Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Gawai Festival

From Travelzon blog:

Types of Gawai

The Ibans has many festivals called 'Gawai'. These different 'Gawai's are known as 'Gawai Kenyalang' (hornbill festival), 'Gawai Antu' (festival for the dead) and 'Gawai Dayak' (harvesting festival).During such festivals, besides the customary observance of ritual, there is usually a lot of drinking of the locally brewed rice wine called tuak, much merriment and dancing called ngajat and displays of elaborate traditional costumes.

Gawai Festival

A harvest festival celebrated by the state's indigenous people,particularly the Ibans and Dayaks, in their traditional costumes.It features ceremonial offerings of various local traditional delicacies and tuak - home made rice wine, to the gods of rice and prosperity. This unique festivity is a must see for local and foreign tourists alike.

First celebrated on 1st June 1965, it is the feast for the eyes with its colourful rituals, traditional music, cock fighting, feasting and games. It is simply a time for merrymaking.

The Gawai festival has always been one of the celebrated festivals in Sarawak. Its origins goes back to the folklore that tells of the adventure of men travelling to the world of the gods and spirits with an invitation to join in a feast, then oftheir subsequent journey to the world of mortals. It is generally believed thatGawai is being held when one is persuaded by the gods to do so in his dream. After performing this Gawai ceremony, one's life and the lives of all those who have been touched by the celebration will be blessed - so it is believed!

Continue reading (incl. pics) at: The Gawai Festival

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