Lun Bawang Festival returns bigger, better at Lawas Stadium from May 30–June 1

A file photo of the Ruran Ulung competition celebrating Lun Bawang beauties during a previous Irau Aco Lun Bawang.

LAWAS, March 21: Irau Aco Lun Bawang, the largest cultural festival for the Lun Bawang community in Sarawak, returns with grandeur from May 30 to June 1 at Lawas Stadium with all activities centralised in one location, and the participation of 3,000 individuals expected.

According to a media release, the festival—a celebration of the Lun Bawang’s rich culture and heritage through displays of traditional music, performances, exhibitions and community sports—is organised yearly by the Lun Bawang Association of Sarawak since 1988.

Not only is it eagerly anticipated by the Lun Bawang community but it also draws attendees from neighbouring regions such as Sabah, Brunei, and Kalimantan, Indonesia.


Association president Dolphina Balang stated that, buoyed by last year’s success, the organiser made decision to relocate the event to Lawas Stadium to allow participants and visitors to fully enjoy and experience the festival.

Dolphina Balang

Over the three-day festival, diverse cultural programmes and sporting activities will unfold, with an estimated 3,000 participants engaged in the opening ceremony, cultural evenings, and arts and cultural exhibitions.

In the spirit of fostering unity, modern sports like football, volleyball, and badminton will be featured alongside traditional community sports such as tug-of-war and blowpipe contests for both men and women.

This year, a fun run with a cultural theme will be added into the programme to kick off the festival.

“The planning began earlier this year and the association believes the organising of this year’s festival will continue its success and be even better. The festival hopes to also boost economic opportunities for the locals whilst discovering Lawas’s unique tourism offerings,” Dolphina said in the media release issued yesterday (March 20).

A file photo of participants competing in traditional community sports, tug-of-war, during a previous Irau Aco Lun Bawang.

Supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts, Limbang Resident’s Office, Lawas District Office, and Limbang Tourism Task Force Group, the festival, now in its 37th edition, will revolve around the theme ‘Culture Inspires Unity’.

To kickstart the 2024 festival, registrations for the Ruran Ulung and Padan Liu Burung competitions, celebrating the Lun Bawang’s beauty and warrior spirit respectively, are now open. These contests offer total cash prizes worth RM20,000 and are open to participants of Lun Bawang descent from Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia, with registration closing on April 30, 2024.

A file photo of participants during the Padan Liu Burung competition in a previous Irau Aco Lun Bawang.

For more information and highlights, follow Irau Aco Lun Bawang on Facebook and Instagram. For sponsorship and partnership inquiries, contact Jude Benjamin Lisa at 017-8773871. — DayakDaily