“A Christmas Carol, Sarawak in Diversity” is a biggest Christmas Carol gathering in Malaysia, as won and written in the Malaysia Book of Records on 3rd December 2023 at Padang Merdeka Kuching, Sarawak with a total of 2479 participants in a Christmas carol singing event. Everyone participate in singing of the famous classic Christmas song together and dance with the music.
Event : Christmas Carol gathering and light up of Christmas tree
Title : ‘A Christmas Carol, Sarawak in Diversity’
Date : 3rd December 2023
Time : 7:00PM – 10:00PM, officially started at 8:15PM
Venue : Padang Merdeka, Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg, 93000 Kuching, Sarawak
Organizer : Unit for Other Religions (Unifor), Supported by TV Sarawak
The Padang Merdeka is a huge open field at the Kuching City center, located just in front of Plaza Merdeka shopping complex, it is a place not to be missed when visiting Kuching City. The field can occupy thousands of people at a time. It is a prime location for major events in Kuching City.
As early as 4PM, participants start to gather at the Padang Merdeka. They will need to officially register their attendance to the Christmas Carol event and will be given a free meal for the night. At 4:30 PM the rehearsal of the carol team started.
The main attraction in Padang Merdeka field is a 3 storey tall decorated Christmas tree. Located in front of the Plaza Merdeka shopping mall, the Christmas tree looks amazing even in the day. On the roof of the shopping mall there is a inflatable Santa clause mascot looking down at the Christmas tree.
Participants of the Christmas Carol event:
- St Joseph Cathedral
- St Mark’s Church
- St Ann’s Church
- Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS)
- Sarawak Evangelical Church
- Sarawak Blessed Church (SECA)
- Holy Trinity Church
- Ngajat Asal Iban (NGASI) Association
- Members of the Taoist, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, and Baha’i communities
- General Publics
At 7:00 PM, the pre-event started with warm up and group rehearsal for all the participants of the Christmas Carol. There are already more than 2500 people gather at the Padang Merdeka field, with Carol participants and also general public.
All the Christmas Carol participants wearing white shirt and red hats. It is a amazing view as the field is light up with flood lights, and participants wave their hands together.
The participants practice through with the carol songs several time during the pre-event rehearsal. The spirit is high and everyone enjoying the singing of the Christmas carol songs.
List of Carol Songs being performed :
- O Holy Night
- Feliz Navidad
- We Wish You a Merry Christmas
- Carols of the Bells
- Deck the Halls
- 12 Days of Christmas
- Last Christmas
At 8:15PM all the VIP arrived at the stage and the lighting up of the Large Christmas tree in front of Plaza Merdeka officially began with a touch of the tree. The Christmas tree was lit up with LED lights, accompany with a dramatic music. Everyone lift up their phones to take a photo on the lighting up of the three story tall Christmas tree.
The lighting up of the Christmas tree was officiated by Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian, who represented Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, accompanied by Minister in the Premier’s Department Dato Sri John Sikie Tayai. Others who accompanied the event including several state cabinet members Datuk Gerawat Gala (Deputy Minister in Premier’s Department of Labour, Immigration and Project Monitoring) , Dato Gerald Rentap Jabu (Deputy Minister of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development), Datuk Snowdan Lawan (Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts), Datuk Liwan Lagang (Deputy Minister of Utility and Telecommunication), Deputy State Secretary Datu Hii Chang Kee, Kuching South mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng, Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) director Datu Jack Aman Luat and Kuching Roman Catholic Archbishop Simon Poh.
After the lighting up of the Christmas tree, it is followed by the singing of the Christmas Carol songs. This event was being officially awarded and being recorded as the biggest Christmas carol in Malaysia in the Malaysia Book of Records with caroling of 2479 people together in a Christmas carol. It is far surpassing the initial targeted participants of 1500 carolers in a Christmas carol. It had being a magnificent achievement. Everyone sing the carol with high spirit and the carol music can be heard from far.
After the carol of thousand people, the event continue with choir in a cappella. The event end successfully with everyone satisfy with the events and thanks the organizer for making this event possible and memorable.
Weather there will be another great Christmas Carol event to be organized in future years is still up to debate, however the moment already being saved in many participants memories.