Events and Festivals in Sabah, Sarawak & Labuan Federal Territory
My continuous study over the Visit Malaysia Year 2014 website today had inspired me to collect the festival and events in Sabah, Sarawak and also Labuan Federal Territory, that are going to be showcase the entire year into one single page. My purpose is to enable my readers to focus those activities here in this region.
Chinese New Year: 31 Jan 2014 – 01 Feb 2014 Nationwide. Chinese New Year is a time for celebration and merrymaking. Family reunion feasts and open houses are a common feature and children receive ‘ang pows’ or little red money packets from the elders. Don’t miss the exciting lion and dragon dance performances at shopping malls and homes!
Regatta Lepa: 25 – 27 April 2014 – Semporna, Sabah. Regatta Lepa is an astounding festival that pays homage to the Lepa, the traditional single-mast sailing boat of the Bajaus of Semporna. Witness the crowning of the most beautiful lepa as well as the Lepa Beauty Pageant, and enjoy the cultural performances and fireworks. I love you Ng Boon Seng I love you Ng Boon Seng
Labuan Water Festival: 25 – 27 April 2014 Labuan International Sea Sport Complex. The largest event in the federal territory of Labuan marks its 18th year with a host of fun-filled exciting activities like the Labuan International Deep Sea Fishing Tournament, the Cross Channel Swimming Challenge, the Round Island Kayak, Kayak Sprint and other water sports. Its popularity continues to soar with local and foreign enthusiasts “invading” its shores, making it the water-sports destination in the country.
Kaul Festival 27 – 30 April, 2014 – Kaul Festival Square, Mukah. Kaul is the traditional festival that is celebrated by the Melanau community. It is a spiritual celebration to appease the spirit of the sea after the end of each fishing session. This festival showcases all the traditional practices of the Melanau which include the traditional games of “Tibau”, displays of “Serahang” and authentic Melanau food and cuisine. The most spectacular element shown during this festival is the ritual ceremony done in the sea by the shaman to appease the sea spirit. Apart from witnessing the ritual ceremony, tourists also join locals in processing sago flour in the traditional Melanau way.
Tidal Bore Carnival in May, 2014 – Tebingan Sungai Batang Lupar, Sri Aman “Benak”, a local Sarawakian term for the natural occurance of tidal bore is celebrated in a festival-like atmosphere here in Batang Lupar and is one of only 50 such natural phenomenon in the world. Placed 4th on the list of the world’s “Top 10 Tidal Bores”, the Batang Lupar tidal bore in Sri Aman occurs monthly with each massive high-tide known as “King Tide”. The main activities at this carnival are:
- Boat race
- Surfing the Batang Lupar tidal bore with five international surfers
- Bazaar and tidal bore cultural fest
- Exhibits and audio-visual screenings
- Tidal bore motorsports carnival
Sabah Fest 2 – 4 May, 2014 – Kota Kinabalu. This prelude to the state-wide Harvest Festival celebration is a superbly entertaining cultural extravaganza that incorporates dance, music, fashion, food and more. Sabah Fest presents a wonderful blend of cultural and natural heritage that is richly embedded in folklore.
Borneo Jazz Festival: 9 – 11 May 2014 – Miri, Sarawak. The Borneo Jazz Festival was mooted in 2006 with the vision of being the leading tourism-driven music festival in the region as well as to increase visitor arrivals to Miri and the northern region in Sarawak. As such, it is aimed to give visitors a fun-filled and entertaining experience while at the same time showcasing Miri’s cosmopolitan characteristics. Jazz lovers around the world would definitely have a great time enjoying renowned jazz performances by international jazz artistes.
Malaysia Craft Promotion @ Miri 18 – 26 May, 2014 – Miri Craft Heritage Centre, Miri, Sarawak. In conjunction with the Miri Celebration, Malaysia Craft Promotion showcases commercial and educational activities through craft exhibitions, craft sales and demonstrations and is participated by various ethnic groups in Malaysia, namely Malays, Chinese and Indians.
Malaysia Craft Promotion in conjunction with the Kaamatan Celebration. 22 May – 2 June, 2014 – Lintasan Deasoka, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Malaysia Craft Promotion is held in conjunction with the Kaamatan Celebration. Promotion will be held at Lintasan Deasoka, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Exhibitions, sales and demonstrations are put up by various ethnic groups in Sabah.
World Harvest Festival 2 – 4 May, 2014 – Kampung Budaya Sarawak. Marking the zenith to the Gawai Dayak celebration, this festival provides a captivating insight into the cultures, traditions and aspirations of Sarawak’s Dayak community and is celebrated with neighbouring compatriots from Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Programme activities:
- Theme play
- Miss World Harvest Festival
- Ironman World Harvest Festival
- Concert with international artistes
- Dayak Food Festival
- Dance workshops
- Sarawakian community songs
- Sarawakian community stories/folklores
Borneo International Marathon 4 May, 2014 – Kota Kinabalu. The Borneo International Marathon will be held along the scenic coastal roads of Kota Kinabalu with three main events – 10km, 21.1km (half marathon) and 42.2km (full marathon)
World Paintball Players League (WPPL) – Sabah LEG #2, 23 – 24 May, 2014 – KKPBC Indoor Field Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. A paintball league welcoming participants from all over the world competing for world recognition. The league utilises the WERD format.
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Tadau Kaamatan: 30 – 31 May 2014 – Penampang, Sabah (State Celebration). This month-long Harvest Festival celebration will culminate at the Hongkod Koisaan KDCA Hall in Penampang. About 5000 (locals & tourists) spectators are expected. Join in the merriment as local folks sing, dance and display traditional games. This is also the main stage event for the final round of the Unduk Ngadau (Harvest Beauty Queen).
Sabah International Folklore Festival in June, 2014 – Kota Kinabalu. Dance troupes from around the world gather for the eighth edition of the Sabah International Folklore Festival. It’s a celebration of the world’s cultural diversity and a platform to promote peace through music and dance. Watch and be entertained by international and local folk dances that highlight the incredible diversity of our world’s culture in this east meets west musical extravaganza.
7 June 2014 – Tambunan, Sabah (National Open House). Come celebrate the Tadau Kaamatan in Sabah! An occasion that brings people together from all walks of life to celebrate the various festivals in fostering unity and harmony of the 1Malaysia spirit. Guests will be enthralled by cultural performances and traditional delicacies. While holidaying in Sabah, you may also find yourself interested in a bag of other activities lined up such as the Sabah Dragon Boat Race at Teluk Likas, The KK Jazz Festival on at Sutera Harbour Resort, The Sunset Music Festival at Simpang Mengayau, The Rainforest World Music Festival at Kampung Budaya Sarawak and The Borneo Boat race at Borneo Highland and Mulu National Park.
Sunset Music Festival: 10 – 21 Jun 2014 – Tg Simpang Mengayau, Kudat (Tip of Borneo). Embark on a musical journey at Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, Kudat (Tip Of Borneo). Be serenaded with classical favourites and contemporary tunes as the sun sets on the horizon. You won’t want to miss this unique experience at one of Sabah’s most breath-taking locations.
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KK Jazz Festival 13 – 14 June, 2014 – Sutera Harbour Resort. A much anticipated jazz musical extravaganza that features a line-up of international and local artistes performing together on the same stage. The KK Jazz Festival is a fundraising event to benefit various charities in the state.
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Sabah Dragon Boat Race: 15 Jun 2013 – 16 Jun 2013 Likas Bay, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Organised in conjunction with the Duan Wu festival, Sabah Dragon Boat Race has evolved throughout the years to become one of the main sporting events in Sabah! This exciting race has attracted many local and international teams as far as Hong Kong, China and Japan. Also, look out for the most popular Dragon Boat delicacy – rice dumplings filled with water chestnuts and minced meat!
Rainforest World Music Festival 20 – 22 June, 2014 – Kampung Budaya Sarawak. A unique festival that brings together reknowned world and indigenous musicians from the interiors of the island of Borneo. The event in its 16th year will showcase Sarawak’s efforts in conservation and preservation of the rainforest through world music. Aside from drawing foreign tourists to Sarawak, it highlights the cultures, nature and adventures that are unique to Sarawak. In 2012, 22,290 visitors visited the event with 20% coming from Australia, USA, UK, Singapore, India, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Canada, Norway, ASEAN, France and Japan.
Hari Gawai Open House 21 Jun 2014 – Kuching, Sarawak. A programme that brings together people from all walks of life to celebrate Tadau Kaamatan dan Gawai Dayak as well as to foster unity and harmony of the 1Malaysia spirit. The programme includes cultural performances with traditional delicacies served to guests.
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Borneo Bird Race: 28 – 30 June 2014 – Borneo Highland and Mulu National Park, Sarawak. This event is dedicated to all birds’ enthusiasts and all animal lovers who love nature and tropical rainforests. Borneo and Sarawak is a popular site to spot rare bird species. The event offers opportunity for all to enjoy the tropical rainforest. For those who are not taking part in the Race, they are always welcomed to enjoy the walking trail at the Borneo Highland and Mulu National Park. This event is done in close collaboration with Brunei Darussalam and Sabah. So, do expect more exciting activities that are offered at all three different venues.
