Regatta Lepa is a colourful and unique water festival held in Semporna since 1994 by the Bajau Laut tribe. Every year, the waters of Semporna will be filled with colourful decorated boats with dancers and singers on board who represent a village or family.

It is an event to pay homage to the unique lifestyle of the nomadic Bajau Laut. In 2003, Regatta Lepa was declared as a national festival that attracts many foreigners and locals.

The main highlight of this festival is of course the lepa boats! There is a competition held to pick out the most beautifully decorated lepa and the winner is chosen based on their sambulayand (sails), tipas-tipas (triangular pennants), panji-panji (small rectangular flags), music, and igal-igal dance performance.

If you have not seen this amazing festival before, it’s time to place it on your list of things to see!

Images by mabul.comhkhtt_hj