KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has designated March 31 as a special day to celebrate Kalimaran, the annual cultural festival of its Murut community, from next year onwards.
The festival, which also includes special ceremonies to ward off misfortune, is usually held in the month of March, but the state government has decided to fix a specific date for the annual event, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew.
“March 31 will be the official celebration date for Kalimaran as recognition of its significance as a cultural event,” said Liew, who is also state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister.
Speaking at the launch of the 16th Kalimaran Festival at the Sabah Murut Cultural Centre in Tenom on Wednesday (March 27), she said she agreed with local leaders such as state Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter
Anthony that there was a need to fix a date for Kalimaran.
The date would now be incorporated into the Sabah Tourism Board’s annual calendar of events, she added.
Earlier, Anthony said that since the event began being commemorated in 2003, the dates for the Kalimaran festival shifted every year.
He felt that setting a particular date would ensure the festival would continue to be upheld as a permanent event of the Murut people in Sabah.
The Muruts of interior Tenom are largely made up of eight main sub-ethnic groups: the Tagol, Timugon, Paluan, Nabaai, Kolor, Serudong, Bokan and Tangala.