This festival is celebrated by Dayak group both as religious and social occasion. Like festivals of other racial groups in Sarawak, Gawai Dayak is a homecoming season for those who are working or studying outstation.
On the run-up to the festival, Sibu has been thrown into a bustling state. Crowds comprising chiefly of Dayaks throng in the markets, bus terminals and jetties. The air in Sibu has been filled with the festive mood.
Hotels in Sibu experience brisk business. In the past, it was mostly budget hotels raking in. Starting five years ago, with more Dayaks crossing over to JB and Singapore for greener pasture, resulting in them moving up in their purchasing power, star-rated hotels have been standing to benefit from the season. This is economically a good sign. But, sadly, Sarawak is losing manpower.
Photo (1) shows busy embarking on express launch.
Photo (2) shows a busy jetty in Sibu. The bridge looks dangerously overloaded.
Photo (3) shows old hens on sale. These hens are ideal for curry chicken.
Photos: Meng Lei