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George Town Heritage Celebrations 2018
July 7, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm UTC+7
When on 7 July 2008 UNESCO granted World Heritage status to Penang’s capital George Town, the local government marked the event by declaring it a public holiday and the George Town Heritage Celebrations have kept on growing ever since.
To honour UNESCO’s recognition, a community-centred festival is held each year around the old streets of the city to celebrate its buildings, culture and history. Events are usually centred around a theme and this year’s is ‘Potential’, exploring the city’s future based on its past narratives and current experiences. Twenty-one local communities will gather to share their culture and traditions with residents and visitors through street performances, site excursions and interactive workshops including handmade crafts. This being Malaysia, expect a lot of exquisite traditional food.
Visitors will experience the living culture not only of George Town but also of the communities around it, with some celebrations focusing on rare and endangered traditions in a festive effort to keep them alive.
As the only state in Malaysia to have a Chinese majority population, Penang’s culture is in many ways a reflection of Asia itself. The oldest of the British Straits settlements, George Town exemplifies Malaysia’s colonial past and mixed-heritage. When you wander through the city you’ll encounter quirky Chinese shops, narrow roads, colonial-era mansions, lots of temples and ‘little India’ quarters – venture outwards and a landscape of tropical beaches, rain forests and lakes awaits you.
While in Malaysia, why not go to Sabah: Land of Mountains, Rainforest and Orangutan.
Some of the city’s highlights include the award-winning Cheong Fatt Ze Mansion with its successfully restored 18th and 19th century Chinese architecture; the historical Fort Cornwallis, the largest standing fort in Malaysia and one of Penang’s best known landmarks; the Kek Lok Si Temple, arguably the largest Buddhist temple complex in Southeast Asia and housing a stunning collection of Buddha statues; the 19th century Kapitan Keling Mosque with its Moghul-style copper domes; St. George’s Church, dating from 1816 and often described as Penang’s most beautiful heritage landmark; and plenty of other highlights to get your fill.
George Town Heritage Celebrations 2018 will take place on 7 July from 6pm to 11pm for the street performances and workshops, while free site excursions will be organised on 6, 7 and 8 July. The site excursions are free for Malaysians and RM100 for non-Malaysians.
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