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From: 2014.06.01 To: 2014.06.01
Sarawak, also known as the “Land of the Hornbills,” celebrates a religious and social holiday of Gawai Dayak on June 1st of each year. The name of the event translates into “Festival of Dayak.” “Dayak” is a collective name for Sarawak’s native ethnic groups. Although the official holiday is on the first of June, many celebrations take place the night before. Preparing for this festival can take up to a few months, which is the time required for brewing of rice wine, or tuak. During the festival you can try some of the most delicious dishes in the world, including penganan (cakes from rice flour, sugar and coconut milk). Countless number of rituals take place during these two days, such as Muai Antu Rua (getting rid of the spirit of greed), Ngala Petara (welcoming the spirit gods), Miring (offering ceremony) and others. There will be dancing and traditional music, beauty contests, various sport competitions, poetry readings and arts and crafts exhibits. At midnight the Festival Chief leads everyone to drink the Ai Pengayu (the rice wine) and people wish each other “gayu-guru, gerai-nyamai” (long life, health and prosperity).