Cultural events

Discussion in 'Culture of Pakistan' started by rubPzai, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. rubPzai

    rubPzai Inactive Member

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    There are many holidays and festivals celebrated annually in Pakistan. While Pakistan is an Islamic nation, there are also several secular holidays including Pakistan Day (23 March), Independence Day (14 August), Defence of Pakistan Day (6 September), Pakistan Air Force Day (7 September), the anniversaries of the birth (25 December) and death (11 September) of Quaid-e-Azam, Allama Iqbal (9 November) and the birth (30 July) and death (8 July) of Madar-e-Millat. Labour Day (also known as May Day) is also observed in Pakistan on 1 May.

    Several important festivals are celebrated by Pakistani Muslims during the year, dependent on the Islamic calendar. Ramadan, the ninth month of the calendar, is characterised by daytime fasting for 29 or 30 days and is followed by the festival of Eid ul-Fitr. In a second festival, Eid ul-Adha, an animal is sacrificed in remembrance of the actions of Abraham and the meat is shared with friends, family, and the less fortunate. Both Eid festivals are public holidays, serving as opportunities for people to visit family and friends, and for children to receive new clothes, presents, and sweets. Some Muslims celebrate Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of the prophet Muhammad, in the third month of the calendar (Rabi' al-Awwal). Shia Muslims mark the Day of Ashurah on the 9th and 10th days of the first month (Muharram) to commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn bin Ali, (the grandson of prophet Muhammad).

    Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Christians in Pakistan also celebrate their own festivals and holidays. Sikhs come from across the world to visit several holy sites in Punjab, including the shrine of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, at Hassan Abdal in the Attock District, and his birthplace, at Nankana Sahib. There are also several regional and local festivals, such as the Punjabi festival of Basant, which marks the start of spring and is celebrated by kite flying

  2. rubPzai

    rubPzai Inactive Member

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    Silk Route Festival (September) Cultural Experience On The Roof Of The World

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    Festival on the Roof of the world where natural environs, landscape, privileged location in the highest mountains of the world, breathtaking spectacles of sheer scenic beauty, wildlife and nature, awe-inspiring snow peaks, glittering glaciers, serene valleys of lush green foliage and fruits, gleaming and scintillating streams of unpolluted water, rich diversity of people, culture, folklore, arts, crafts and heritage, await you. Highlights of the Festival Artisans-at-work (Gilgit, Karimabad & Skardu) - Master artisans from remote parts of Northern areas will be at work in beautifully designed and documented pavilions.

    Folkloric Song & Dance Ensembles (Gilgit, Aliabad, Gulmit, Karimabad & Skardu) - Folk dancers and musicians from all parts of Northern Areas including Dance, Song Ensembles from the neighboring Xinjiang Province of China and Central Asia will be invited to entertain visitors to the festival.

    Folk Music Groups - Small open air stages will be set up at the festival grounds in the different cities to present folk musicians from all over the Northern areas.

    Exotic Craft Bazaar - Exotic local bazaars will be held including Sunday & Friday markets for the local communities where people can sell, exchange or exhibit local produce, offering endless variety of cottage crafts, Knickknacks, flea-market, etc.

    Food & Fruit Fair - Food festivals will be held in co-operation with hotels and communities in several places. Farmers will exhibit and sell fruit.

    Polo Matches and Indigenous Sports Events - Several Polo matches will serve as a major attraction for domestic tourists and foreign visitors at Gilgit and Skardu.

    Camping Villages & Open Air Local Restaurants - Will be set up at the scenic spots for nature lovers.

    Ethnic Fashion Show - Depicting regional costumes and cultural traditions will be held.

    Community Festivals at District Level - AKCSP, AKRSP, and Craft Development Projects, Literary and Cultural Forums, IUCN, WWF, and other NGOs will hold community Festivals at district levels.

    Crossroads of Asia - One of the few regions in the world that holds a fascinating combination of Adventure, History, Natural Beauty, Culture and Trade at the cross roads of Asia. The region and its indigenous heritage of arts, crafts, history, landscape, people, produce and cultures is a unique experience

  3. rubPzai

    rubPzai Inactive Member

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    Polo at the peak

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    Passion for Polo will be the highest on the world’s highest Polo ground. Every year, Shandur (3,734 meters) invites visitors to experience a traditional polo tournament between the teams of Chitral and Gilgit from 7th to 9th July. The festival also includes folk music, folk dance, traditional sports and a camping village is be set up on the Pass.
    Polo is an equestrian sport with its origin embedded in Central Asia dating back to 6th century BC. At first it was a training game for cavalry units for the King’s guards or other elite troops. To the warlike tribesmen who played polo with as many as 100 players to a side, it was a miniature battle. It became a Persian national game in the 6th century AD. From Persia, the game spread to Arabia, then to Tibet, China and Japan. In China, in the year 910, death of a favourite relative in a game prompted Emperor Apao-Chi to order beheading of all players!
    Polo was introduced in South Asia, by the Muslim conquerors in the 13th century. English word ‘Polo” is in fact a Balti word meaning, “ball”. In ancient times, there was no limit to the number of players and no time limit. Whichever team scored nine goals first, became the winner. Today, there are six players to each side, but this is by no means a rule in local polo games. The game lasts for one hour with a ten-minute break.
    Gilgit, Chitral and Skardu have always played the game of polo closest to its original form. In the past, local Rajas, Mirs and Mehtars were the patrons of the game. At times, more than 50% of the annual budget of their principalities was spent on supporting the game.
    Shandur Polo Festival
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    Highlights of the Festival Passion for Polo will be the highest on the world's highest Polo ground. Shandur invites visitors to experience a traditional polo tournament between the teams of Chitral and during the 2nd week of July. The tournament is held on Shandur Pass, the highest polo ground in the world at 3,700 meters. The festival will also include folk music and dancing and a camping village is set up.

