Basant festival is celebrated on the onset of spring season every year in Pakistan. Basant is also known as Jashan-e-Baharan that means festival of spring. To celebrate basant people fly kites and welcome the spring season and this festival can be named as kites’ festival as well. This festival is usually celebrated in the February. Many people set up their shops of kites and decorate them with colorful lights.
Kites are made in variety of colors, sizes and shapes and different kites are named differently. A special thread is prepared for the kits that is known as dorr. This special thread is embedded with cut glass to make it strong so it could serve to cut the thread of other competitor’s kite.
Lahore is a city that is known for its richness in its culture and festivals. In Pakistan, basant festival is mainly celebrated in Lahore especially in Androon-e-Sheher (inner city of Lahore or Walled city of Lahore). Not just from all over the Pakistan but people from all over the world visit Lahore city to celebrate this festival. Other cities where basant festival is mainly celebrated are Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Karachi, Multan, Kasur, Sialkot, Jhelum, Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
People have special preparations for this festival. Girls wear yellow dresses and bangles on this day. Boys purchase variety of kites and dorrs for this day. Sky on this day gets filled with the colorful kits of different sizes and presents an eye-catching view. Special arrangements for music, dance and food are made to add more joy to the day. All these arrangements are made on the rooftops and people prefer to celebrate this festival on high roofs. Competitions of kite flying are often held and the competitor who successfully cuts the thread of other competitor’s kite stands as winner.
This festival is also a source of revenue generation for the people involved in different kinds of businesses like food, kite and dorr making etc. Many hotels also rent out their roofs and some arrange the festival and sell passes to make profit. This festival starts on the one night and ends on the next night.
Over the years this festival gained more and more importance that even the celebrities of India used to visit Pakistan especially Lahore to celebrate it. Unfortunately, because of some people, this festival became fatal because they used special kind of thread embedded within crushed glass and metal that caused many deaths and Government of Pakistan banned this festival all over the country.
Now government should take some steps to ensure the safety of people and try to take off the ban so this colorful festival could be celebrated again.