Hari Merdeka: Happy Malaysian Independence Day
Malaysia is a feast for the senses—incredibly tasty cuisine, lively street culture, world-renowned entertainment, and first-class events—that excites all who visit here. There is always something new to experience on a trip to Mayalsia, but a favorite amongst our Celebrity Cruises crew who regularly sail here is the annual Hari Merdeka celebration.
Every August 31, Malaysia celebrates the day it became independent from British colonial rule in 1957. The national holiday, is attended by thousands of Malaysians and tourists alike, is a heady mix of patriotism and partying for young and old alike, featuring beautiful dances, patriotic singing, and delightful flag ceremonies.
The highlight of the holiday is the Hari Merdeka parade, which is usually held at Merdeka Square in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. (Merdeka Square is where Malaysia’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, chanted the word “Merdeka” seven times as the British Union Jack was lowered and the new Malaysian flag was raised.)
Malaysia’s king, queen, prime minister and cabinet members all attend the Hari Merdeka parade, as do government and military officials. The day begins with the arrival of the sovereigns, as the national anthem “Negaraku” is played. Next is the Royal Inspection of the gathered battalions, followed by a flag raising, gun salute and recitation of the “Rukunegara,” or National Principles. The cultural performances and float-filled parade round out the celebrations.
Have you sailed to Malaysia with Celebrity? Have you experienced the Hari Merdeka celebrations? We would love to hear from you!
Cruisers interested in adding a trip to Malaysia should check out Celebrity’s Asia cruises for the rest of 2014 and 2015.