    Background
    Polo is an equestrian sport with its origin embedded in Central Asia dating back to 6th century BC. At first it was a training game for cavalry units for the King's guards or other elite troops. To the war like tribesmen who played polo with as many as 100 players to a side, it was a miniature battle. It became a Persian national game in the 6th century AD. From Persia, the game spread to Arabia, then to Tibet, China and Japan. In China, in the year 910, death of a favorite relative in a game prompted Emperor Apao-Chi to order beheading of all players!
    Polo was introduced in South Asia, by the Muslim conquerors in the 13th century. English word 'Polo" is a Balti word meaning, 'ball'. Now a days, there are six players to a side, but this is by no means a rule in local polo games. There was no limit to the number of players and no time limit. Whichever team scored nine goals first, was the winner. The present game with a team of six players in a side, lasts one hour with a ten minute break.
    Gilgit, Chitral and Skardu have always played the game of polo closest to its original form. In the past, local Rajas, Mirs and Mehtars were the patrons of the game. At times, more than 50% of the annual budget of their principalities would be spent on supporting thegame.

    Shandur Polo Tournament:
    The first time a polo tournament took place at the Shandur Pass, was in 1936. A British Political Agent, Major Cobb, who was fond of playing polo under a full moon, had the polo ground near Shandur, named. 'Moony Polo Ground'.
    The most exciting polo tournament of the entire Northern Pakistan, is played on top of Shandur Pass, around 3,700 meters above sea level. It is a place unique and exotic in itself, surrounded by some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world. The event marks the annual rivalry between the polo teams of Gilgit and Chitral. The Polo tournament has some added attractions for the visitors; trout fishing at the nearby streams and lakes and a festival of folk dances and music of the Northern Pakistan.
    The highlight of the festival is the final match between the Gilgit and Chitral teams. The final provides a most colorful spectacle. Supporters of both sides travel long distances from the remote parts of Chitral and Gilgit, to watch the thrilling game. The event, as such, offers a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the people of this region. Their culture and indigenous customs are a delight to behold for the visitors.

    Festival Information
    It is advisable to be there one day in advance to enjoy all the offerings of the festival. Activities at Shandur includes dance and music performances by different groups, trout fishing, mountaineering, trekking, hiking and of course, horse riding. Crystal clear lakes, snow covered mountains, alpine flowers and vast stretches of green grass, are added attractions.

    Facilities
    A tourist tent village with restaurant facilities is sprung up during the tournament. Merchants from Peshawar, Chitral and Gilgit set up souvenir and folk craft shops. The tournament offers visitors and opportunity to mix with the locals.

    How to reach?
    The Shandur Pass lies almost midway between Chitral and Gilgit on a jeep road, travelling on which, is adventurous, to say the least. The distance from either side is 170 kms. One can get to Chitral or Gilgit by Pakistan International's daily F27 Fokker planes form Peshawar and Islamabad. There are daily two flights from both destinations, subject to good weather. Visitors planning to go by air must expect adjustment of minimum 02 days in their itineraries just in case the weather does not permit flights to operate.

    Access to Chitral by road is either from Peshawar or from Islamabad. Both these routes join up in lower Swat valley near Chakdara, from where you proceed via Dir over 3200 meters high Lowari Pass and on to Chitral. It will take about 11 hours for a direct ride, otherwise, a stopover in Dir is recommended. From Dir, you shift to 4x4 jeeps for your onward journey to Chitral and on to Shandur. From Chitral side, travelers can also enjoy overnight stay at Mastuj whereas from Gilgit side, Gupis is a suitable place.
    Travelling by road from Islamabad, on the Karakoram Highway (the Silk Route), visitors can stop at halfway for overnight stay along the mighty Indus, at Besham.

