Cultural Festivals & Events

Festivals are integral part of the culture of Pakistan. Festivals are welcomed with music, dance and food. Fire-works, exchange of sweets, prayers are usual ways of celebration. Festivals in Pakistan include both Islamic and secular festivals.  Some of the festivals include:

Shab-e-Barat: This is a religious festival celebrated on 14th of Shaaban, the 8th Islamic month. It is day marked by prayers, fire-works, exchange of sweet dishes and visits. Because it’s a night festival all houses in Pakistan are decorated with candles, lamps and lights. Kids and adults equally participate in firing crackers and intricate fireworks. The night of Shab- E- Barat, symbolizes a night of forgiveness. The night of Shab- E- Barat immortalizes the entry of Prophet Mohammad to the holy city of Mecca.

Eid-ul-Fitr: Is the one the most important days for the Muslims. Eid and fitr are Arabic words.  The day celebrates end of fasting month on 1st of Shawwal, the 10th month of Islamic Calendar. After the holy month of Ramadan people return to the normal routine of life after completing the siam. Special prayer after sun-rise, exchange of sweet dishes, visits to love ones. The day is marked with wearing of new clothes & is celebrated throughout Pakistan. This festival is very special for ladies who wear bright clothes and decorate their hands & feet with hina and bangels. The celebration goes on for three days in a row.

Eid-E-Melad-Un-Nabi:This day is celebrates to commemorate the birthday of The Holy Prophet Mohammed. Processions of beautifully decorated carts, animals, vehicles are seen on the streets. Religious songs are sung and free food is given to the poor all over the country.

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Bassant: With the coming of spring Basant Festival is celebrated with pomp and show in mid-February every year in Lahore. This spring festival is traditionally celebrated by 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.

Mela Chiraghan: The festival of lights that marks the birth of Sufi saint Hazrat Shah Hussain, began on Friday night. Nearly half a million people from around the country are expected to attend the three-day event.

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Eid 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. This festival is known as the ‘Festival of Sacrifice’ or ‘Sacrifice Feast’ is mainly an event to give and to sacrifice.

Sibi Mela: This is the most colourful show of the year. Here traditional sports, exhibition of dresses, jewelry; horse show, cattle show, camel & horse races, camel & horse dances, tent pegging, concerts and colorful stalls in industrial Exhibition all take place.

Chilimjusht/Joshi: Joshi is marked with singing, dancing & feasting. Kafirs claim decendence 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 life based on matriarchal society. Their rituals, habits & customs are quite different from that of most Pakistan.

Other popular festivals include: Sindh Horse and Cattle Show, the National Horse and Cattle Show, and Shandur Polo Festival. For more information please click here.

To learn more about the festivals in Pakistan please click here.