Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Hol Day

Observed in the state of Johor in Malaysia—a country located in Southeastern Asia and 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, honoring the sultan who has passed away. For Muslims in Johor, it is a day of prayer and a day to ask Allah for forgiveness. It is also a day to remember all 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 in 1896, following 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 of the month of Safar on the lunar Islamic calendar. That places the date of this holiday on September 3rd 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, where deceased members of the Johor royal house are buried. The Sultan 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 is attended by high-ranking government officials of Johor. It is also a public holiday on which the general public has a day off so they can attend services and offer up their prayers to Allah.

Where is it celebrated?
Malaysia (Common local holiday) - Johor
When is it?
This year (2024)
August 12 Monday
Next year (2025)
August 1 Friday
Last year (2023)
August 23 Wednesday