Gawai Day, which falls on the 1st of June every year, is a day for all Ibans races in Brunei to celebrate the end of the harvest season. It is a tradition whereby Ibans will go back to their own village or “kampung” and celebrate Gawai Day together with their families.
The celebration starts on the evening of 31 May. In most Iban longhouses, it starts with a ceremony called Muai Antu Rua (to cast away the spirit of greed), signifying the non-interference of the spirit of bad luck in the celebration. Two children or men each dragging a chapan (winnowing basket) will pass each family's room. Every family will throw some unwanted article into the basket. The unwanted articles will be tossed to the ground from the end of the longhouse for the spirit of bad luck.
Gawai Dayak celebration may last for several days. Visitors/Guests are most welcome to the homes of the Dayak during the festival.
Yesterday the residents of Rumah panjang Bang Taong celebrated their open house Gawai day. Guest of Honour for this event was Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Haji Abdullah, Minister of Development.
Bang Taong Long House is situated in Mukim Sukang, Belait Dstrict and its about 1 hr 30 mins from Sg Liang. With a total of 21 Houses attached together this long House is also known as modern Long House where it is the only long house in Belait District probably in the whole Brunei which are built entirely out of concrete and you will be surprise the decoration of the interior of the Long House,
Most of the resident are Iban and are headed by Awg Jawa ak Gelayan, Bang Taong Chief Long House.
A Happy Chief Long House, Jawa anak Gelayan
Interior of one of the house at the Bang Taong Long House