Magahau Festival is a major celebration for the Rungus community in North of Sabah. The term ‘Magahau’ carries the meaning of ‘joy’ and ‘happiness’. Held annually, Magahau Festival is usually celebrated by a number of villages or at least by a group of Rungus families. The festival is celebrated by 7 zones and each zone will take turn to celebrate the Magahau Festival starting from the month of June before the peak celebration and closing in August.
The Rungus community symbolically will celebrate this joyous occasion as thanksgiving for the abundance of food and produce, ritual activities or merriment. Among the activities organized during this festival is Monurizak (Rungus singing competition), Gimpuhut Magahau (Rungus beauty pageant), Hontira (traditional games contest), Mobpiri (Fire starting contest) and others. These activities promote Rungus’ unique culture through their handicrafts, costumes, food and musics.