SARAWAK – home to countless festivals

There’s a whole range of festivals in Sarawak throughout the year. Here are just a few…


Dates: 5 – 7 June 2020

Steeped in tradition, this cultural festival – the biggest in Limbang (northern Sarawak), includes the quintessential bu alo race. Another highlight is the “Ratu Babulang” or “Babulang Queen” contest, which sees young Bisaya ladies in traditional costumes display in their most mesmerising mannerisms in a bid to win the title crown. Pesta Babulang also showcases traditional Bisaya costumes, culture performances, exotic native food and other unique activities. (Bisaya is one of indigenous people in north-west and coast line of Borneo, mostly living in Limbang and Lawas district)


Dates: 30 June – 9 July 2020

Rainforest in the City aims to enhance the buzz, highlighting the on-going campaign of Visit Sarawak Year 2020 by spotlighting events at The Heroes Monument Park in the Kuching city centre – for tourists and festival-goers. Its intention is to expose the Culture, Adventure, Nature and the Food & Festivals that Sarawak has to offer in “snippets” with modern audio, lights and technologies to experience in the city by night over 10 days. This festival consists of 3 main components, namely light exhibition, audio visual performances and food experiences. Combinations of all these three elements will be the main feature of this year’s event and hopefully the years to come.


Dates: 10 – 12 July 2020

The Rainforest World Music Festival (often abbreviated as RWMF) is an annual three-day music festival celebrating the diversity of world music, held in Kuching, with daytime music workshops, cultural displays, craft displays, food stalls, and main-stage evening concerts. The festival features a wide range of performances from traditional music, to world fusion and contemporary world music. For its 23rd edition, the Rainforest World Music Festival this year will be featuring 8 stages, 9 mini session venues throughout the Sarawak Cultural Village. 45 bands will deliver over 70 performances including 33 mini sessions.


Dates: 3 – 15 July 2020

The RWMF Fringe is an annual festival of visual, performing and lifestyle arts from Borneo and around the world to complement the iconic Rainforest World Music Festival. It also aims to bring the best of the mainstream contemporary, traditional as well as engaging experimental works to local and also visiting audiences. Expect to see genres such as Theatre, Photography, Indigenous Film, Marketplace, Cuisine, Spoken Word, Arts & Crafts, Fashion and more at the RWMF Fringe. All RWMF Fringe events are staged at exciting venues within 2-kilometres of Kuching city centre as The Rainforest World Music Festival is held at the Sarawak Cultural Village & Damai Central on the coastal enclave of Santubong, 37 kilometres from the city. Most RWMF Fringe events are staged free of charge on a “ first come first served” basis.


Dates: 16 – 25 July 2020

Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) is a week-long celebration of food, music and dances that celebrate the unique yet diverse cultural background such as Indigenous people (Iban, Bidayuh, Orang Ulu, Malay/Melanau and Chinese). The festival highlights the richness of culture and heritage in Borneo to the world, including its multiracial beliefs and practices with holding the main object by promoting “Beauty in Ethnic Diversity”. BCF is Sibu’s biggest tourism event, it is also a perfect time to mingle all the locals from walks of life by participating in fringe events such as trade shows, fun fair and stage shows.


Dates: 23 – 25 October 2020

The Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta is an internationally-recognised event, where local and foreign teams compete in various race categories to win cash money and trophies. This challenge is an a liate event of the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF).

Photo: Rainforest World Music festival is a high energy event