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Due to Kuching’s large Chinese population, several Chinese festivals are very widely celebrated in the city. The biggest is undoubtedly Chinese New Year, which occurs sometime in late January or February each year. There are many traditions and rituals associated with this holiday, the most evident of which are large banquets (with noodles and dumplings being especially popular foods), dragon dances and firecrackers (though these are technically not allowed in the city). Chinese people also give red envelopes of money to children, visit relatives and follow many customs to ensure good luck that may seem obscure to foreigners, such as avoiding scissors and housecleaning. Another popular Chinese festival is the Moon Festival, which occurs on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month (usually late September, but occasionally early October). Take this opportunity to eat some moon cakes, which are pastries filled with various pastes, with the most common being lotus seed and sweet red bean.
The city is also home to a very large Muslim population (Malaysia is officially an Islam state, though other religions are generally tolerated), which means that Muslim holidays have great significance here as well. Hari Raya Aidil Fitri (Eid ul-Fitr), marking the end of Ramadan, is especially big. On this day, mosques hold special prayers and people spend the entire day celebrating in festival attire, visiting relatives, and eating good food.