With the advent of spring Basant Festival is celebrated with pomp and show in mid February every year in Lahore. In other words this is the spring festival.
Alleging that kite flying is a Hindu event is also sheer ignorance. The sport originated in China about 5000 years ago, when Hinduism was in non existent. Why single out kite-flying then, especially when it is a source of joy for the old and the young men and women? The simple reason is that Hindu at Basant Festival fly kites for enjoying Basant. With times Muslims who were living together with Hindus in the sub-continent also join them in kite-flying. Since then Muslims are taking participation in just kite-flying at the time of Basant connotating it as Pala Urant. Now a days people of Lahore enjoy it by kite flying competition and by visiting the shrine of saint Madho Lal Hussein, where they assemble to pay their benediction.
Lahore is becoming the main focal point for the celebration of this festival in Pakistan. People traditionally fly kites on the roofs of their buildings. It is commonly observed that rest houses, hotels and house of relatives of the participants are fully packed with guests from all over the country. Moreover some five star hotels also arrange this function on their roof top for foreigners and other high class gentry. They also arrange variety of dishes with musical concert. Sometimes Lahorities on this occasion become emotional and in this state create law and order problems for the administration. Some of them use metal thread for kite-flying. Their such a deed oftenly imposes, besides life threat, a serious problem for WAPDA when the thread touches the live wires.
Inspite of the fact Basant Festival which has no links with the Muslim culture is becoming very popular and being celebrated in Lahore regularly every year with zeal and fervent.
Sibi Festival: (Last week of February)
This festival falls in last week of February at Sibi. Traditional sports, handicrafts exhibition, folk music and dances.
Mela Chiraghan (Festival of lamps):
(Last week of March)
Mela Chiraghan (festival of lamps) a mega event for the people of Punjab and especially for Lahorites is celebrated with traditional fervor and activities at the shrine of the renowned Sufi Shah Hussain. This festival is held for 1 week outside the Shalimar Gardens, Lahore. The festival attracts a large number of performing artists who mostly sing Shah Hussain’s kafees and dance to the drums.
Shandur Polo Festival
Traditional polo tournament between the teams of Chitral and Gilgit is being held on the highest polo ground of the world – The Shandur Pass (Chitral district). Allied activities include fold music, folk dances and other competitions. A tent village along Shandur Lake will be set up in cooperation with the local administration.
Utchal: (15-16 July)
This event is celebrated by Kalash people in Kalash Valleys, Chitral.It is celebrated to mark the harvest of wheat and barley. The celebration lasts for two days with dancing, singing, and feasting being its main features.
Lok Mela: (1st week of October, for one week)
The festival presents a unique opportunity to watch the culture and craft of the whole country at one place. This Folk Festival is held for one week at Islamabad. It includes Folk Music, songs, music contests, folk dances, craftsmen at work, exhibition and sale of handicrafts.
National Horse & Cattle Show Lahore:
(3rd week of November for 05 days )
Held at Fortress Stadium, Lahore. Cattle races, cattle dances, tent-pegging, tattoo show, folk music, dances, bands, cultural floats and folk games.
The show has been described as an eloquent expression of Pakistan’s heritage and an authentic account of its agricultural and industrial achievement’s. It is held in Lahore Fortress stadium at the end of February or at First week of March. The fortress stadium, the venue of the show is thronged by active participants, foreign visitors and peoples who watch the festival with great enthusiasm, verve and aplomb.
A large number of them are interested in watching and appreciating the best breeds of livestock. Many derive pleasure by watching other activities such as display parade of animals, dances by horses and camels, polo matches, tent pegging, dog shows and their races, vaudeville acts of stuntmen, mass display of military band, rhythmically physical exercise by the children.
Tastefully decorated industrial floats and torch light tattoo shows. Additional attractions include a subtle interplay of lights to weave enticing patterns at night and breath taking acts by foreign groups. The show began as a modest exhibition organized by the army to project the cattle wealth of the country in the early fifties.
Today it is an international event to which come dignitaries from abroad and visitors and foreign tourists. The organizing committee comprises representatives of a number of agencies including army, rangers, LMC schools, the police, industrialists and the art councils.