On September 16, the country celebrates Malaysia Day - in memory of September 16 1963 when North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore joined Malaysia. Singapore left the federation 2 years later again.
Merdeka day and Malaysia day are both public holidays.
The formation of Malaysia and its independence followed centuries of foreign influence on former Malaya. It was under Portuguese influence in the 16th century, under Dutch influence in the 17th century and eventuelly become a British colony, interrupted by the Japanese occupation from 1941 to 1945. Read more about the complex and interesting history of Malaysia / Malaya on Wikipedia: History of Malaysia
End the end of every August, the country is decorated with an overdose of Malaysian flags to celebrate Merdeka Day. Here are some images from August 2012 in Kuala Lumpur:
Sultan Abdul Samad Building on Merdeka Square
Merdeka Square awaiting the festivities and the parade that happens here on the August 31
the allegedly world's highest flag pole at Dataran Merdeka
Malaysian flags at Petaling Street in Chinatown
giant Malaysian flag at the constuction of a highrise building
Who has the biggest flag?