The Sultan’s Birthday, also known as His Majesty The Sultan’s Birthday, is a public holiday that commemorates the birthday of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah who was born in 1946 on this date. This is a public holiday that begins with mass prayers at the start of the day that’s then followed by a royal address from the sultan and other members of the government.
This is also a day on which the Sultan meets his subjects at each of the four districts in Brunei. Because the Sultan’s birthday is a national event, there are festivities that stretch across the entire month.
The History Of The Sultan’s Birthday In Brunei
On July 15, 1946, Hassanal Bolkia was born as the eldest son to Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien and Queen Pengiran Anak Damit. As the Crown Prince, he succeeded to the throne as the Sultan of Brunei in 1961. On August 1, 1968, he would be officially crowned as His Majesty the Sultan.
He is currently the 29th Sultan of Brunei and his lineage goes all the way back to the 14th century. Because he is not only the Sultan but also the Prime Minister of Brunei, he is one of the few monarchs in the world that is an absolute monarch.
Observing The Sultan’s Birthday In Brunei
Most annual celebrations of the Sultan’s Birthday begin with mass prayers that pray for the Sultan’s health and the continued health of Brunei. There is also a royal address delivered by the Sultan that’s given before he congregates with his subjects in each district of Brunei. Other events that take place on this holiday include parades, festivals, and night markets.
During the COVID-19 Pandemic, events had to be altered to abide by disease prevention protocols that were in effect. On social media, the hashtag #SultansBirthdayBrunei can be used to spread the word about this holiday online.