AS the end of 2011 draws to a near, many eager Aussie travellers are already looking to lock in their first getaway of 2012.
From mystical spiritual festivals, to fashion extravaganzas and world-class sporting events, Malaysia offers a variety of events and festivals that are set to appeal to Aussie travellers in early 2012.
Tourism Malaysia Sydney director Shahrin Mokhtar said these events are the perfect addition to the diverse and unique holiday options on offer in Malaysia.
"Malaysia is a nation that likes to celebrate. There are a wide variety of festivals and events set to take place in 2012, which will appeal to different tastes and interests. Being part of one of Malaysia's celebrations or events is the perfect addition to your holiday and provides an interesting insight into the country's diverse and rich culture," Mokhtar said.
Chinese New Year
Location: Throughout Malaysia
Date: January 23, 2012
Chinese New Year is a time for celebration and merrymaking in Malaysia and is one of the most important events on the festival calendar.
Family reunion feasts and open houses are a common feature and children receive ang pows or little red money packets from the elders.
Kuala Lumpurparticularly comes to life with the city's streets adorned in decorations and hosting a range of celebrations, including lion dance acts. Many residents from villages outside of the city also converge on Kuala Lumpur, to take part in the celebrations.
ThaipusamFestival Batu Caves
Location: BatuCaves, Kuala Lumpur
Date: February 7, 2012
One event on the Malaysian calendar not to be missed is the Hindu Thaipusam Festival at Batu Caves.
This three day festival involves a spectacular religious procession of hundreds of thousands of people making their way up to the Batu Caves to honour Lord Murugan. The procession to the caves starts in Kuala Lumpur and proceeds for 15 kilometres to the caves, a challenging journey which includes climbing a flight of 272 steps to the top.
Petronas Malaysian FI Grand Prix
Location: Sepang International Circuit
Date: March 23-25, 2012
Renowned as one of the most prestigious motorsport events in the world, the 2012 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix will challenge the world's finest riders at the Sepang International Circuit.
MalaysiaInternational Shoe Festival
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Date: March 29 to April 1, 2012
For all the shopaholics out there with a passion for shoes, the Malaysia International Shoe Festival is the perfect way to indulge. From glamorous stilettos to stylish sandals, classic pumps and trendy boots, the festival takes visitors on a fascinating journey into the world of designer footwear.
Colours of 1Malaysia
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Date: May 2012
Malaysia's premier cultural extravaganza will be back to dazzle everyone. Visitors will enjoy a variety of spectacular traditional performances, colourful parades and exhibitions that will showcase the country's arts and crafts.
Celebrations including street dancing are followed by an extravagant parade, and capped off with a fireworks display.
*Dates may change closer to the event.
For more information on Malaysia's events and festival calendar and confirmed dates closer to the event, please visit Tourism Malaysia.