Ramadhan in Malaysia – 9 Things to Know Before Visiting

Ramadan in Malaysia is unlike any other place in this world.

With about 61% Muslim population in the country, the country has its own unique traditions and customs for welcoming and celebrating the holy month.

During the month of Ramadhan, some norms and rules should be observed.

Ramadhan in Malaysia

Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about Ramadhan in Malaysia

How is Ramadhan in Malaysia? – Things You Should Know Before Visiting

Muslims from outside Malaysia and non-muslims would probably wonder, “how is Ramadhan in Malaysia?”

Especially if you had no exposure to the country before and do not know any locals there.

As a Malaysian and Muslim myself, these are a couple of things that you should know:

Is Ramadhan a Holiday in Malaysia?

With such a large population of Muslims, it’s natural to think that maybe the country is on holiday throughout the fasting month.

However, let me tell you that is not true.

Business still carries on as usual. However, it may be at a slower pace than before.

And some operate on different business timings compared to non-fasting months, with work starting and ending earlier (in between 30 minutes to 1-hour of its usual timing)

Quieter than usual

During the day, the mall, the shops, and organizations still operate.

However, you will notice that some things may be quieter and slower than usual.

This can differ from Ramadhan Bazaars, or Aidilfitri Bazaars opened towards the day’s end and the fasting month’s end.

Many Muslims and non-Muslims buy local food at these bazaars and shop for all necessities needed for the upcoming Eid al Fitr (Hari Raya Aidilfitri in Malay).

Are the restaurants open?

Because Malaysia is a multicultural country, there are still restaurants and cafes operating throughout Ramadhan.

If they are owned by non-muslims like Chinese, Indians, Eurasians, and the Native people, you can expect these diners and restaurants to be operating as usual.

If they are owned by Muslims (Malays & some native tribes), the restaurants are most likely open towards iftar (around 3-4 pm onwards). For takeout or dine-in during iftar (between 6:30-7:40 pm)

Mosques are packed with worshippers

You can hear the mosque putting some Quran narration on speaker in Muslim-majority neighborhoods or nearby State Mosques.

While this is common even outside of Ramadhan months, its usage is increased more than usual during the fasting month.

Regardless, it is a pleasant atmosphere to be surrounded by during the holy month!

Many mosques usually held camps on tahajjud (late-night prayer) and the last ten nights.

If you are a Muslim who’s not a Malaysian citizen, you’d want to experience worship in the country during Ramadhan!

FREE Mosque Banquets & Bubur Lambuk for Iftar

Like other Muslim and Muslim-majority countries globally, Malaysia has its own “FREE iftar giveaway.”

If in Arab countries, it is usually bread and mandy; in Malaysia, it is Bubur Lambuk.

Bubur Lambuk is a savory congee given out to anyone from the mosque when it’s near iftar (from 4:00 pm onwards).

This is a typical daily tradition of the Kampung Baru Mosque Committee, in which you can see pedestrians, motorcyclists, and car drivers getting bubur lambuk for free from the side of the road.

Besides that, the mosques in Malaysia also have their own FREE iftar banquets. This is usually held inside the courtyard of the mosques, just outside of the prayer hall.

The menu changes daily and sometimes depend on what is given by donors.

Ramadhan Bazaar – Malaysian street food tradition

Another aspect of Ramadhan in Malaysia is the Ramadhan Bazaars!

And finally, Alhamdullilah for Malaysia in Ramadhan 2022, the bazaars are back!

Open from 2:00 pm onwards, in various country locations, this is the one of the best food and cultural experience all walks of life can experience in Malaysia.

The Ramadhan bazaars are like an experience in themselves, as cooking and food can make you really understand the culture of Malaysia. Not only that, but you can also experience how the hawkers lure buyers to come to their stall.

Here, you’ll get a diverse selection of food! From Malay cooking to Siamese, Chinese fusion, Indian, Arab, and more! The best part is that it is ALL HALAL!

Check out the video below for a gist of what Ramadhan Bazaars in Malaysia are like, including what and how to buy, like a local!
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Pro-tip: Towards the end of the Ramadhan month, you can expect some of the stalls in the bazaars to be empty.

This is because some hawkers are already preparing for the Eid celebration.

Thinking of what to buy on your next Ramadhan Bazaar trip in Malaysia? Check these out!

Charitable Giving

Charitable giving is part of the Islamic tradition of the Ramadhan month.

In Malaysia, the act of sharing Ramadhan’s blessings with the orphans and the poor is observed by all levels of society that are able – from the government bodies to business agencies and individuals.

The many ways of giving back in Malaysia are cooking, donating physical goods or money, and spending time in joy with the poor and the orphans at selected institutions.

Learn more about Ramadhan traditions in Malaysia, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Indonesia in this All About Ramadan Panel session that Muslim Solo Travel participated in!

Ramadan Buffet Malaysia

Malaysia is significant with its Iftar traditions.

If you don’t fancy hanging around the crowds at Ramadhan Bazaars, maybe a buffet would be your thing!

There are a lot of Ramadhan buffets held in the country. Most of them are located in hotels and convention centers.

The good thing about the Ramadhan buffet is that you get all sorts of dishes typically sold in the Ramadhan bazaar in one place within reach.

These hotels and convention centers are usually equipped with nearby praying facilities.

Moreh – Malaysian Ramadhan Supper

Another unique tradition of the country is Moreh.

This is basically Ramadhan supper, held after Tarawih (night) prayers.

During this time, Malays gather for the second round of eating. Some would get the chance to eat properly as they couldn’t have a heavy meal during iftar (to conserve energy for praying).

Did you know? By the law of the Malaysian Government, all Malays are Muslims.

Some favorite snacks during Moreh are Roti John, and Suntong Tutok (in Sarawak).

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Related article: Ramadhan Food in Sarawak, Malaysia [What to Buy at Bazaars!]

Useful Ramadhan in Malaysia Resources

Final Thoughts

I hope this Ramadhan in Malaysia guide was helpful! In the comments, let me know what other Malaysia Ramadhan traditions are that one should know!

More Ramadhan related articles:

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