The 36th annual Irau Aco Lun Bawang Festival is coming back this year from 1st to 3rd June in Lawas, Sarawak. This colourful festival is organised by the Lun Bawang Association of Sarawak and celebrates the rich culture and heritage of the Lun Bawang community. It is expected to attract more participants and visitors this year and continue the success of its previous years.
According to Dolphina Balang, President of the Lun Bawang Association of Sarawak, “Irau Aco Lun Bawang has become an iconic event in Lawas, not only celebrated by the Lun Bawang but also by the local communities here throughout the northern region. This year, we are looking to continue the good efforts of inviting our fellow tribesmen from Brunei, Sabah and Kalimantan (Indonesia) in making this year another round of success.”
Throughout the festival, there will be various cultural programmes and sporting activities held which will involve at least 3,000 participants. These activities include the opening ceremony, cultural nights, arts and cultural workshops, football, volleyball, badminton, Zumba, tug of war, and blowpipe for men and women.
“We are planning to ensure this festival will continue to be an important asset for the people in Lawas especially when it comes to boosting tourism and economies with visitors and tourists who are expected to come to witness this joyous festival,” Dolphina added.
This year, Irau Aco Lun Bawang will be carrying the same theme from last year which is ‘Culture Inspires Unity’. The festival is expected to boost tourism and economies with visitors and tourists who are expected to come to witness this joyous festival. The festival is supported by Sarawak Tourism Board, Limbang Resident Office, Lawas District Office, and Limbang Tourism Task Force Group.
The festival highlights include art and cultural workshops showcasing traditional music, Lun Bawang motives, beading and traditional attire making. Visitors can expect to immerse themselves in the different colours, sounds and delicacies of the Lun Bawang with activities such as various cultural performances, bamboo band and gong performances, traditional food fest, exhibition, and bazaar.
“This year, the anticipation and expectation are higher after the success of the festival last year. To make this happen, we are welcoming strategic sponsors and partners to execute and make all plans to happen. The Association along with the organising committee will also expand into a digital and social-savvy approach to attract the younger audience,” said Irau Aco Lun Bawang 2023’s Organising Chairman, Jude Benjamin Lisa.
The highly anticipated Ruran Ulung and Padan Liu Burung competitions, which seek to find the best male warrior and female pageant contestant respectively from the Lun Bawang community, will once again be a prominent feature of Irau Aco Lun Bawang. Last year, Kelly Raywyn Cahill from Kuala Lumpur made history by becoming the first Eurasian winner in the 35-year history of the Ruran Ulung competition, while Jhonson Elson from Lawas Damit was awarded the Padan Liu Burung title. Both winners will be present at this year’s festival to crown their successors, who will have the chance to win cash prizes worth RM20,000. Registration for participation is now open to those of Lun Bawang descent and must be completed by Apr 30.
For more information and highlights, follow Irau Aco Lun Bawang on Facebook and Instagram. For sponsorship and partnership inquiry, contact Jude Benjamin at +6017 877 3871. Don’t miss out on this joyous celebration of culture and heritage!