BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, More than 35,000 people visited Istana Nurul Iman, the royal palace of Brunei on Saturday, the first day of the three-day "Open Palace" Hari Raya celebration.
As a country with around 400,000 population, Brunei has kept the tradition to open its royal palace to the public for years, in conjunction with the annual Muslim festival of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, to enable Bruneians and tourists to meet and convey their greetings to the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah as well as other members of the royal family.
Istana Nurul Iman this year opens to the public for three days starting from Saturday which is the second day of the festival and sees a total of 35,613 visitors.
"The annual Open Palace is a unique tradition of Brunei," Australian tourist Andrew Craven told Xinhua.
"For us, this is the best opportunity to visit Istana Nurul Iman and to meet the Sultan of Brunei face to face," he said.
As usual, the visitors as guests have the chance to enjoy various special cuisines for them and then proceed to the designated waiting area before the meet-and-greet with the sultan as well as other members of the royal family.
Besides citizens and tourists, the visitors also included foreign diplomats as well as officials and staff from various ministries.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK