Tuesday, 30 May 2017

TADAU KAAMATAN of North Borneo

Every year, the organizing and activities of the Tadau Kaamatan gets more colorful, interesting and exciting. So, if a visitor had came the previous year, he will not be disappointed coming back next year or the year after. Thousands of people; locals and foreigners came here to watch the cultural beauty of the Borneo natives. There are more than 250 ethnic and sub-ethic groups in North Borneo (Sabah) alone. I think there would be thousands for the whole of Borneo. Sarawak natives are also celebrating around this period. They call their celebration Gawai Festival; roughly the same meaning and theme as Tadau Kaamatan.

Tadau Kaamatan literally means Harvest Festival. As we all know, harvest festivals are celebrated all over the world with strong connection to bountiful harvests and also thanking God and the spirits for being graceful. Each country had their own unique way of celebrating but the theme would definitely be the same; dancing, music and wine.

The Tadau Kaamatan is actually celebrated throughout North Borneo districts and villages starting on the first month of May. Then all these celebrations will culminate towards the grand Harvest Festival at the end of May at Hongkod Koisan, Penampang, a 15 minute drive from Jesselton (Kota Kinabalu) city center. The Hongkod Koisan is a building which symbolize the cultural capital of the North Borneo natives.

As I mentioned before, the celebration is colored by dance (sumazau) and music (using gong and bamboo instrument such as simpoton), followed by tasting and enjoying the rice wine called Tapai or Lihing. In the olden days the wine were kept in tajau (clay jar). The highlight of the celebration will be the crowning of the Harvest Festival Queen called Unduk Ngadau who will fascinate every onlookers! To learn more about North Borneo, PLEASE CLICK THE SABAH TOURISM BOARD.

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