Every year, Kuala Lumpur comes alive with independence day celebrations which sees festivities, concerts and military parades fill the streets around Merdeka Square.
Early starts may not be our favourite thing in the world but if you find yourself in Kuala Lumpur in August we think setting the alarm early might be worth it. Held every year, the Hari Merdeka (Independence) Day Celebration marks the day in 1957 when Malaysia was declared independent from British rule. Parades, marches and lots of locals waving flags - this is one for your cultural diary.
Due to its popularity, arriving early (we're talking 7am) is advisable; the celebration is attended by thousands of visitors and hundreds of photographers who arrive at dawn to nab a spot. Held in iconic Merdeka Square (opposite the magnificent Sultan Abdul Samad building) the festivities include military processions, marching bands and a general sense of national pride and harmony. In the week leading up to Merdeka Day there are also citywide markets, fireworks displays and open-air concerts.
So while hitting the snooze button might be all too appealing, remember that you don't often get to witness a citywide celebration on this scale. Grab a coffee and get yourself to the front row; the spectacle is worth it.
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