Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Hol Day

Observed in the state of Johor in Malaysia — a country that’s located in southeastern Asia and is home to over 32+ million people — is a public holiday called Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Hol Day that commemorates the death of the previous sultan.

In Malaysia, Hari Hol has been celebrated since the end of the 19th century and has continued for over 125+ years, celebrating the sultan that had previously died. For Muslims in Johor, it’s a day of prayer, and a day to ask Allah for forgiveness. It’s also a day to remember all of the good deeds the former sultan did during his life.

The History Of  Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Hol Day

The tradition of celebrating Hari Hol began way back in 1896 and occurred after the death of Sultan Abu Bakar.  He was the 21st Sultan of Johor, but only the 1st Sultan of Modern Johor. He was born on February 3, 1833, and died on June 4, 1895.

The current Hari Hol celebrates Iskandar, the 24th Sultan of Johor, and the 4th Sultan of Modern Johor. He was born on April 8, 1932, and died on January 22, 2010. Today, Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Hol Day is observed on the 6th day in the month of Safar on the lunar Islamic calendar. That places the date of this holiday on the 3rd of September in 2022 on the Gregorian calendar, but on August 12th in 2024 on the same calendar.

Observing Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Hol Day

The main ceremony of this holiday is held at the Royal Mausoleum. This is where deceased members of the Johor royal house are buried. The Sultan that’s currently in power will visit this mausoleum and leave flowers.

He will also sprinkle perfumed holy water over the graves. High-level religious leaders will recite prayers during this ceremony, an event that’s attended by high-ranking government officials of Johor. It’s also a public holiday on which the general public has a day off so they can attend services and deliver up their prayers to Allah.

Where is it celebrated?
Malaysia (Common local holiday) - Johor
When is it?
This year (2023)
August 23 Wednesday
Next year (2024)
August 12 Monday
Last year (2022)
September 3 Saturday