Culture - Festivals
Islamic Religious Festivals
Eid ul FitrMuslim religious festival at the end of Ramzan, with cultural and social activities and exchange of sweet dishes. Marked with wearing of new clothes & is celebrated throughout Pakistan. This festival is very special for ladies of all ages who proudly wear bright clothes and decorate their hands & feet with hina and bangels. The celebration goes on for three days in a row.
Eid ul AzhaEid ul Azha is celebrated on 10th day of the Zil Hajj (the 12th Islamic month). This day is celebrated in the memory of the sacrifice made by the prophet Abraham (Abraham) wherein he offered the life of his son Prophet Ismail to fulfill the decree of the Allah. On this day, all people who can afford sacrifice a sheep or a goat in the name of Allah as was done by prophet Abraham. Here too the poor are not forgotten. The meat of the sacrificed goat/sheep/lamb is divided into three parts; one for distribution among the poor, second for the relatives and third for self and own family.
EID-E-MELAD-UN-NABIThe Holy Prophet Mohammed's birthday. Celebrated throughout Pakistan with never ending processions featuring beautifully decorated carts, animals & vehicles & colorfully dressed singers' groups reciting religious songs. Free food and lots of charity is given to the poors all over the country.
SHAB-E-BARATA religious festival featuring fireworks and light displays which is celebrated throughout Pakistan. Almost every home, small or big, rich or poor, in city or village is decorated with candles, lamps and lights. Kids and adults equally participate in firing crackers and intricate fire works.
ASHURACommemorating the death of Hazrat Imam Hussain, Grandson of Holy Prophet Mohammed. Two highly emotional days of mourning with processions and public display featuring "self-flagellation" Observed throughout Pakistan. The most unusual & colorful blend haunting blood sights, decorated horses, flags & life size models of shrines. This festival is celebrated by the Shiats Muslims only.
Non Muslim Religious FestivalsThe Christian community celebrates Christmas, Easter and other religious festivals as are celebrated all over the world. Although the Christmas day coincides with the birthday celebrations of the father of the nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, on 25th December, Muslims also visit homes of Christian friends to celebrate Christmas with them. The other minorities like Hindus, Sikhs and Parsis also celebrate their religious days with equal enthusiasm. In fact the largest community that comes from all over the world to Pakistan are the Sikhs who flock their religious sites in thousands, specially the Baba Guru Nanak birthday celebrations, in November each year
SIBI MELATraditional sports, exhibitions of handicrafts, dresses, jewelry; horse show, cattle show, camel & horse races, camel & horse dances, tent pegging, concerts and colorful stalls in industrial Exhibition. The most colorful show of the year. Sibi Town is about 110 miles from Quetta on Quetta Sukkhar Highway in the province of Baluchistan.
SINDH HORSE & CATTLE SHOWAt Jacobabad, about 85 kms from Sukkhar. Sukkhar & Jacobabad are both connected by air with Karachi. Features traditional sports, exhibitions of handicrafts, dresses & jewelry; horse & cattle show, camel & horse races, camel & horse dances, tent pegging, bull racing, concerts and colorful stalls in a elaborate industrial Exhibition.
BASANT KITE FLYING FESTIVALThe Basant festival heralds the end of winter and arrival of spring. It is celebrated in the entire country, with flying kites. Lahore, Kasoor, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Gujrat, Faisalabad and other major cities of Punjab become the hub of activities with sky full of kites of different styles, sizes and colors. This festival starts at mid-night when the white kites flying in the sky are lit with millions of flood lights from every roof top. People enjoy kite matches and freely use amplifiers, music, drums, fire works and dance. The festival continues for the full night and full day.
MELA CHIRAGHANHeld for 01 week at the shrine of a famous saint in Lahore near Shalimar Gardens. Pilgrims from all over Pakistan gather here to celebrate the birth ceremony of the saint by offering one hundred thousand oil lamps at the shrine. The whole area is decorated with lights and pilgrims dance on the beat of huge drums.
CHILIMJUSHT OR JOSHICelebrated in all the Kafir Kalash Valleys of Chitral which is linked by air and by road with Peshawar. Marked with singing, dancing & feasting. Kafirs are the decendents of Alexander's army who came into this region in 327 B.C. Ever since, these people have never stepped out of these valleys & still leading primitive life based on matriarchal society. Their odd rituals, strange habits & queer customs attract & bewitch tourists from all over the world.
SHANDUR POLO FESTIVALPlayed at the highest Polo Field of the World at Shandur Pass (3750 Meters / 12300 feet), this festive & colorful tournament is played between the top divisional teams of Gilgit, Chitral, Hunza & Skardu. It is always hosted by the President or Prime Minister of Pakistan. Unusually, the polo played here is quite primitive, & rough with very few rules. The festival is added with folk dances, music, dance, local games, wrestling, tug of war etc
SHAH ABDUL LATIF BHITTAI'S FESTIVALHis festival is held every year to mark the Urs (birth) celebration of the popular Sindhi mystic Shah Abdul Sehwan Sharif. The district authorities hold this festival during August-September each year. Pilgrims from all over Pakistan participate in hundreds of thousands. Marked with group dancing (called dhammal), qawwali (religeuos songs) and colorful stalls of regional cuisines