(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1ZKr965)
Sorry – somewhat belated, apparently it was June 1st….anyway.
Agong’s Birthday is a holiday that is oriented around the celebration of the Malaysian King’s Birthday. In Malaysia, the King is referred to as Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Agong’s Birthday is officially observed on the first Saturday in June each year.
Agong’s Birthday is celebrated in various ways throughout Malaysia. The largest and most popular celebration for the holiday occurs at Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur. At this impressive venue, a ceremony is held to honour the Agong and various honourable Malaysian citizens. This event is often regarded as Malaysia’s grandest event of the year. This ceremony is very formal, so everyone in attendance wears their best outfits. During the ceremony, various medals and ribbons are awarded to people who have performed impressive deeds throughout the year. Malaysian citizens are commonly awarded for heroism and acts of extreme kindness. The ceremony is also attended by members of the royal family, government, and the diplomatic corps.
During the morning of Agong’s Birthday, the Malaysian King gives a speech to the people of Malaysia from the throne room of his palace. During this speech, the Agong usually addresses a variety of issues, including politics, global crises, and challenges that Malaysia faces. While the topics of this address are quite serious, the Agong usually presents them in a manner that is hopeful and optimistic. The Agong’s address is televised in every major city and town throughout Malaysia. It is also broadcast on radio stations throughout the nation. Most Malaysian citizens make sure that they are near a television or radio when the Agong is giving his speech.
One of the most important events that occurs during Agong’s Birthday is the Trooping the Colour parade in Kuala Lumpur. Trooping the Colour is a massive military parade that takes place in Merdeka Square. The event is open to the public, but only honoured citizens and members of the military can go near the parade field. During this event, every level of the Malaysian military honours the Agong. Bands, vehicles, aircraft, infantry, and officers all take part in this extravagant celebration. During the parade, the Agong is accompanied by the highest ranking commanders of Malaysia’s military forces. After the Trooping the Colour ends, the Agong leads the nation in a few Islamic prayers.
After the Trooping the Colour event, the Agong and honoured guests enjoy high tea and a luncheon. This often occurs during the afternoon of Agong’s Birthday. This is a very large event that is often attended by over 3000 people. Despite the large number of people who attend, this luncheon is a very exclusive event.
Agong’s Birthday is a Malaysian public holiday that allows Malaysian citizens to honour the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.