His Majesty the Sultan’s Birthday is a public holiday in Brunei, celebrating the birth of their sitting sultan back on 15 July 1946. Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah is the 29th sultan of Brunei and has reigned since 4 October 1967.
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Hassanal Bolkiah was sultan at the time of Brunei’s independence from the British Empire in 1984 and has been officially knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Immediately after his father abdicated the throne on 4 October 1967, Hassanal Bolkiah became sultan, his ceremonial coronation occurring on August 1st of 1968.
On His Majesty the Sultan’s Birthday there is a military parade at the avenue grounds and Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien. There are also further parades for two full weeks after the Sultan’s birthday, along with frequent fireworks displays.
The main ceremony includes the sultan giving a speech, giving out medals of honour to armed forces members, and inspecting the Guard of Honour. You will also hear a 21-gun salute, typically carried out by small cannons, and see helicopters and military planes flying overhead. And of course, there will be much cheering as everyone wishes their sultan a very happy birthday.