Sarawak Public Holidays
Discover upcoming public holiday dates for Sarawak and start planning to make the most of your time off.
Sarawak has four public holidays not found in most other parts of the country – the highest number of non-standard public holidays compared to other Malaysian states:
According to the 2010 census, more than 46 percent of the population of Sarawak is Christian. For this reason, Good Friday is a widely commemorated public holiday in Sarawak with many offices, schools and government agencies closed. Businesses, however, often remain open due to the strong tourist and shopping trade in Sarawak.
Hari Gawai is a religious and social occasion celebrated on June 1st and 2nd each year that marks the end of the harvesting season. There is much singing and dancing as farmers start a new farming season and many who work in the city return to villages to celebrate. A month before the celebration, tuak, or rice wine, is prepared and is served throughout the holiday. Langkau, similar to vodka, is also served. It is made through the heating and condensation of tuak.
The 2nd Saturday in September is celebrated as the Sarawak Governor’s birthday, although the official title for the head of state is Yang di-Puertua Negeri. Sarawak is one of four states that are not governed by monarchs. The governor is appointed by the King of Malaysia. The current Yang di-Puertua Negeri is Abdul Talb Mahmud.
In May 2016, the Chief Minister’s Office announced that a new public holiday had been created on July 22 and would be known as Sarawak Independence Day. Sarawak was granted self-government on July 22, 1963 under the condition it would join Malaya, North Borneo and Singapore to form Malaysia.