How to Celebrate Christmas in Malaysia

Christmas decorations in Malaysia's shopping malls © Gavin Anderson/Flickr
Christmas decorations in Malaysia's shopping malls © Gavin Anderson/Flickr
Photo of Lu Yin Wai
6 November 2017

Locals and expats share the fun and joy together on Christmas – friends and family indulge with Christmas food, gift exchanges and drinks. Malaysia doesn’t have a ‘white Christmas’, but this festive season is filled with warmth, cheers and excitement. Here’s how to celebrate Christmas in Malaysia.

Christmas mass at churches

Experience the morning and/or night Christmas mass at the local churches. Learn the meaning of Christmas celebrated by Christians. Different churches have their own programme, including prayers, that give devotees a memorable Christmas. Be amazed by the carol group and live music band singing Christmas songs followed by a play inspired by stories and real-life Christmas experience. The event ends with delicious Christmas dishes to fill up your tummy.

Eat Christmas delicacies

Christmas is the most wonderful time to savour mouthwatering delights. Malaysians normally eat medium portions of various Christmas delicacies, including roast meat (turkey, chicken or lamb), mashed potatoes, salads, assorted steamed vegetables, with desserts and drinks. They also add in a few Malaysian dishes such as curries and satay (skewered meat grilled over charcoal) to delight their local palate. Fruit cakes (chopped candied fruits and nuts soaked in brandy) and mince pies (mix of dried fruits and spices) are mostly eaten as desserts during Christmas.

Taking photos of Christmas decorations at shopping malls

Every Christmas, major shopping malls are decorated with glittery lights, shining balls and stars and shimmery streamers. The largest Christmas trees are placed in the center of shopping malls surrounded by decorations such as wooden houses and soldiers, snow globes, toys and others based on their unique themes. You will be taken into the Christmas Wonderland as you walk into the shopping malls. We recommend checking out the vibrant decorations as Midvalley Megamall, Pavilion, One Utama and Suria KLCC.

Christmas decorations at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur | © SAM Cheong/Flickr

Gift-shopping at Christmas bazaars

Thinking what memorable gifts to give to friends and families? How about shopping at Christmas bazaars? Vendors and artisans sell their handcrafted works – clothing, greeting cards, scented candles, mini figurines, bookmarks and many more. Browse through the stalls and be mesmerized by the detailed Christmas crafts. Have a chat with the local vendors and artisans about Christmas and their works. In between, have some homemade baked goods, like brownies and gingerbread cookies.

Watch live Christmas performances

Entertain yourself by watching live Christmas showcases, mostly held in shopping malls and hotels. Carol groups, live music bands, and stage performers bring in the Christmas joy and spirit to the audiences. Some performers may invite you to join in the fun. For something different, watch live music and theatre concerts at the Theatre Lounge Café. Dance and sing along to your favourite Christmas classics and contemporary hits while watching the performances.


Want to be in the winter wonderland? Put on your ice-skating shoes and glide gracefully on ice at Malaysia’s indoor ice-skating rinks. It’s one of the most popular recreational activities in the area. Show off your ice-skating moves or just have fun gliding around on the rinks. We recommend ice-skating at Royale Chulan Damansara and Sunway Pyramid Ice. The price for both adults and children is between RM $20 – RM $28 (USD $5 – USD $7).

Glide at Malaysia’s indoor ice-skating rinks | © verkeorg/Flickr

Tropical islands getaway

Enjoy your Christmas by having a peaceful tropical getaway at Malaysia’s islands of sandy beaches and tranquil seas. Escape from the busy city and go scuba diving, island hopping or jungle hiking on the islands. The island resorts provide wonderful Christmas experience to beach-goers including delicious food and live performances. Soak in the sun and sea breeze at Langkawi and Perhentian Islands.

Sunset in Langkawi | © i.gunawan/Flickr

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