Sultan’s Birthday

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 public holiday begins with mass prayers at the start of the day, followed by a royal address from the Sultan and other members of the government.

This is also a day when the Sultan meets his subjects in each of the four districts of 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 Bolkiah was born as the eldest son to Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien and Queen Pengiran Anak Damit. As the Crown Prince, he ascended to the throne as the Sultan of Brunei in 1961. On August 1, 1968, he was officially crowned as His Majesty the Sultan.

He is currently the 29th Sultan of Brunei, and his lineage dates 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 who is an absolute monarch.

Observing the Sultan’s Birthday in Brunei

Most annual celebrations of the Sultan’s Birthday begin with mass prayers for the Sultan’s health and the continued prosperity of Brunei. There is also a royal address delivered by the Sultan before he meets 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 comply with disease prevention protocols in effect. On social media, the hashtag #SultansBirthdayBrunei can be used to spread the word about this holiday online.

Where is it celebrated?
Brunei (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
July 15 Monday
Next year (2025)
July 15 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
July 15 Saturday