The Miri May Fest, also known as Miri’s City Day Celebration, is a month-long celebration held annually since 2005 when Miri went up in status from town to city.
Throughout the month of May, public entertainment and events such as musical, dancing/singing or cultural and arts events, sports competitions, youth programmes, charity drives, parades and food fairs will pepper the city.
This city-wide festival coincides with the Borneo Jazz Festival, on May 12 to 13.
Various programmes will be held to commemorate Miri City Day, many of which have been well received by visitors in previous years’ celebrations.
Sibu will be hosting a Da Bo Gong Festival, or Tua Pek Kong in the local Hokkien dialect, on May 12 to 14.
This Festival is held to commemorate the Da Bo Gong deity, the ‘god of the land,’ as well as to recognise the importance of Sibu’s Chinese ancestry and heritage.
Every year, this Festival encourages international cultural tourism to Sibu, while also encouraging the communities in Sibu to live in harmony and unity, as was one of the purposes and jurisdiction of the Deity in question.
The Tua Pek Kong temple in Sibu – formerly known as Eng Ann Teng Temple or Temple of Everlasting Peace – has been a tourist hotspot for many years due to its rich history and beauty.
There are 68 Tua Pek Kong temples in Sarawak – the oldest one being in Kuching.
The Borneo Jazz Festival is back at ParkCity Everly in Miri on May 12 to 13 and will be celebrating its 12th anniversary this year.
The festival days are packed with activities, beginning with the outreach programme, where young musicians can learn tips and tricks for jazz keyboard, piano, guitar, percussions and brass instruments from the festival performers.
The evening performances will commence at the beach-side stage, with a dancing and sitting area and food stalls all around, concluding with an ‘after-party’ jam session at the ParkCity Everly Hotel’s Ruai Bar.
The outreach programme will include classes on the basics of jazz keyboard, piano, guitar, percussions and brass instruments, while the greening efforts this year will be a beach clean-up, a change from the tree plantings from the past few years.
The Layar Cycling Carnival 2017 will be taking place on 30 April to 1 May at the RGC Layar, Simpang Layar in Betong, a four hour’s drive from Kuching.
The Criterium event begins on April 30, at 9.30am with a 2.9km circuit around the area, with 10 loops to complete the Junior (18 and below), Ladies Open, Veterans (41 & above) and the Betong Closed category. 15 loops of the circuit are required for the Men’s Open (19 to 40).
The 100km Road Race will be taking place on May 1 at 8.00am and is divided into three categories, namely the Junior (18 & Below), Men’s Open (19 – 40) and the Veteran (41 & above).
The 11th World Harvest Festival, celebrating the harvest festival or “Gawai Dayak”, will be taking place on April 28 to 30 at the Sarawak Cultural Village, with a grand scale of cultural performances both traditional and new.
This year will be including cultural troupes from other regions countries including the Kumpulan Batambul Rungus Matunggong of Sabah and the Nitto Rong Organization of Bangladesh.
The main highlight of the World Harvest Festival remains the themed play, produced and performed by the Sarawak Cultural Village actors and actresses, with this year’s performance entitled “Tra Tra Land: Where Honey Sparkles”, which will take place on April 29.
The finale of the Miss Cultural Harvest Festival also takes place on April 29, while the other days are steeped in traditional food and crafts of the different ethnicities in Sarawak, providing Dayaks and non-Dayaks alike the opportunity to understand the traditions of the old Dayak communities.
The Biennial Borneo Nash Hash is back in Kuching on April 29 and 30 for any ‘drinkers with a running problem’.
The hash run begins with a drink (though runners can choose water and soda over the traditional beer) and takes off through the hash trail, which could be anything from rainforests and streams to climbing fences and storm drains. ‘Off the beaten path’ doesn’t begin to describe the unique routes during a Borneo Nash Hash.
Hashing began in promoting physical fitness among members, with a controlled element of risk and fun, a sort of bridge between a weekend workout and a Friday happy hour.
Borneo Nash Hash 2017 is the 16th instalment and coincides with the 15th anniversary of the Kota Padawan Hash House Harriers and Harriettes, who will be organizing the run this year.
The “Pesta Kaul”, or the Kaul Festival, will take place at Mukah’s river bank on April 29-30, marking the beginning of the native Melanau’s calendar and the end of the Monsoon season.
Kaul is performed by the previously animistic Melanau community to appease the spirits of the sea, land, forest and farm to ensure safe fishing and farming ensuring good fortune.
The festival begins with the ‘Serahang’ (decorated basket woven from sago leaf which is raised on a bamboo pole) procession, led by community elders, followed by a festival of traditional food, games and entertainment.
One of the more famous traditional games is the “Tibow” or giant swing which calls for everyone to try out, while the traditional food is enjoyed communally, served on a logs for the ‘Keman Baw Bateng’ also known as ‘Makan Beradat’ in Malay.