Every year in May is the month to celebrate the Harvest Festival (Pesta Kaamatan). Each year one district will be pre-chosen to launch the Pesta Kaamatan in state-level, on 1st of May. This year the launching was held in Kota Marudu. After the launching, each district will have its own regional Kaamatan celebration and Unduk Ngadau Beauty Pageant. No matter who you are, what is your nationality, where you are from… all are welcome and invited to join the fest.
Pesta Kaamatan was used to be celebrated annually by the KadazanDusun and Murut communities, after the harvest of paddy, the primary food of our people. Now it has become the most colourful and joyful event of Sabah. Unduk Ngadau beauty pageant is only part of the programme of Kaamatan celebration. This was also my first time seeing the Tobilung Bobolians (native priest) performed the Magavau ceremony, a ritual to appease Bambarayon, the Spirit of Paddy, to ensure the bounty of next harvest.
Kaamatan Festival is a “harvest” month for me too coz it is the best time to take photos of indigenous people in their beautiful and unique costomes. The organiser also built about 7 traditional houses of indigenous people to attract the tourists. I have shared the photos online here.