Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Basant – kite Passion in Pakistan

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Kite flying have been a tradition of Pakistan and specially in Punjab Lahore. Every year we have been celebrating this occasion and we call it Basant. If you have celebrated Basant then you might be familiar with the words like Bo Kata, Guddi, Door, Peecha, Manja, Gidda, Bhangra, Patang etc. In the pre-partitioned Western Punjab, especially Lahore locals celebrated the Basant festival by flying kites. Muslims of Punjab celebrated the Basant although it was considered as a local festival. It was mainly Muslims that participated in kite flying as an event. Today people in Lahore take pride in Basant and fly kites from their rooftops with the same enthusiasm. Its also called as Vasanta. I have collected some of the videos and picture related to Basant.

Being the historic capital of Punjab Basant is celebrated with as much vigour and enthusiasm as the ancient city of Lahore. Although traditionally it was a festival confined to the old-walled city it has spread all through out the city. Other cities in which Basant is mainly celebrated are Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Jhelum, Sialkot and Rawalpindi/Islamabad.

There use to be a lot of rush at kite shops, especially in old Lahore as children and middle-aged men gathered to purchase their favourite coloured kites and string. The festival is a part of the city’s culture. A number of special dishes are also prepared for the occasion. Basant is an event of colors and lights. The dance of kites in lights would be visible to everyone who would look up at the sky.

It was for many years officially backed by the government and sponsored by multinational corporations. Although Basant “travels” throughout Pakistani Punjab it is Lahore which made it popular not only in Pakistan but all over the world as the largest kite festival. Unfortunately 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.

Every year in February, thousands upon thousands of people descend on Lahore (also popularly referred to as ‘the cultural capital of Pakistan’) for Basant. Basant, the annual kite flying festival, continues to grow in popularity every year. It is a major tourist attraction and is a National holiday for locals. Shops start stocking kites, kite ropes, fireworks, horns, whistles and all manner of related materials as people, young and old, gather in parks and on rooftops to spend the day flying kites. Much of the enjoyment lies in the competitiveness and the aim of all is to catch drifting and stray kites by cutting the cord with one’s own kite cord and running to retrieve the loot of someone else’s kite. In recent years some kite strings have been coated in a glass fiber which cuts the strings of other kites more easily however this cheating tactic has it’s consequences as if the string should tangle around someone’s neck or even skim past it, injuries and fatalities are expected. This year a ban was put on kite flying due to safety issues arising from injuries and size restrictions were put on kites. Also a licence needed to be paid for to trade kites and hold parties. It is more and more apparent this year that there is becoming a greater divide between those who love and adore Basant and those who are trying to stop it on grounds of safety. It has also sparked some religious debates. However, the fact remains that Basant is something unique to Pakistan and popular with a great majority of people there.

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Category: Event
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2 Responses

March 12, 2010

what is the prise of manjas plztell me i requide goog manjas tell me argent.

June 20, 2011

i love Basant sport its my favorite…