Festivals and events

Brunei is a Muslim country and during Ramadan travel can be more difficult and many restaurants close during daylight hours. A great time to visit is the week of the sultan's birthday celebrations in mid-July. The event is celebrated with parties and fireworks and this is the only time when the palace grounds are open to the public.


Chinese New Year is a two-week celebration beginning with a family reunion dinner on New Year's Eve.National Day Celebrations on 23 February is a celebration of Independence at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium.


The Prophet's Birthday falls in March/April. As well as religious functions, there's a procession through the streets of Bandar Seri Begawan.


Royal Brunei Armed Forces Day, 31 May, celebrates the creation of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, with military parades.


The Sultan's Birthday, 15 July. One of the biggest events in the national calendar and the only time when the grounds of the Istana Nural Iman are open to the public. Royal address and an investiture ceremony.


Ramadan, the holy month when Muslims abstain from eating and drinking between dawn and dusk. During fasting hours it is considered ill-mannered to eat, drink or smoke openly in public. The end of Ramadan is marked by the
Hari Raya Puasa celebration, when families gather for a feast.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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