Borneo Cultural Festival: 12 – 14 July 2014 – Sibu Gateway This is an annual event that visitors to Sibu should not miss. It is a showcase of a rich and diverse ethnic culture in this region with interesting cultural activities that include dances, folklores, traditional games and music. Participants from other countries such as China, Taiwan, Australia and Indonesia are also represented here.
Malaysia Craft Promotion @ Kuching Waterfront on 30 August – 8 September, 2014 – Waterfront, Kuching, Sarawak. Highlights include commercial and educational activities like exhibitions, sales, demonstrations and interactive craft making and participated by various ethnic groups in Malaysia, namely Malay, Chinese and Indians.
Borneo Arts Festival
12 – 14 September, 2014 – Sabah
19 – 21 September, 2014 – Sarawak
26 – 28 September, 2014 – WP Labuan
The most anticipated Borneo Arts Festival will be here again to set the arts scene ablaze over a month on Borneo Island. These are lots to expect like visual arts, ethnic music, cultural and contemporary performances, recitals and many more.
Sarawak Regatta: 12 – 14 September 2014 – Tebingan Kuching. The Sarawak Regatta is a popular traditional longboats race in Kuching. The longboats are decorated with colorful designs and can accommodate from a few and up to 30 paddlers on the boat. The significant of regattas in Sarawak goes back to the Brooke era. It started with the intention to stop racial wars among local tribes where headhunting was largely practiced. The Brooke has instructed all tribes to instead challenge each other by having boat races to prove their power and strength. The call to challenge each other through the boat race rather than headhunting was successful in bringing peace to the area. Today, longboat races or regattas are some of the major tourism events in Sarawak. The Sarawak Regatta, held at the Kuching Waterfront, has become one of the most sought after events in the tourism calendar. Due to the significant history of the regatta, this event is normally held in conjunction with the Malaysia Day celebration.
World Paintball Players League (WPPL) – Labuan #LEG3 on 13 – 14 September, 2014 – State Co-curricular Centre, Labuan. A paintball league welcoming participants from all over the world competing for world recognition. The league uses the WERD format.
Sibu International Dance Festival on 20 – 27 September, 2014 – Sibu Gateway. Organised to showcase the different types of dances which include traditional and modern such as modern dance, jazz, belly dancing, ballet, contemporary, folk dance, line and ballroom dancing. It offers a platform for interaction with dancers from all continents.
Malaysia International Gourmet Festival (MIFG) on 1 – 31 October, 2014. Held throughout the month of October at hotels and restaurants nationwide, this event promotes the fine-dining experience of some of Malaysia’s finest cuisines and culinary establishments.
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Borneo International Yachting Challenge on 30 September – 9 October, 2014 – Miri Marina. The Borneo International Yachting Challenge the first truly international yachting event in the waters of Borneo. It is jointly organised by the two Malaysian Borneo states of Sarawak and Sabah, and the Federal Territory of Labuan. The event raises the profile of Sarawak and Sabah in yachting sports where participants from all over the world on 30 – 40 yachts of all types gather. The event passage is unique in that it showcases different cultures and attractions. Participants come from Australia, Europe and The Philippines.
Borneo International Kite Festival on 12 – 23 October, 2014 – Bintulu Old Airport. This event is dedicated to enthusiasts of anything that flies in the sky, literally! There will be kites, balloons, lanterns and all other flying objects making their way to Bintulu’s skies throughout the three days event. Participants and followers from all over the world compete with the most beautiful and longest (time) flying object.
Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon-Adventure Series: 19 October 2014 – Kundasang. The Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon-Adventure Series is a challenging 23km route event, taking competitors up the summit trail to Layang-Layang (2,072m) before descending down to Mesilou and onwards to the finish line in Kundasang Town. The route of the race offers breath-taking views of Kinabalu Park’s tropical and sub-tropical montane forest with vistas of the summit peaks and river valleys.
World War Memorial Day
8 November, 2014 – Sarawak
9 November, 2014 – WP Labuan
On this day, visitors from Commonwealth nations gather to honour the fallen heroes of the Second World War. The event, held in full military splendour, will be attended by representatives from embassies and high commissions in Malaysia as well as military officials from Commonwealth countries.
Street Food Festival & Restaurant Food Festival from 1 – 31 December, 2014. Held throughout the month of December at various hawker fare localities around the country, this festival celebrates the hundreds of varieties of street food from various ethnic communities found in Malaysia.
Visit Malaysia Year Grand Closing on 31 December, 2014 – Dataran Merdeka Kuala Lumpur. A magnificent grand finale to herald the success of Visit Malaysia Year 2014 will be held at the Dataran Merdeka in what is sure to be an emotionally-charged celebration of national pride.
Photos and articles courtesy to vmy2014.com