Brunei National Day ('Hari Nasional' in Malay) is always celebrated on 23 February. This holiday marks full independence from the United Kingdom in 1984. It is the National Day of Brunei.
At the turn of the fifteenth century, the Bruneian Empire under the leadership of Sultan Bolkiah emerged as an important power within the Malay Archipelago, controlling several regions in Borneo.
During the nineteenth century, the influence and domain of the Bruneian Empire was starting to wane, eventually becoming a British protectorate in 1888.
Brunei was occupied by the Japanese during World War II, invading only a week after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Brunei was liberated by Australian forces in June 1945.
In 1959, a new constitution was adopted which declared Brunei a self-governing state, though foreign affairs, security, and defence matters remained under the control of Britain.
Despite a minor rebellion that was suppressed in 1962, Brunei's position as a UK Protectorate was largely peaceful. On 1 January 1984, Brunei gained its independence from the United Kingdom.
The official name of the country is Sultanate of Brunei, Abode of Peace or 'Negara Brunei Darussalam' in Malay.
Even though Brunei became independent on 1 January 1984, British control over formally ended on 23 February 1984, so it is this date that now commemorates Brunei's independence.
This holiday was first celebrated on 23 February 1984, and it has become a popular holiday with the national flag a common sight in streets and on buildings. A large parade is held in the national stadium, and it has become a tradition for people to visit their mosques and offer prayers to celebrate the country's independence.