Awal Ramadhan, meaning “first day of the month of Ramadhan”, is a public holiday in Brunei. Ramadhan is the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar, but the date of Awal Ramadhan varies on the Gregorian Calendar by 10 or 11 days each year relative to its occurrence in the previous year.
During Ramadhan, adherents of Islam devote themselves to prayer, daytime fasting, attendance at special mosque services, giving to charity, reading and memorising parts of the Koran, and abstinence from activities such as smoking.
Many in Brunei will attend community prayer sessions and festive meals during the late evening hours when eating food is allowed. They may also do the same in private homes.
While the first day of Ramadhan is important, its holiday status is really meant to symbolise the importance of the whole month as the time when it is believed the first verses of the Koran were revealed to Mohammed.