Hindus all over Malaysia celebrate this joyful and festive occasion once a year. On the day of Deepavali, devotees cleanse themselves and visit the temple. They decorate their houses and the streets with colorful lights to commemorate the return of the gods Rama and Sita from exile. There are firework displays and meals are shared.
For one day each year, the Tamu market in Kota Belud expands and welcomes visitors from all around for the annual grand market carnival festivities of the Tamu Besar. As well as all the usual local food and crafts, there is a parade of Bajau horsemen, an exciting water buffalo race and a popular beauty pageant.
The traditional folk music of Sabah is characterized by the gong which has been made for centuries by the craftsmen in the village of Sumangkap. The gong is celebrated by the villagers and visitors in this two-day festival featuring classical music and dance from Sabah. There is also the opportunity to see how the gongs are made.
Throughout the second part of September, a rich and diverse celebration of artistic endeavour is celebrated across Borneo, from Sabah to Sarawak and Labuan. Visitors from all over the world enjoy the musical performances and competitions, exhibitions of fashion, arts and photography, as well as traditional food and storytelling.