at the Portuguese settlement in Ujung Pasir. The festival is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of St. Peter, the patron saint of fishermen. Special prayers and a fiesta are held to thank the saint for protecting the Portuguese fishing community. The tradition is kept alive for more than 500 years. Decorated fishing boats, prayer offerings for a better season, Biblical banners and lights are part and parcel of the celebration. Evenings are filled with endless merry-making and dancing the 'Branyo', 'Chirkoti', 'Serempah de Mar' and other dances. The festival is said to be similar to the Geysey Barco (Blessing of the Fleet) traditionally held off Lisbon.

The week-long festival, which starts on June 29 every year, usually includes competitions for the best-decorated boat, the best langgiang fisherman (the one with the biggest shrimp catch) and the best cook for traditional dishes.

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