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Many festivals are celebrated in Pakistan every year, each with its own importance, character, and joy.
As an integral part of society, they are greeted with music, dance, fireworks, and food. The festivals celebrated in Pakistan are both Islamic and cultural in nature.
Let’s go through a list of some of Pakistan’s famous and traditional festivals.
A night to repent and beg for forgiveness. The South Asian sweet, “halwa” is distributed to families and neighbors. Donations are also provided to the needy.
Known as the “Festival of Lights” Mela Chiraghan is a 3-day festival commemorating the death anniversary of Shah Hussain, a 16th-century Sufi saint, and poet in Lahore.
The temple is called Madho Lal Hussain; Madho is a devoted Hindu devotee of his work.The festival takes place In the Baghbanpura district of Lahore. Energetic days, cheered by meditative Sufi dance and live music.
This traditional festival is the oldest celebration in the entire subcontinent and the largest in Punjab but now ranks second. It was once held at the Shalimar Garden in Lahore but was moved to the temple of Hussain in 1958.
The holiday Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, is celebrated worldwide.
Muslims observe the month of Ramadan by reciting the Quran, emphasizing charity (zakat), fasting and drinking during the day, and focusing on prayer and study to increase taqwa or consciousness of their spirituality.
One of the five pillars of Islam is the observance of the month of Ramadan. Eid-ul-Fitr, often shortened to “Eid” is a traditional three-day joyful celebration.
Muslims mark the occasion with private and public events such as joint prayer (salat), feasting, preparing and eating special foods, giving gifts, wearing new clothes, and visiting friends and family.
A few days before Eid-ul-Fitr, Muslims donate food to the poor (a charity that breaks fasting). So, people can mark the end of fast food with a special holiday meal.
Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th day of Zill Hajj, the 12th Islamic month.
This holy day known as the second Eid is celebrated in memory of the sacrifice of the Prophet Ibrahim, in which he offered the life of his son, the Prophet Ismail, to fulfill the decree of Allah.
On this day, Muslims worldwide sacrifice a sheep, goat, ox, or camel in the name of Allah, in the same way, that the Prophet did. The sacrificial animal’s meat is then divided into three parts and distributed to family members, friends, and especially the poor.
With the ongoing pandemic, it is difficult to sacrifice this Eid-ul-Adha, but thanks to the internet and technology, many online Qurbani sites will do the Qurbani for you.
This festival resembles the Nowruz festival of Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. In Chitral, Gilgit, and Baltistan, Nowruz is celebrated as a socio-religious holiday from March 21 to 23.
It is celebrated with great fanfare in Balochistan and in most of the major urban centers of Pakistan. The party lasted for weeks.
In Baltistan, Nowruz’s main features include the distribution of colored eggs to friends and family and polo matches.
However, in Balochistan, the festival is marked by outdoor parties, traditional music evenings, polo games, and traditional fire jumping to wash away sins and open up a new beginning in life.
The origin of this festival dates back to pre-Islamic times when Pakistan was part of the Achaemenid and Sasanian Persian empires. Children and women wear new clothes to greet each other.
Special congregations were organized in different cities where special prayers were offered for the country’s prosperity. In the Hunza district, the Nawroz festival begins with agricultural activities, when people start plowing the fields.
Silk Road Festival
The Silk Road Festival is a unique and beautiful combination of adventure, history, raw natural beauty, culture, and craftsmanship, all making for an experience Unique not to be missed.
A blend of natural landscaped environments with a prime location on the world’s highest mountains. A festival that includes breathtaking snow-capped peaks, glistening glaciers, verdant valleys of fruit, and unexplored heritage.
Silk Road is an international festival held in several countries at different times and seasons.
In Gilgit-Baltistan, it is usually observed in September or October. This festival is known as one of the most inspirational festivals in the world due to its following characteristics.
Shandur Polo Festival
The Shandur Polo Festival (3700 meters) is held annually on the world’s highest polo field at Babusar by the polo teams of Gilgit-Baltistan.
This land is lush and green and is an ideal tourist destination for camping in the summer of July.
The polo festival takes place every year in August. Teams compete against each other, and the festival is attended by thousands of people from all over Pakistan. The festival is organized by the Gilgit-Baltistan Tourism Department.
Is a great sports festival organized by the Gilgit and Chitral tribes offering a wholesome cultural experience?
The tribes first met at Shandur Pass in the glorious Hindukush Mountains. The land is adjacent to Shandur lake.
Lok Virsa Folk Festival
The Lok Virsa Festival is the largest cultural activity in Pakistan, held every year in October. Over the past two decades, this festival has attracted international artisans and artists.
More than 20 countries around the world perform and participate. It has become a source of pride for artisans and performers.
The provinces of Azad Jammu & Kashmir have set up beautifully decorated pavilions where visitors can enjoy traditional Pakistani culture in the federal capital of Pakistan.
The 10-day festival in Lok Virsa showcases the multi-ethnic works of artisans working under the banner of the Heritage Museum.
Lok Virsa Media and Research Center organizes dance groups and concerts from all parts of Pakistan. The festival documents were made by Lok Virsa researchers, who questioned all the craftsmen and artisans who took part in it.
Cultural service agencies of all provinces and the diplomatic community are invited to install their prestigious pop culture pavilions.
In keeping with tradition, the festival opens with the rituals of chadar poshi and dastar bandi, which is Lok Virsa’s way of declaring the commitment of Lok Virsa to the high stature that artisans and folk artisans have in the mainstream.
The most awaited day to experience the pride and excitement of the Pakistani people.
National Day cheers can be seen in full bloom, especially in the cities. People decorate their homes, attend parades, join other parades in their cars, and wear lots of green!
In the days and weeks following the event, shops and brands began stocking dazzling green and white clothing and items. Towns and villages can be seen all lit up with lights and flags.
Festivals are of great importance in Pakistan. They depend on our social heritage, which constitutes our customs, traditions, moral values, attitudes, folklore, beliefs, and ideals.
Socially and economically, they attract many tourists from all over the world. Festivals help us get out of our chaotic and stressful routines and bring positivity and community gatherings that are so essential to the health of our society.