This important Islamic holiday does not have a fixed date, but the celebrations of Mawlid, or the Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, usually take place in January or February – celebrated during the 3rd month of the Islamic calendar, the Rabi’ al-awwal. On this date the Sultan and the rest of the royal Brunei family typically lead a procession throughout Bandar Seri Begawan to mark the occasion.
The Prophet Muhammad was born in the year 570 in the city of Mecca, and to celebrate his birth Muslims organize huge processions in the streets of Islamic cities. The streets, mosques and houses are decorated, and everybody joins in on the celebrations. It is common to prepare food to be distributed to the poor as a sign of charity, while children usually read events of the life of the Prophet in poetry and Islamic scholars read out loud the Qaṣīda al-Burda Sharif, an ode of praise to this renowned spiritual leader.