Public Holidays in Brunei
Brunei's public holidays reflect its rich Islamic faith, royal traditions, and multiculturalism. Key celebrations include National Day, marking Brunei's 1984 independence, and the Sultan's Birthday, honoring the nation's monarch. Islamic observances such as Mawlid al-Nabi, Ramadan's culmination with Hari Raya Aidilfitri, and the Feast of Sacrifice, Hari Raya Aidiladha, underscore Brunei's deep-rooted faith. Chinese New Year showcases its cultural diversity. Each holiday offers a glimpse into Brunei's unique tapestry of traditions.
Chinese New Year (Date varies based on the lunar calendar)
- Origins: A testament to Brunei's diverse populace, Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of the Chinese lunar calendar.
- Traditions: The Chinese community in Brunei celebrates with gusto - homes are adorned with red lanterns, family feasts are organized, and traditional lion dances weave magic on the streets.
National Day (23rd February)
- Origins: Commemorates Brunei's full independence from the United Kingdom in 1984.
- Traditions: A grand parade in the capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan, showcases military displays, cultural performances, and the country's youth's involvement. The Sultan and members of the royal family often participate, reiterating the close bond between the monarchy and its people.
Mawlid al-Nabi (Birth of Prophet Muhammad)
- Origins: Celebrates the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, a significant event in the Islamic calendar.
- Traditions: Religious ceremonies, lectures, and processions take place. Homes and mosques shimmer with lights, and special prayers echo the profound reverence Bruneians hold for the Prophet.
Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri (End of Ramadan)
- Origins: Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, culminates in the celebrations of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, marking the end of fasting.
- Traditions: After a month of reflection and devotion, Bruneians come together for communal prayers, feasts, and sharing. Families visit the graves of loved ones, and children receive green packets with money, signifying blessings and good fortune.
Hari Raya Aidiladha (Feast of Sacrifice)
- Origins: Recognized by Muslims globally, it commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to obey God's command to sacrifice his son.
- Traditions: Animals, usually goats or cows, are sacrificed, symbolizing devotion and surrender to God. The meat is shared among family, neighbors, and the less fortunate.
Hari Raya Puasa (Islamic New Year)
- Origins: Marks the beginning of the Islamic lunar calendar.
- Traditions: Religious observances, community prayers, and quiet reflection characterize this day.
His Majesty the Sultan's Birthday (15th July)
- Origins: Celebrates the birth of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Brunei's reigning monarch since 1967.
- Traditions: Elaborate festivities envelop the nation. Firework displays, cultural performances, and public ceremonies, often attended by the Sultan himself, highlight the close relationship between the monarchy and the citizens.
Brunei's public holidays are more than mere days off; they are windows into its soul. Each holiday reveals facets of Brunei's deep-rooted Islamic faith, its respect for tradition, and its embrace of multiculturalism. For the keen observer, they offer an authentic experience of a nation where faith, royalty, and community harmoniously converge.
Upcoming Holidays (next six months)
|Christmas Day||December 25||Monday||Public Holiday|
|New Year's Day||January 01||Monday||Public Holiday|
|Isra and Mi'raj||February 08||Thursday||Public Holiday|
|Chinese New Year / Lunar New Year||February 10||Saturday||Public Holiday|
|National Day (Hari Kebangsaan)||February 23||Friday||Public Holiday|
|National Day (Hari Kebangsaan) (observed)||February 24||Saturday||Public Holiday|
|Start of Ramadhan||March 12||Tuesday||Public Holiday|
|Nuzul Al-Quran||March 28||Thursday||Public Holiday|
|Hari Raya Aidil Fitri||April 10||Wednesday||Public Holiday|
|Hari Raya Aidil Fitri Holiday||April 11||Thursday||Public Holiday|
|Hari Raya Aidil Fitri Holiday||April 12||Friday||Public Holiday|
|Hari Raya Aidil Fitri Holiday||April 13||Saturday||Public Holiday|
|Armed Forces Day||May 31||Friday||Public Holiday|
|Armed Forces Day (observed)||June 01||Saturday||Public Holiday|