Sarawak festivals and event are a year round affair. Steeped in traditional animistic beliefs and influences of world religions and its rich cultural heritage, the colourful ethnic tribes in this Land of Hornbill celebrates a potpourri of events and festival throughout the year.
Sarawak is a state that boasts of a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society. The festivals celebrated in the region bears testimony to multiculturalism of the state;
Festivals like Chinese New Year, Christmas, Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, and National day.
But then there are certain Sarawak festivals that showcase the indigenous culture of Sarawak people like Kaul, Gawai Dayak among others.
Gawai Dayak... this celebration of unity, aspiration and
hope for the Dayaks (collective name for the natives races of Sarawak.)
marks the end of the rice harvest and ushers in another year of
bountiful goodness. It is a feast for the eyes with its colourful
rituals, traditional music, cock-fighting, feasting and games. It is
simply a time of merrymaking.Gawai Dayak is another
popular festival of the region that marks the end of the rice harvest.
The festival is celebrated during the month of May or June. The festival
is much anticipated and women prepare indigenous delicacies a few days
before the festival.
The festival involves dancing and feasting, weddings and betrothals. If you visit Sarawak during this festival you can see the traditional customs, ceremonies, and traditional dresses if the indigenous people.
Kaul...the Melanau fishing
communities celebrate the Kaul which marks the beginning of the fishing
season after the monsoon ends. Not to be missed is an amusing event
called the bau here men and women compete to see how many can swing together at the end of a long rope swing.Kaul
is celebrated in mid March or early April by the Melanau community. The
festival is celebrated to placate the spirits at the beginning of the
fishing season. During the festival boats packed with offerings to the
spirits are floated on the sea.
One of the highlights of the festival is the dangerous game of tibou that entails young men to swing from the end of a single 10-metre rope. The center of Kaul celebration is the town of Mukah.
The Christmas which is a religious festivals is being celebrated by the Christians throughout Sarawak. Church and carol services are being conducted and organised by the various Christian denomination to usher in the Christmas Celebration. The Celebration is being celebrated on the 25th. day of December month.
Hari Raya Aidilfitri which mark the end of the fasting month
of Ramadan is celebrated by the Muslim Community throughout the State,
the day start with a Hari Raya prays at the various mosques then a visit
to the ancestor grave to offer prays and seek forgive. At the open
house, families and friends are served with variety of foods and cakes,
making it a merry occasion.
The Chinese community celebrated their Chinese New Year with lot of foods and merry making. Red packets are exchange among family and friends. The Chinese community regardless of their clan, be it Hokkien…Teochiew…Foochow…Hakka or Kek celebrate the occasion with Lion dance and lot of foods. The celebration ended with on the 15th. day, which call the Chop Go Mei.
Balleh Kapit Safari...an exciting river safari
race that begins with a night-long merrymaking, showcase the Iban
hospitality before the race is launched.
Visit during the second weekend of April and witness rafters steering their man-made natural rafts down rapid tributaries of Malaysia's longest river-Rejang, to Sarawak's last frontier town of Kapit. This even is open to international participants so do not miss this thrilling ride of a lifetime.
Kuching Festival...the anniversary of the declaration of Kuching as a city is celebrated every august. You will surely be entertained throughout this month long festival with activities from a city parade to nightly exhibitions, stage show, concerts and competitions. It is never a dull moment in the city.
Pesta Meow.. celebrated in the month of November is held in Kuching. It is the local cat festival that is popular among the cat lovers
These are just some of Sarawak festival and events being organised by local councils and the local community.
Rainforest World Music Festival is an extremely popular festival celebrated in the state, which attracts music lovers from all over the country and the world. The festival is held at the Sarawak Cultural Village, in the month of August.
Miri Jazz FestivalLatin Jazz, contemporary jazz, Caribbean Jazz, Asian Jazz and much more. All the different genres of jazz music find their way to the northern most city in Sarawak for an outdoor international festival with the ambiance of intimate jazz clubs for the easy relaxed people in Miri Resort City.
Besides these, many events are also held in the region like Rainforest Cup Mountain Bike Challenge, Bau International Raft Race, Borneo Cup Motorcross Championship, and Sarawak International Triathlon.
Some of the events might had been discontinued due to unforseen circumstances and replaced with new and more exciting events and festivals.
Sarawak Festivals and events are showcase of the multi-racial and culture of Sarawak people. We welcome you to join us to celebrate the various Sarawak Festivals and events held throughout the year.
Various event and festival are celebrated throughout the year...you can get more information on these from Sarawak Tourism Board which oversee the tourism industry in Sarawak.
Click Sarawak Festivals to return back to Sarawak Vacation Destinations.