Malaysia is a melting pot of regional cultures and all the way back when the Portuguese were sailing our region they settled in an area we now call Melaka and home to the Kristang people. Being of Portuguese ethnicity many are Catholics and of course celebrate the Christmas festival with much joy and color.
The “Portuguese Settlement” is also known as Saint John’s Village or Kampung Portugis. In 1933, 11 hectares of land at Malacca was purchased with the purpose of housing the scattered Kristang people. The land was cleared and 10 wooden houses with earth floors were built. Saint John’s village was initially a simple fishin village and eventually began attracting more Kristang from other areas of Malacca. The village soon grew to become one of Malacca’s main tourist attractions, improving the standard of living of its villagers and the community.
The Portuguese Settlement in Melaka is widely known as the best place to celebrate Christmas in Malaysia. It even attracts tourists during this time of the year to come to the settlement to witness the celebrations and the decorations. The entire settlement transforms to celebrate the Christmas Festival and there is no other place in Malaysia that you will find that can match it.
The entire village lights up during the Christmas season, quite literally. Homes are decorated with lights and homemade Christmas decorations can be seen in and around the community. Nativity scenes are placed where ever the eye can see as the neighborhood begins to celebrate the festival. Christmas trees are in every home decorated with bright and colorful ornaments and everyone is in the festive spirit. These are the main reasons that many people say it’s the best place in Malaysia to celebrate Christmas.
Together with all the bright lights and decorations, the village prepare Christmas delicacies traditional to the community – these are something you have to treat yourself to (you can put the diet on hold when you visit this place).
If you are planning to visit, do make sure you go and experience the amazing festivities at this time of the year. Also, do support the community with your spending power at this time of the year.