    Accommodation
    For visitors to Shandur, Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) has set up its new motels with all facilities like, attached toilet/bathroom, hot/cold water, restaurant etc, at Panah Kot (Dir), Chitral, Bamburet (Kalash Valley), Besham (KKH), Barseen (KKH) and Gilgit, besides some private hotels. On the Pass, a tent village with all facilities is set up
  4. rubPzai

    rubPzai Inactive Member

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    SIBI MELA

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    Sibi lies 163 Kms. – 3 hrs. drive to the south east of Quetta at the mouth of the famous “Bolan Pass”. Since the 15th century, this town has been the meeting place of all the tribal chiefs of the area. The British carried on this tradition in the shape of an annual “Darbar” or meeting, combining it with a ‘Mela” (fair) where thousands of Baluchi tribesmen gathered along with their animals in mid February. This tradition still carries on and every year during February, Sibi has its famous SIBI MELA, where tribesmen flock from all over Baluchistan, parts of Sind and Punjab with their animals. The salient features of this “Mela” are horse and cattle and cultural shows, tent pegging, camel races, animal markets and exhibitions of handicrafts, tribal dresses and folk dances
  5. rubPzai

    rubPzai Inactive Member

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    Horse and cattle show
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    Held every year in the famous Moghal city of Lahore during end October – early November, this festival features livestock from all over Pakistan, folk dancing, tent pegging, horse and camel dancing, tattoo show and many other colorful and interesting events
  6. rubPzai

    rubPzai Inactive Member

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    folk heritage festival


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    Held annually at Islamabad during the month of October, this colour-full festival features cultural groups from all over Pakistan exhibiting their handicrafts, folk dances and music. Pavilions reflecting the life styles of different regions are on display besides various other interesting events.
    Besides the above-mentioned festivals there are many others taking place in small and remote villages featuring colorful events and activities indigenous to these areas. For further information and details of these and other upcoming fairs, please PTDC at the feedback form.
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  7. rubPzai

    rubPzai Inactive Member

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    Basant - Kite Flying Festival (March)

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    With the advent of spring, skies of Lahore are resplendent with all types and sizes of kites. The Lahorites participate in kite flying competitions to herald the spring. Basant is not only a kite flying event, but a cultural festival of traditional food, dresses, dances and music
  8. rubPzai

    rubPzai Inactive Member

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    Lok Virsa - Folk Festival

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    The largest cultural activity in Pakistan is the annual National Folk Festival (Lok Mela), held in October each year. Over the past two decades, this festival has taken on an international flavour and more than 20 different countries have sent their artisans and performers to participate in the festival. Nationally, the festival has become a thing of pride for artisans and performers, who come on their own to participate. Most important of all, the Provinces of Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir put up beautifully decorated pavilions and visitors have the unique opportunity to see an assortment of Pakistan's traditionally rich culture in the federal capital of Islamabad for an exciting ten days. An exhibition of artisans at work under the banner of the Heritage Museum forms the core of this festival. The Research & Media Centre of Lok Virsa arranges groups of dancers that perform all over the festival grounds, inviting visitors to join in, and in the evening, arranges music concerts from all parts of Pakistan. Documentation of the festival is carried out by Lok Virsa's researchers, who interview all the artisans and artists.

    Festival Highlights
    Participants come from all over Pakistan. You would be able to feel and experience the variety in tastes, cultures and heritage of Pakistan all under one roof. One may find different pavilions displaying the crafts of their respective provinces. The Kashmir pavilion may display major crafts from Azad Jammu and Kashmir like Embroidered shawls, Namda and Gabba (floor rungs and wall hangings), wood works, basketry, metal crafts and jewellery etc.

    The Punjab Pavilion may host traditional food items along with singing and listening pleasures of Punjab folk songs. Punjabi style handicrafts also manages to catch viewer attention.

    From the Balochistan pavilion one may expect to get depictions of nomadic balochi life styles and traditional artisans displaying their skills of various Baloch crafts. Leather embroidery crafts and crafts using date leaves are also prime choices of interest in this pavilion. Apart from this one may expect to get a taste of Balochi folk songs and their all famous dish called "Sajji".

    The Sindh pavilion may offer depcitions of Sindh life style, village scenes and working men and women. Artisans preparing different crafts and their traditional folk songs and instruments. "Ajrak" a traditionally made shawl is by far the most highlighted attraction of this pavilion.

    The N.W.F.P Pavilion features the pushtoon culture, customs, crafts and cuisine. Glittering metal crafts of Brass and Copper are displayed in a great variety along with stalls of traditonally made baskets. Stone carving which was traditionally done on tomb stones is also shown in a diversified fashion which can be used on planters, table tops and wall hangings. Along with this Pathan dancers perform their famous "Khattack Dance" and offer their traditional "Chappli Kebab" for your eating pleasures.

    Apart from these pavilions one may witness all kinds of cuisine, musical galas, crafts bazar, lok virsa's display and sale stalls. A richly cherishable experience bound to create a lasting impression
  9. rubPzai

    rubPzai Inactive Member

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    fairs & festivals

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    The geographical area comprising Pakistan has been the cradle of some of the most ancient and greatest civilizations the world has seen, giving it a very rich and diverse cultural heritage which manifests itself in hundreds of festivals held all over the country, every year. The festivals are held not only in the cities and towns but also in remote villages at different times of the year.

    These festivals and fairs include animal markets, horse and camel races, Camel wrestling, folk dance and music shows, handicraft stalls besides various other activities reflecting the local culture and customs.

    As these fairs are held at different times of the year all over the country, a visit to one of these can easily be included in your tour program. Following are some of the interesting festivals held in Pakistan. Please contact us for full details and confirmed dates of the fairs and festivals
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