|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
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.
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.