Basant (Jashn-e-Baharaan)

Posted on Posted in Festivals

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The festival is limited in its celebrations in Pakistan. Instead, the celebrations of spring known as ‘Jashn-e-baharaan’ in Urdu, are carried on in the entire country for almost a month. Basant, in particular, is celebrated in eastern Punjab especially Lahore. Lahore being the historic capital of Punjab celebrates Basant with a lot of vigour and enthusiasm. Although traditionally it was a festival confined to the old-walled city it has spread throughout the city. Other cities in which Basant is mainly celebrated are Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan,Karachi, Jhelum, Kasur, Sialkot and Rawalpindi/Islamabad.

It was for many years officially backed by the government and sponsored by multinational corporations. Although Basant is celebrated throughout Pakistani Punjab, it is Lahore which made it popular not only in Pakistan but all over the world as the largest kite festival. Over the years, the Basant festival has drawn thousands of revellers to Lahore from all over the world. Even Indian movie stars had started participating in the festival which peaks with an all-night flood-lit kite flying marathon on the eve of the festival. However, there are accidents and even deaths during the festival each year because of the public’s ignorance towards the use of banned strings and also gunfire.