Fiesta San Pedro commemorates the fishermen in the country, and takes place annually, between the 23rd and 29th of June. It is the perfect time of the year for tourists to crowd the Portuguese Settlement also known as Malacca, one of the finest places to visit in Malaysia.
The Portuguese Settlement is located along Malacca’s coastline, offering some outstanding views over the Straits of Malacca. The village is located at a 2-kilometer distance from the Malacca Town, and it is inhabited by around 1,000 residents, most of them descending from the Portuguese rulers who lived in Malacca. The arrangement exists since 1934, when it was established with the help of two priests, Reverend Father Jules Pierre Francois and Reverend Father Alvaro Manuel Coraodo. This is one of the reasons why this area is also known as the Priest’s Land, as well as Padre’s Sa Chang, one of the most significant places to visit during Fiesta San Pedro. The main idea that stood behind the creation of this area was that of helping the poorer inhabitants and of preserving their cultural heritage.
Most of the Settlement’s residents earned their existence by fishing, which is still a basic occupation. More than 15 families currently work in the fishing industry, producing Garing-garing (salted and sun-dried fish) and Belaccan (dried and fermented shrimp paste). As mentioned above, Fiesta San Pedro commemorates St. Peter, who is the patron saint of all fishermen in the world. This festival has a great experience of no less than 66 years behind, and its main goal is that of emphasizing the importance of the fishing experience within the seaside community.
The official date of this celebration is June 29, but the festivities start a week before. However, everything culminates on June 29. Once the evening comes, the celebration of High Mass takes place within the Settlement Church, as an honor brought to St. Peter. As soon as the Mass is over, the saint’s statue is carried around the Settlement, while the priests bless all the fishing boats. Do you want to know where to go in Malaysia to have a good time in June? Malacca is certainly a region that will exceed your expectations with its amazing fiesta.
The main festivities include amusement rides, flashing lights, blaring music, and countless bazaars where you can purchase a large number of impressive souvenirs for your loved ones. When the night falls, you can watch several live bands performing on a large stage. Cultural performances are a symbol for this community, whose main goal is that of presenting a unique combination between European and Asian features inherited. You will notice that most of the dances and costumes are a combination between European and Asian instruments and costumes, the most appreciated example being that of the branyo dance. This dance implies the tune of a Malay drum called rebana, and a violin. Male dancers are dressed in western outfits, while women wear the traditional batik, also known as bajukebaya.
The boats involved in this celebration are embellished using paintings and sketches of scenes taken from the New Testament, as well as Biblical figurines and several nets crowded with fish caught from the sea. Besides, all the little girls that live in the village are dressed in white so that they can look like angels. Taking part in the Fiesta San Pedro is one of the most cultural things to do in Malaysia in the month of June. The Settlement is known for being against other exterior influences, and its residents are doing their best to retain their old rituals and practices, even though they’re 500 years old.
What to do in Malaysia in June? Embark upon a unique experience and participate in Fiesta San Pedro if you’re accommodated in the vicinity of the Malacca Settlement. You will definitely enjoy listening to the live bands that will perform at the festival, not to mention that the wide range of bazaars will make you feel as if you were in heaven.
Choose to travel responsibly in Malaysia, and treasure their customs and traditions. Keep every place you’re attending clean and healthy for future travelers, and thus you’ll manage to extend the life of the habitat.