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Gawai Dayak Festival In Sarawak, This Is What You Need To Know

Gawai Dayak Festival

Sarawakian would usually celebrate the famously Gawai Dayak Festival annually on the 1st of June. It is definitely an important celebration in Sarawak. According to the Tourism Malaysia website, this celebration is a religious and also social celebration. For those who might not know, Dayak is a collective name for the variations of tribes in Sarawak.

Back in history, the first Gawai Dayak Festival celebration was done on the 1st of June 1965. Until now, it is surely a great symbol of aspiration, hope, and unity for the well-known Dayak community in Sarawak. Such a major festivity.

Gawai Dayak Festival

Picture: Office Holidays

First, is the Preparation:

  • The brewing of rice wine (tuak)
  • Making traditional delicacies

Next, the Early Celebration:

  • It would start on the evening of 31st of May
  • The name of the ceremony is Muai Antu Rua (getting rid of the spirit of greediness)
  • There are men or children dragging the chapan (winnowing basket) and they would pass every room in the longhouse for each of the family to throw away unwanted articles in it.
  • At the end of the longhouse is where to toss out the unwanted articles for the spirit of bad luck.

After that, the Mid Celebration:

  • There is an offering ceremony. The name of it is miring.
  • Ritual music is also there.
  • People could enjoy dinner after that.

Last but not least, the situation During Midnight:

  • There would be the sound of the gong be heard and the tuai rumah leads everyone to drink Ai Pengayu.
  • At the end of the day, the celebration will even get merrier after that.

Sources: Tourism Malaysia.

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