|Wearing Ipok Balau (Sago Spirit) Mask during Kaul Festival (Melanau New Year)|
The Melanau used a lunar-based calendar where Bulan Pengejin, the first month of the year starts in March. During this month, the Melanau celebrate the Kawul (Kaul) Festival, which constitutes both a thanksgiving for a bountiful year past and a prayer for a bountiful year ahead.
The Melanau calendar comprises 12 months, each month consisting of 30 days. The Melanau calendar is guided by the constellations and the way of nature, as is that of their guardian spirits (‘gods’).
Each month is named after the occurrences during the specific month or after events that is supposed to have occurred during that particular month according to legend. The rise and fall of the sun, the moon and the stars determines their time for planting and harvesting, fishing and building as well as other movements, such as travel, marriages and the like.
The Melanau Calendar ( Bulan Melanau) serves as an important guide for daily activities of livelihood such as fishing, planting, harvesting, house construction and marriage because the calendar is guided by the constellations and the way of nature, the spirits and god. The First month begins in March. Each month consists of 30 days. The names of the Month are as follows:
|Gregorian ||Melanau Month |
|March||Pengejin ( The Month of the Spirits)|
|April||Pengelawah Umik (The Month of the Lesser Clear Water)|
|May||Pengelawah Ayeng (The month of the Greater Clear Water)|
|June||Paka Umik (The Month of the Rise of the Lesser Stars)|
|July||Paka Ayeng (The Month of the Rise of the Greater Stars)|
|August||Pelepa’ (Month of Plentiful)|
|September||Pegalan (Month of the North Star)|
|October||Suwah (The Month of the Waves)|
|November||Pidai (The Month of the Discoloured Skies)|
|December||Penangaih (The Month of Revival)|
|January||Pemalei (The Month of Taboo)|
|February||Pengesiseng (The Month of the Gills)|