Tamu Besar Kota Belud is one of the biggest events on Sabah calendar. Initially meaning Open Market, Tamu Besar Kota Belud has evolved into a full-scale cultural performance and festival. This year Tamu Besar falls on 26 to 27th of October. During this 2-day event, there are programs such as singing competition, beauty pageant, cultural dance, cow racing, and horse racing.
Video from Tamu Besar.
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Ratu Serimpak contestants wear traditional costume and headdress. The winner is selected base on one who can present herself in the best manner and language
Cultural dance from local group
Dusun traditional dancers in their traditional costume
The local Tiong Hua (Chinese) school dance club presenting their cultural dance
The winner of Tanjak Pahlawan (male) and Ratu Serimpak for year 2013. The prize was presented by Tuan Yang Terutama Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Juhar Mahiruddin and Yang Amat Berbahagia Toh Puan Datin Seri Panglima Norlidah binti Datuk RM Jasni.
At 2 pm, the crowd gathers at the open field at the center of town. Horse riders gather and ready to show off their horses and their riding skills. The Bajau of Kota Belud are renowned horsemen and are dubbed the “Cowboys of the East”. 100 horsemen appear and make formation on the field with a specific theme in the presence of YB Dato’ Abdul Rahman Dahlan. This is the first time I see so many riders at one go.
The horse riders also play a game of netball to entertain the crowd.
If you think horse riding is too mainstream, then buffalo riding will sure get your attention. The local can ride on anything.
And there is this interesting competition of tying up the cow, the fastest person to tie up a cow wins!
There are 4 types of buffalo racing competition: Race with buffalo pulling the prowler and a rice bag on it, Buffalo race by carrying a rice bag, Straight line buffalo racing, and Buffalo racing in a circle.
A horse riding musical chair game, they really come up with a creative idea for horse rider.
Tamu Besar is a real cultural experience for anyone as Kota Belud has colorful cultures with multiracial people living together here. If you want to know the real side of Sabah, mark your calendar and visit Tamu Besar next year!