Tadau Kaamatan or Harvest Festival on a grand state wide scale dawns again in Sabah as it happened every May 30 and 31 since 1960.
This year’s State level Tadau Kaamatan or Harvest Festival in Sabah is themed ‘Cinta terhadap kebudayaan malahirkan masyarakat penyanyang’ or ‘Cultural appreciation moulds a caring society’ or ‘Love for culture produces a loving society’.
The celebration was declared open on Wednesday May 30 at 10:20 a.m. by Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman.
On the annual Kaamatan celebration, Musa said, “It not only strengthens ties among leaders but also the people.”
Musa his speech told the people to reject the opposition and treat them like quack medicine peddlers (saudagar ubat palsu) when they come to their villages and homes.
Musa said the prime minister in his blog has mentioned the need to learn from Sabah and Sarawak.
Musa and his ministers later took time to visit the cultural houses and stalls to witness some of the displays and performances.
Premier Najib Razak would be coming to Sabah in June after visiting Sarawak for the Gawai Festival to launch the national level Harvest Festival and the ground breaking ceremony for the Kadazandusun and Murut College in Tambunan, the constituency of Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
Kitingan is the organising chairman for the occasion and he praised the chief minister and the prime minister for their leadership.
“The Tadau Kaamatan Festival is renowned worldwide and is one of Sabah’s tourism attraction. I hope traditional practices that almost fell into oblivion would again be revived and rekindled the interest of our youths to practice them,” he said.
Thousands of people thronged the Kadazandusun Cultural Centre or Hongkod Koisaan (Unity Centre) in Penampang to see various cultural dance events and partake in traditional food and sport like arm wrestling, tug-of-war and singing.
This is expected to be the Harvest Festival preceding the general election or the penultimate one. Politicians across the political divide were seen actively greeting people.
May 30 and 31 every year being a public holiday in Sabah to mark the state agrarian communities’ bountiful providence from the Almighty just as natives in Sarawak mark theirs on June 1 and 2.
The State Assemblyman for the area, MCA’s Datuk Edward Khoo was seen toasting visitors with rice wine at a native house at the KDCA Cultural Village.
Asked if he was keen to defend his Kepayan State constituency or return to Sandakan to vie for another electoral seat in his hometown, he said, “It is still too early to tell.”
On Thursday May 31, the event was graced by the Yang Dipertua Negeri, Juhar Mahiruddin who was feted to a cultural performance at the Hongkod Koisaan hall.
Here are some moments captured during the Harvest Festival in Sabah yesterday.