Brunei Darussalam Public Holidays and Business Hours

If you are planning on visiting Brunei, make sure to check the holidays and events so you can prepare your itinerary accordingly. Aside from Christmas, New Year & Chinese New Year, here are the events that they celebrate every year.

His Majesty the Sultan's Birthday Celebration (July 16)
The very laid back Brunei is turned into a colorful kaleidoscope as banners and brightly lit buildings mark the birthday celebration of the most powerful and richest man in Brunei. Each of the Four Districts have a participation in this celebration, be it fairs, parades or entertainment activities.

National Day Celebration (February 23)
Brunei National Day is always celebrated every 23rd of February. It is the the National Day of Brunei that was first celebrated in 1984. This holiday marks full independence from the United Kingdom in the same year. There are large parades by uniformed personnel, civil servants and other community sectors and performances by school children. The day is always ended by colorful fireworks.

Israk Mikraj (May 5)
Known as the The Prophet's Ascension or the Night Journey, this holiday is observed on the 27th day of Rajab, the seventh month in the Islamic calendar. Isra and Mi’raj marks the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and ascent into heaven, sometime around the year 621, according to Islamic belief. They journey where he met and prayed with many prophets is called Isra. When he was carried by the angel Gabriel and met with God, it's the second journey that called Mi'raj, which mean ladder in Arabic. Celebration of Isra and Mi'raj include prayers during the night and many Muslim cities will keep their lights on all night.

Royal Brunei Armed Forces Day (May 31)
This commemorate the formation of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces. This is celebrated by military parades and displays which takes place in at the Taman Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien in Bandar Seri Begawan.

Gerai Ramadhan (Awal Ramadan)
First day of Ramadan is a holiday not only in Brunei, but also in the neighboring countries like the Philippines. During the Fast of Ramadan strict restraints are placed on the daily lives of Muslims. They are not allowed to eat or drink between dusk & dawn. At the end of each day the fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar. Food stalls throughout the country sells a variety of delicacies for the iftar. In the evening following the iftar it is customary for Muslims to go out visiting family and friends. The fast is resumed the next morning. The Ramadan lasts a month, either 29 or 30 days, depending on the Lunar Calendar.

Nuzul Al Quran (Qur'an Revelation Day)
Commemorates the day when the words of Qur'an were first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet Muhammad was in a cave on Mount Hira, close to Mecca, when the angel Gabriel appeared and revealed the first five lines of Surh Al-Alaq. He received many more revelations after this, and after his death,  were compiled into texts. The version of these texts that became the Qur'an was established by Caliph Uthman.

Hari Raya Aidil Fitri (Eid ul-Fitri)
This marks the end of Ramadhan and the real feast for Muslims. This day is declared when the crescent new moon has been sighted or if there's no sighting due to weather, the completion of 30 days of fasting. Muslims open their doors to family and friends offering them the best of the festive season. 

Hari Raya Aidil Adha (Eid al-Adha)
A feast that is the most important one for Muslims. Eid al-Adha concludes the Pilgrimage to Mecca. Eid al-Adha lasts for three days and commemorates Ibrahim's (Abraham) willingness to obey God by sacrificing his son. According to the Koran, Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son when a voice from heaven stopped him and allowed him to sacrifice a ram instead.  This is also the feast which the Sultan'spalace, Istana Nurul Iman, is open for public.

Al-Hijra (Awal Muharram)
Aside from the regular New Year holiday, Muslim also has the Islamic New Year. Unlike the regular New Year, the latter is quietly celebrated by gathering in mosques offering prayers and reading the Koran. It is a time for Muslims to reflect on the passing of time and their own mortality.

Government Offices: 7:45am to 12:15pm | 1:30pm to 4:30pm (Monday to Thursday | Saturday)
Private Offices: 8:00am to 5:00pm (Weekdays) | 8:00am to 12:00pm (Saturdays)
Shopping Centres: 10:00am to 9:30pm (Daily)

  • Fridays & Sundays are non working days
  • If a holiday falls on a Friday or Sunday, it will be moved to a working day
  • Shortened office hours operate during the fasting month
  • Most hotel restaurants operates until 5:30pm only
For the most updated list of public holidays, please click here.

Please note that all shops are closed during the holiday and the transportation is very limited. It's better to be prepared than sorry, like what happened to us. We only know that it's their holiday but we didn't know that it's very difficult to get transportation.

We were able to hitch-hiked but from what the hotel staff told us, starting 2015 the implementation of their law will be stricter than before, so hitch-hiking might be difficult specially if the driver is a man.

For any discrepancies, please leave a comment below. Thank you!


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