Irau Aco Lun Bawang Festival to be held Sept 2-4

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Dolphina Balang – Photo via Facebook/Dolphina Balang

LAWAS (May 6): The Irau Aco Lun Bawang Festival, which is usually held in June annually, has been postponed and instead will be held from Sept 2 to 4 this year in conjunction with Merdeka month and Hari Malaysia at Dataran Bandar Lawas.

Previously, the festival was held in conjunction with Gawai Dayak celebration which is celebrated on June 1.

Newly elected president of Lun Bawang Sarawak Association, Dolphina Balang, in a press statement issued last week through the festival’s official Facebook account said that the 35th edition has to be postponed due to several reasons.

“Firstly, the recently elected new central executive committee needs ample time to prepare in terms of strategic planning and organising since the festival is making a comeback due to the pandemic.

“As the nation is in the endemic phase, this allows the association to also keep abreast with the latest development in terms of organising a safe environment for all as the festival will involve the interest of many including the local community and visiting guests,” she said in the statement.

She added that the closure of Brunei border also forced the association to postpone the festival, but it hopes that the sultanate will ease its travel regulations by then, to allow those from Miri and Limbang to attend.

On the festival, Dolphina said that the 35th edition would be showcasing Lun Bawang’s colourful arts and culture through its activities, including bamboo band and traditional music performances, traditional games, sporting events like football, volleyball and badminton, bazaar with various traditional foods, exhibition and a thanksgiving service.

“The cultural nights will also include cultural performances from various groups including other tribes such as Iban, Kedayan, Orang Ulu, Bisaya and visiting guests from Indonesia, with the main highlight of the beauty pageant and warrior contest – Ruran Ulung and Padan Liu Burung,” she said.

She added that the central executive committee has also appointed Jude Benjamin Lisa as this year’s organising chairman.

“The association is looking forward to welcoming all Lun Bawang from outside Lawas to return to their homeland and also welcoming all visiting guests and tourists.

“The association is also open to interested parties who would like to participate in sponsoring activities held during the festival,” she said.

Those who are interested in sponsoring can contact the organising chairman by email to [email protected].