Thursday, October 1, 2009

"Basant": The Traditional Festival of Colours and Hapiness - - Basant (Kite-Flying Festival) is Celebrated to Welcome Spring Season

In Pakistan all seasons have their own festivities, each has a different flavour. Pakistan shares all it's festivities with its neighbouring countries like India.

Lahore is the provincial capital of Punjab. It's a very historical city, Mughals who ruled the subcontinent found this city their favourite if you happen to visit this fascinating city you'll find a lot of monuments still showing that Mughals ruled this part of the world for a massive period of time. Lahore is such a famous city especially in Pakistan that people of Pakistan are used to say that (it's a term in Punjabi language which means) "One who hasn't seen Lahore has seen nothing".

Traditionally its said that Basant is celebrated to bid farewell to the winter season and to announce the arrival of spring season. Basant is celebrated in a big way in Pakistan and has become a very powerful traditional festival of Pakistan. It's a kite-flying festival which had originated from India and now it's famous across Pakistan especially in the Punjab province. In Lahore Basant is celebrated in the month of February usually around 20th of February. Lahorians prepare for the big event with a lot of enthusiasm and zeal. They start the preparation for the festival very early.

Basant is celebrated on Saturday evening which is usually called as night Basant. The night Basant is totally different thing to see. People prepare for the night Basant by putting floodlights on their roofs. If you get a look of sky at the night Basant you find that sky is covered with white kites floating in the sky like stars representing a spectacular scene. People especially ladies wear yellow clothes, which is a traditional dress of Basant. In contrast to night Basant the Basant on day is a totally different experience because unlike night now people fly colourful kites and sky is covered with vivid colours.

In March, Basant is celebrated in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The same is the scene here and same is the passion. In whatever city this fascinating festival is celebrated people love to come and enjoy. Hotels are packed to capacity and quite often it happens that people don't even find a room to stay. The reason for that is that not only people from all across the country come to participated in this festival with the locals but also people from neighbouring countries like India come to Pakistan to take part in this flamboyant festival.

For the last few years more and more organizations are celebrating this festival as commercial venture. This year the government has also jumped in to promote the festival so as to promote the culture of Pakistan. It has been made a part of spring festivities which continue for about one and a half month and includes fun fairs, flower shows, food fairs and kite flying competitions.

Kite making has developed into a big industry in Pakistan. Thousands of people are involved in this industry and are earning their livelihood from kites and thread. The small festival originating from Lahore has now spread all over the country enlightening the welcoming festivities of spring.

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