Maximize your Penang experience by adding one of these culturally-rich festivals into your bucket list!
Visitors ever only go to Penang for three things: the local delicacies, George Town, and the Batu Ferringhi beach. Not to mention, our country’s never-ending summer, makes it even easier for us to explore and get the most out of the Penang Island.
And now, we’ll get to discover more of Penang because there’ll be numerous of festivals happening starting this July! Here are our top picks of 5 upcoming festivals in Penang that promises you unmissable local experiences:
1. Penang Bon Odori Festival 2019
Celebrated with lively drum performances and group dances, the ‘Obon’, or ‘Bon’ Festival is a traditional Japanese-Buddhist custom in honouring and welcoming the return of ancestral spirits, who return once a year to visit their families.
There will also be an endless row of booths selling a variety of local and Japanese food and snacks, Japanese clothing, souvenirs, and even mini games that will keep the crowd entertained!
Date: 20th July 2019
Time: 6pm – 10:30pm
Address: Queensbay Mall Outdoor Car Park, Persiaran Bayan Indah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang
Admission is free.
2. George Town Festival
For the purpose in delivering George Town’s inscription as a UNESCO world heritage site and its outstanding universal values, the International renowned annual event showcases the diversity and richness of local culture and arts for 16 days, featuring vast amount of visual art, photography, theater, and performances from both at local and international levels.
George Town Festival is a platform that continuously aims to actively engage and connect with the local residents, simultaneously hoping to improve their quality of life and living environment.
Date: 13th July – 28th July 2019
3. Penang Hill Festival
The Penang Hill Festival returns for the second time in a year straight with more than 20 exciting activities ranging from educational workshops, photo exhibition, competitions, and morning explorations on the hidden gems in the hill that is going to happen in just 4 days.
If you enjoy music, bring along your friends and family to the ‘Music on the Hill’ concert, featuring special performances by the Sada Borneo all-male pop band, who are also the winner of the 2014’s Asia’s Got Talent.
Date: 18th July – 21st July 2019
Address: Penang Hill, Jalan Stesen Bukit Bendera, Air Itam, 11500 Penang
4. Penang Hungry Ghost Festival
According to the belief of traditional Chinese community, the seventh month in the lunar calendar is the return of restless spirits and ghosts from hell to earth in search of food freely or visiting their living ancestors.
It is the perfect opportunity for tourists to watch the Chinese cultural practice in action, with many people burning faux money and other offerings on the road, as it is believed that it can be used in the ghosts’ afterlife. Food is also left out to satisfy the appetite of the hungry ghosts.
Date: 1st August – 29th August 2019
5. Bagan Festival @ Butterworth Art Walk – Heritage Celebration
The Bagan Festival, which is going to be held at Butterworth Art Walk this year, is inspired through “Car Free evenings” to reduce car usage on roads. Moreover, the event draws the community closer in celebrating local art and culture by selling traditional cutleries and food.
Date: 20th July 2019
Address: Butterworth Art Walk, Lorong Bagan Luar 2
Time: 4pm – 11pm