Join the Vibrant Festival in Kota Kinabalu: 6 Worth-Visiting Festivals in Kota Kinabalu

Posted on
Vibrant Festival in Kota Kinabalu Deepavali

When you have holiday plans, apart from visiting exciting places, you can also join in revitalizing the festival. One city that can be easily reached from Kuala Lumpur and has many interesting festivals is Kota Kinabalu.

If you depart using the Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu flight, you will arrive at Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Kota Kinabalu has many fans, as evidenced by the fact that Kota Kinabalu International Airport is the second busiest airport in Malaysia.

You must come at the right time to get the best moments to participate in several festivals. Here are some festivals in Kota Kinabalu to follow and feel the excitement at each festival.

Festivals in Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu hosts various festivals that are worth visiting. Here is a list of some festivals you should include on your bucket list while in Kota Kinabalu.

1. Lunar New Year

Malaysia has many areas where many Chinese residents live, including Sabah. Unsurprisingly, Sabah’s Chinese New Year celebrations are lively, with various performances and typical decorations.

This celebration, held every February, is marked by festive decorations of houses and streets with shining lanterns. Almost every corner of the city will be decorated with red, including several public places. You even have the opportunity to see some engaging cultural performances, buy unique knick-knacks, and try typical Chinese dishes.

2. Lepa Regatta

This water festival has been held by the Bajau community in the eastern region of Samporna, Sabah, since 1994. Using ancient techniques, the community will make lepa, a traditional single-masted layer wooden boat.

Each lepa represents a family or village to take part in various activities such as lepa tug-of-war, kelleh-kelleh competitions. The evening is no less lively with karaoke, cultural music performances, and igal-igal dances, fireworks, and even a car competition.

3. Kaamatan Festival

This commemoration, held in the first week of May every year, comes from a famous legend. In ancient times, Kinoingan sacrificed his only beautiful daughter and sowed her body parts as seeds.

Kaamatan Festival in Sabah is also known as harvest festival
Kaamatan Festival in Sabah is also known as harvest festival
Free Stock photos by Vecteezy

The seeds then grow into rice and become a staple food as a gift from God for the people of Sabah. Residents will perform the Magavau ritual to invite Bambaazon to the Feast so that the festival can take place.

4. Sabah Dragon Boat Race

A festival that is no less lively is the dragon racing competition, which is held in mid-June. This celebration is more precisely held on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Lunar calendar by the Chinese community.

Vibrant Festivals in Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Dragon Boat Race
Vibrant Festivals in Kota Kinabalu – Sabah Dragon Boat Race

You can see the excitement of this festival by visiting Likas Bay, which is always packed with visitors. Dragon Boats decorated with streamers will cross the Milo River to be the fastest to reach the finish line. The atmosphere became more lively with the accompaniment of drum beats and cheers from the audience during the competition.

5. Deepavali

Apart from having a large ethnic Chinese population, Sabah is also home to many Indian residents with Hindu religion. They will hold Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, which is celebrated in October or November every year.

Vibrant Festivals in Kota Kinabalu: Deepavali
Vibrant Festivals in Kota Kinabalu: Deepavali

This event is a celebration before God to obtain wealth, knowledge, and peace. Lights will illuminate every corner, and they believe that at this moment, deceased relatives will visit. The celebration lasts five days, consisting of Dhantera, Naraka Chaturdashi, Diwali, Balipadyami, and Bahi Bij.

6. Corn Festival

This festival is held in Kota Marudu because corn is a significant crop for the residents of Kota Marudu. To visit it, you have to drive two hours to the northern part of Sabah, with a distance of 130 km.

You will have the opportunity to participate in two exciting days of events during the event. These days will be filled with activities, including corn industry exhibitions, competitions, traditional games, and the Corn Beauty Queen Contest. Don’t forget to buy high-quality corn as a unique souvenir contributing to the local economy.

That’s a review of festivals you can participate in while enjoying your holiday in Sabah in a new way. Knowing when the festival is held lets you immediately plan your vacation early. Buy a Kota Kinabalu flight on Traveloka and find various conveniences during your holiday with Traveloka.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.