15th July is an important event in Brunei as we celebrate His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam. During the month there are various events that happen in the country such as annual get-together with His Majesty and mini-festivals at all four districts. The celebration kicks off with the Grand Parade on the morning of 15th July.
As early as 6 in the morning, uniformed personnel prepared for their march past and the public started to arrive at the capital. Upon the arrival of His Majesty, the event started with the sound of 21-gun salute followed by the national anthem.
After the national anthem, His Majesty consent to inspect the guard of honour which consists of personnel from the Royal Brunei Land Force, Royal Brunei Navy, Royal Brunei Air Force, Royal Brunei Police Force along with members of uniformed associations in the country.
During the event, members of the public who came to watch the event stood by the gates of Taman Sir Omar Ali Saifuddien to catch a glimpse of their ruler. They cheered and waved as His Majesty passed by during the guard of honour. This shows the nation’s patriotic spirit and their love towards the Sultan.
Nur Diyana Nasriah came with a group of friends and told Sutera that it was a unique experience for her.
“It is a very important celebration for Bruneians. It is good to see many people here at the capital to show their appreciation for His Majesty and foreigners to see how the country celebrates the auspicious occasion,” said Nur Diyana.
We spoke to Eric Rogers, an American who happened to witness the grand parade. He said that it is very different to what they have back home in the USA.
“It is interesting to see the people supporting their Sultan. The event itself was very well choreographed and we do not have anything quite like this. For example, the 4th of July (Independence Day in the USA), it is very casual where friends and families sit around and watch the fireworks or have a barbeque with friends. Of course, if you go nearer to the capital, there will be something like this but not as complete,” said Eric.
The event continued the slow and fast march past by the uniformed personnel serenaded by the marching band and they gathered around the middle of the Taman Omar Ali Saifuddien to chant ‘Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik’ in unison to show their loyalty towards the monarch. The event concluded with helicopters flying past the park which was flown by the Royal Brunei Air Force.
This is just one of the events scheduled for His Majesty’s 73rd Birthday celebration, be sure to join in during the annual get together or Junjung Ziarah with the Sultan which includes unique stage performances in each district.