Origin and History of Thanksgiving Day in Malaysia
Kaamatan is the harvest festival celebrated by Kadazandusuns of Sabah since ages. The word kaamatan is derived from the (Kadazandusun) word ‘tomot’ which means harvest. The local name for the festival is Tadau ka'amatan. The people of the country believe that there can be no existence of life without rice. Hence, on this day the localites worship and thank Bambaazon (the overall creator) with their Bobohizan prayers, dances and food. The day is celebrated with lots of activities, cultural programs and agricultural shows in favor to the local Rice God.
Local name: Tadau Ka'amatan
Ways to celeberate Tadau Ka'amatan in Malaysia
Kaamatan is celebrated by Kadazandusun communities to offer thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. It is celebrated with great gusto by the indigenous people such as the Kadazan-Dusuns and the Muruts. Malaysian people enjoy the day with different delicacies and alcoholic drinks which are prepared through a variety of home-brewed fermentation processes. Kadazan culture is heavily influenced by the farming of rice. Hence the day is celebrated with the dishes prepared only with rice. Tapai and lihing are the two main rice wines served and consumed on this occasion. They are also considered as a staple of the local gatherings and ceremonies. Drinks’ including alcohol such as ‘nasih/tapai’, ‘bäa/bahar’, ‘montoku’ and beer are also served on this occasion. There are plenty of other festive activities organized for the day, such as buffalo races, cultural dancing, exhibitions, open air markets, culminating in a beauty queen contest.