| Awg Haji Mohd Daud bin Abdul Rahman |
IN OLD Brunei, September 23 was a significant date during the reign of Al-Marhum Begawan Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien III, the 28th Sultan of Brunei. Al-Marhum Begawan Sultan was born on September 23, 1916 and he ascended the throne in June 1950 and ruled Brunei for 17 years.
The royal birthday was celebrated in a grand scale at Taman Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien with a colourful procession.
The procession included Polis Brunei, Pasukan Askar Melayu Brunei, Fire and Rescue, Red Cross Association and Scouts Association.
The capital would come alive at night with stage performances put up by youth associations representing mukims and villages, accompanied by local bands made up of students and traditional dancers.
Silat and Kuntau performances would be staged at the compound of Istana Darul Hana accompanied with the sounds of the beating of the Hadrah by male youth from Kg Ayer.
On the seventh day of the royal birthday celebration, people would throng the capital, especially at Dermaga Kastam Diraja to catch the much-awaited boat race along Sungai Brunei.
Also held were the healthy baby competition and flower exhibition at Sekolah Menengah Jamalul Alam.
During night, boats decorated with colourful illumination lights would cruise along Sungai Brunei from Bubungan Dua Belas heading to Kg Tamoi and ending at Dermaga Kastam Diraja.
Many would converge near the main stage at Padang Besar to enjoy comedic skits from the likes of Pg Hj Tengah bin Pg Anak Hashim, Pg Asmalee bin Pg Ahmad and Hj Ahmad Arshad, who were well-known for their stand-up acts.
A beauty pageant for women and Joget dance competitions were among the highlights of the stage performances where participants included those from the neighbouring countries as well.
The royal birthday has always been celebrated in a grand way and has been continuing in the same manner today, where members of the public would seize the opportunity to meet and greet His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam especially during the get-together events.