Gawea Sowa or what is more commonly known today as Gawai Dayak has long been an integral part of the culture of the Bidayuh folks. For them, as it is for the Iban and other Dayak folks observing it, Gawai marks the end of the rice harvest season and is held to celebrate a bountiful yield.
On June 1 every year the Dayak people in Sarawak, who are traditionally farmers celebrate Gawai Dayak. It is a day to give thanks to the gods after the rice harvesting season is over.
The Conditioned Movement Control Order (CMCO) certainly is not a stopping factor for the Dayak folks here in Sarawak to get into a full-on Gawai mode. Though there will be no big Gawai celebrations and no ngabang (visiting) this year, many are still preparing to celebrate the coming Gawai Dayak on June 1. But instead of having open house, everyone will be celebrating at home with their family.