Kaamatan Festival, Harvest Festival in Sabah, Kota Kinabalu

Malaysia is pretty reserved when it comes to partying. Malaysians on the other hand, know where to find the best parties or make the best parties.

And Sabahans undoubtedly, are the best at it.

If you ever wonder when exactly is the best time to visit this beautiful side of the world, try the month of May. Not only it is the best weather - all sun, all day (right on time for the harvest), it is also the month of learning of the natives in Sabah and also hum, partying. The month will start its monthlong harvest festival celebration, and this is when I strongly, strongly recommend you to explore the local districts in Sabah and get into their harvest festival parties.

Do not fly in Kota Kinabalu and flap around the city WAITING to be invited to these local village parties, you either make friends with locals to get into one, or humbly explore them yourself. Y'know, like classic old times exploration.

They start their games, drinking and singing the first thing in the morning right up till..... well let's just say they can't stop until they're stopped. They're so much culture association with this event, this month, and this particular month has heavy association with drinking too. I hope this doesn't deter those who don't drink, because you don't have to, you can learn about the culture, about the history and about what each native represents because it's one of the more interesting one there is.

Unfortunately, I don't have any photos to justify this celebration since I came back for last year's and I didn't get to snap any, but if you've got anyone who've done a full coverage of this month's festival or the previous years' and the year before or the year before or.. then -- please look up, but trust me, it's a good one when you explore.

Here are some suggestions of how you can maximise this festival :-

Every weekend in May - try going into any local districts because they will conduct the classic beauty pageants to represent their districts as well as games and partying.

Last week of May - try heading to KDCA by this time already. KDCA is THE PLACE for its climax on 30 & 31 May. There will be the beauty pageant (undue ngadau) finale, all kinds of local food, drinks, singing, local done up clubs (trust me, it's a sight to be hold, it's small tents done up to a dancing area). You might as well learn the dialect by now.

30 & 31 May - try heading there first thing in the morning. Then start your day exploring all the houses there. If you could catch up on the finale of the Unduk Ngadau (beauty pageant) then please do. You will see wolf-whistles cheers of all the fans from different districts, it's going to be a sight to remember. Try learning everything you need to know about these native races, go to each of their houses, join their local games, learn about what they're good at, what they're big on. Stay on for the night for more socialising, drinking, singing.

By the end of month, you'd be wanting more. But, my friend all good things must come to an end.

So visit us next year again!

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.


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