Festivals enlighten our minds and soul. Brunei is a perfect place for those interested in gala celebrations and ceremonies. Bruneians enjoy many festivals throughout the year with great enthusiasm and rejoice. Check out some festivals that are celebrated in Brunei.
February 23rd is of immense value for Bruneians because of the commemoration of the National Day of Brunei. On this auspicious day, everyone comes forward to share the spirit of joyfulness, pleasure and enjoyment. It is a special moment for school children, civil servants, staff members and private representatives because they can equally participate in the day of celebration. Prayers and rituals are held at the mosques.
Ramadhan (Fasting Month)
Ramadhan is the ninth holy month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims celebrate the festival by keeping fast in the month of Ramdhan, from dawn to dusk, in which they don't eat, drink and utilise materialistic comforts. During this holy month, Muslims concentrate on religious activities. Prayers are held at the mosques throughout Brunei.
Hari Raya Aidilfitri
Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Eid al Fitr) marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadhan and is celebrated on the first day of the month Shawwal. The day starts with visiting mosques early in the morning to offer prayers. This festival is marked by enjoyment where people prepare mouth smacking dishes such as ketupat (rice cakes), satay (beef and chicken kebabs), rendang (spicy marinated beef) and many more.
Royal Brunei Armed Forces Day
On 31st March, Royal Brunei Armed Day is celebrated to mark the foundation of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. This festival is organised in the heart of Brunei at the Taman Haji Sir Omar Ali Saifuddien. Military parades, parachute shows and artillery displays are held for the public.
Hari Raya Aidiladha
Hari Raya Aidiladha celebrated on November 17th, is also known as Hari Raya Koran. Many Muslims go on board to holy pilgrimage to Mecca. They sacrifice goats and cows to honour the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishmael before God intervened and asked him to provide him with a sheep instead. The meat is distributed to friends, relatives and amongst those who are less fortunate.
His Majesty the Sultan's Birthday
On July 15th, His Majesty the Sultan's Birthday is celebrated every year. To take part in this occasion, people gather at the Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar Saifuddien located in the heart of Brunei. The festival starts with the speech of His Majesty, also known as a Titah. The celebration goes on for two weeks with many attractions such as fire displays in the sky, parades and processions during the festival.
Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad
The birthday of the Prophet Muhammad is also known as the Mauludun Nabi S.A.W. Muslims. On July 9th, the festival is celebrated by reading the holy Koran. On this occasion, His Majesty the Sultan offers a speech, whereas other Royal Family members lead a procession on foot through the main streets of the Bandar Seri Begawan.
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year, which is celebrated in January/February, is one of the famous festivals of the Chinese community living in Brunei. This occasion is celebrated for two weeks, starting with the reunion of family members and relatives followed by feasts. Younger couples are bestowed with gifts of money in little red packets (ang pow).
On December 25th, Christmas Day is delighted with fun and enthusiasm. It is mainly celebrated by the natives of Bandar Seri Begawan and the Belait District. Houses are decorated with lights and Christmas trees, bells etc. The festival is enjoyed with folks, family members and friends by parties, fun and feast.