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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Harvest Festival "Pesta Kaamatan"

Kotobian Tadau Tagazo do Kaamatan
pounsikou... kotouhuadan!

Kaamatan Queen 2012
Telupid District Queen 2012

Most native Sabahans consider rice to be more important than just the main staple food. There is a certain sacredness attached to it, for it is a food given to them by Kinoingan, the Almighty Creator so that his people should never want for food. He sacrificed His only daughter- Huminodun and from her body parts, padi (rice) grew. This was Kinoingan's ultimate act of benevolence and to this day, His people repay the deed by conducting various ceremonies to honour Bambaazon, the spirit of Huminodun as embodied in rice.
The most well-known of these is Pesta Kaamatan or Harvest Festival which begins on the first of May and celebrated throughout Sabah.
UN  Penampang District

Of major importance to this thanksgiving ceremony is the Magavau - a ritual to invite Bambaazon to the Pesta and is conducted only by the Bobohizan or high priestess. 

In the past, Magavau was conducted in the padi fields on the first full moon night after the harvest. A party of Bobohizan led by the foremost senior, would weave a slow procession through the fields chanting prayers to Bambaazon. A male warrior would walk ahead of this group waving a sword in the air, to ward off any evil that might try to disrupt the ritual. The food offered must be of the best quality. When the spirits come, only the Bobohizan will be able to feel their presence. The spirits will find, neatly laid out for them on banana leaves, the choicest chicken meat, eggs, betel leaves and pinang (areca nut), tobacco and kirai ("rollie").

ARAIMAITII...Cheers of luck > The finest tapai or rice wine is offered to the spirits.
A second offering arranged in a winnowing tray is placed on a specially built bamboo platform. This is for the spirits to bring back to the spirit world to feed those creatures that would otherwise feed off the padi. Pesta Kaamatan around the state culminates in the state level celebrations on May 30 and 31 every year with Magavau being enacted indoors before the celebrations begin. 

This year Pesta Kaamatan Calender for every district before the final event on the 30th and 31st.
1st of May 2012 - Kuala Penyu
Opening Harvest Festival Kuala Penyu District

5th of May       -  Putatan 

8th of May          Kudat

10th of May        Matunggong

12th of May        Klang Valley
                        Lahad Datu

14th of May       BeluranTelupid

15th of May       Tenom

16th of May       Nabawan

19th of May      KK

20th of May     Keningau

Pesta kaamataan Kota Merudu Destrict
                       Kota Marudu
                       Kota Belud

Thanks "Start your day with a SMILE"
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