Riverine transport services here have gone into overdrive to cope with the heading home rush for Dayak Festival.
Sadly, this scenario will be another chapter in the history of Sibu when the road is completed as people will be able to travel by road, which is faster and easier.
For a start, what is "Gawai Dayak" all about? In a simple word, it is a festival marking the end of a harvest season.
As with other festivals, "Gawai" has its own special characteristics and significances especially for the Dayak community of Sarawak.
Gawai marks the beginning of the New Year with the ending of the harvesting season and the upcoming activities connected with preparation for the new harvest season.
The festival is an occasion to rest after the strenuous work carried out over the past year and consists of both religious and social elements.
It is also an ideal occasion for the various Dayak races in Sarawak to display their rich heritage of traditions and customs and offers an excellent opportunity for people of other races to learn more of the customs and traditions of Dayaks of Sarawak.
Gawai is an occasion for the community to give its thanks to God for providing them with their daily needs over the past year and to pray for future blessings and religious guidance for the year ahead.
As a festival which is participated in by all sectors of the community, Gawai plays a role in strengthening the inter-communal relations of the people of Sarawak.
Various differences in the way Gawai Dayak is celebrated can be observed among the different Dayak races while difference can also be observed from one area to another. In the uran areas, the method by which Gawai Dayak is observed is different from the method in the interior regions where there is greater adherence to traditional forms of celebrating Gawai Dayak.
In both cases, the basic idea behind the Gawai festival is maintained - that of merry making and thanksgiving to God.
I wish ALL by Dayak/Iban friends...."HAPPY DAYAK FESTIVAL" (Hari Gawai/Sarawak).
Photo by Awang using P&S (Lumix LX3).