Hari Raya Aidil Fitri
Also known as Hari Raya Puasa, this festival is celebrated by the Muslims after a month of fasting during the month of Ramadan.
A call for prayers on the last night of Ramadan marks the arrival of the month of Syawal. The celebration commences with a massive congregation of worshippers in the mosques in the early morning. Delicious traditional and modern dishes is served such as ketupat, rendang, lemang, dodol and cookies. The men dressed up in their Baju Melayu and the women in the their Baju Kurung or Kebaya.
The festival is celebrated with great joy to signify the triumph after fasting for a whole month as part of their duties of a Muslim. Joy is also felt especially when family members gather to strengthen relationships and ask for forgiveness. It is also a common tradition to visit friends and relatives.
The elders will present the young ones with green packets filled with money or Duit Raya. Having an "Open House" is a common practice where friends from other races are invited, thus strengthening inter-cultural relations.
Chinese New Year
This is the most significant festival for the Chinese community based on the lunar calendar, which has 12 cycles themed after 12 different animals.
Before the arrival of the Chinese New Year houses are swept, cleaned and decorated with flowers and oranges. Red is the main choice of colour for clothing and decorations as it symbolizes prosperity. Families from far and near will return to their hometown to attend a traditional reunion dinner. It is an exuberant festival with clangs of cymbals accompanying lion dancers and thunders of fire crackers filling the air to dispel evil spirits.
The significant dish for this festival is the Yee Sang and it is accompanied by other delicacies such as Nien Ko. The unmarried are given gifts of money enclosed in little red packets or Ang Pows by those already have families.
The celebration will end on the fifteenth day of Chinese New Year, which is also know as Chap Goh Mei.
Deepavali is also known as the Festival of Lights and is celebrated by Hindus. The word "Deepa" means "light" and the word "Gavali" means "line". Most of their homes are lit with little lights and oil lamps for the Hindus believe that this is the day when the forces of good overcome the forces of evil. Homes are also decorated with a "kolam" which is a colourful design made of grains and rice placed on the floor in front of the house.
To celebrate Deepavali, Hindus will take an oil bath as a symbol of purity. Later, they will perform their prayers in their own homes or at temples. Muruku, Laddu and various other cookies are among popular food for celebrating Deepavali.
This occasion is celebrated by the Dayaks of Sarawak on 1st June every year. The festival is held to show thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest that is bestowed upon them by the God of Rice and Wealth.
The festival is celebrated with activities such as self defense demonstration, beauty contest, Ngajat dance competition, blowpipe demonstration and cock-fighting competition.
Tadau Kaamatan Festival
Also known as the Harvest Festival, this occasion is celebrated in May by the Kadazandusuns of Sabah to give thanks for the abundant harvest to Kinoingan, the Creator and also to worship the spirit of Bambaazon for greater harvest for the seasons to com.
The tapai arak beras (Rice Wine) is served as a specialty drink during the celebration. Many activities are held such as a beauty queen contest, the Sumazau Dance performance and competition, a type of dance that is synonym to the Kadazandusun.