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Kelantan was blessed in a flash of lightning. According to popular belief, the name of Kelantan was derived from "kilatan", the Malay word for lightning, a cosmic phenomenon frequently lighting the way for early seafarers sailing into the mouth of the Kelantan River. The Land of Lightning, an intriguing potpourri of multi-cultural, multi-religious influences that gives it what the locals call the Kelate’ flavour.

The Kelate’ dialect in itself is interesting as many words in the dialect are not found in the Malay language. Kelantan is often referred to as the "Cradle of the Malay Culture" as the culture and age old traditions are still very much alive till this day. Dubbed as "The Home of the Cottage Industries", traditional crafts such as Batik, Songket, Silvercraft, Wood Carving, Kris Making are some of the many types of Cottage Industries you will find here as you journey through the Land of Lightning.

Kelantan's environment is a little different than most of the rest of Malaysia. With her latitude extending further north, than all but one other state, she has milder temperatures than most of Malaysia and her position facing the South China Sea often makes for breezes in the areas close to the sea. This has its benefits as well as disadvantages. With breezes coming in from the sea she tends to be a little more humid than other states, and with cooler, humid air moving inland towards the Main Range this can mean rain. This suits the majority of Kelantan's people just fine as theirs is an agriculture based economy, and the plants grown here demand a certain amount of moisture.

However, in September or October the winds from the South China Sea begin to pickup speed, and the humid air is pushed inland much farther. With heavy winds continually blowing, the trapped air has no place to go but up. Combining with the warmer air coming over the Main Range the monsoon season begins.

The word "monsoon" to most people, usually brings to mind images of howling winds, torrential downpours, never-ending rain, soaking everything in sight, and this can be true. However, in Kelantan it usually means that at some point during the day, it is going to rain. Often both, in the morning and at night, but during most days you can be assured of a fair amount of rain.

There are times when the westerly winds and continuing rain combine to create flooding by constantly feeding the Kelantan River and its many tributaries with more water, while at the same time the large waves in the South China Sea prevent the Kelantan River from emptying into it. This flooding occurs on occasions and is expected fairly often, in low lying areas during monsoon season. This serves to replenish the soil and guarantee future crops. Sometimes, this had caused major flooding in Kota Bharu itself, but this is the exception rather than the rule.

This is an interesting time in Kelantan as the fishing villages now turn their attention to much needed maintenance on their brightly painted boats, repair nets and equipment for the upcoming season. 

edited from

BACHOK MALAYA INC. Kg Rusa, 16070 Jelawat, Bachok, Kelantan, MALAYSIA