Kaamulan started as a festival on May 15, 1974, during the fiesta celebration of the then municipality of Malaybalay. A town official thought of inviting some indigenous people to town and made them perform a few dance steps at Plaza Rizal to enliven the fiesta celebration.
The celebration however proved very popular and together with national coverage the Kaamulan festival has become the regional festival of Northern Mindanao, as declared by the Regional Development Council of Region 10 on September 16, 1977.
Kaamulan was formerly held on the first week of September but in 1996, it was transferred to the present date to synchronize it with the foundation celebration of the province.
“Kaamulan” is from the Binukid word “amul” which means “to gather”. It is a gathering of Bukidnon tribespeople for a purpose. It can mean a datuship ritual, a wedding ceremony, a thanksgiving festival during harvest time, a peace pact, or all of these put together.
As an ethnic festival, the Kaamulan celebrates the customs and traditions of the seven tribal groups that originally inhabited the Bukidnon region, namely, the Bukidnon, Higaonon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon and Umayamnon. Several tribal folks representing these seven hill tribes of Bukidnon gather in unity with the local dwellers in town, wearing their intricately woven costumes studded with trinkets, anklets, earrings, necklaces, leglets, headdresses and amulets. They dance together, chant, perform ancient rituals, and compete in indigenous sports.