A beautiful lepa in the past event (Photo credits to: masareka.blogspot.com)
The Regatta Lepa has been celebrated every year in April since 1994 and is one of the major events in the Malaysia’s National Tourism Calendar. This celebration involves a water festival which is held in Semporna to honour the lepa. Lepa actually means boat in the dialect of east coast Sea Bajau people. The highlight of this event is definitely the ‘Lepas‘ that carry a full traditional musical troupe with a Bajau dancer performing the ‘Mengiluk‘ dance in the front. Each participating village will send their best decorated boat to participate in this event.
At this time of the year, the town of Semporna comes to life as a fleet of colorful boats parade the Celebes Sea to compete for the title of ‘Most Beautiful Lepa. The winner will be judged based on the local ethnic music and dances performed, tapis-tapis(small flags), decoration and sambulayang (sails). Besides that, there will also be the Lepa Beauty Pageant, fireworks display, various cultural performances, as well as sports and games which are suitable for the whole family.
Event: The Regatta Lepa 2014
Organizers: Semporna District Office
Venue: Regatta Lepa Square, Semporna
Date: 25th – 27th April 2014
Ticketing: Free admission