In here we’re about to share 10 Fun Festivals In Pakistan. A lot of festivals are celebrated in Pakistan annually, each has its own importance, features, and joy. Being an integral part of society, they are welcomed with music, dance, fireworks, and food. Festivals celebrated in Pakistan include both Islamic and cultural.
Table of Contents
- 01. Shab-e-Barat
- 02. Mela Chiraghan
- 03. Eid-Ul-Azha
- 04. Jashan-e-Nowruz
- 05. Silk Route Festival
- 06. Lal Shahbaz Qalandar
- 07. Ramadan
- 08. Eid-ul-Fitr
- 09. Ashura
- 10. Data Darbar Urs
Shab-e-Barat, Barat Night, Cheragh e Barat, Berat Kandili, or Nisfu Syaaban (in Southeastern Asian Muslims) Shab-e-Barat is one of the major festivals for the Muslims, celebrated on the 15th night (the night on 15th only) of the month of Sha’ban, the eighth month of the Islamic calendar.
This blessed night starts at sunset on the 15th Shaban and ends at dawn on the 15th of Shaban. Different countries have different ways of celebrating this day and each has a different name for it. Shab-e-Barat is observed simultaneously with the Shia Mid-Sha’ban Mahdi birthday festival, but Barat has different origins.
02. Mela Chiraghan
Mela Chiraghan or Mela Shalimar is a three-day annual festival to mark the urs (death anniversary) of the Punjabi poet and Sufi saint Shah Hussain (1538-1599) who lived in Lahore in the 16th century. It takes place at the shrine of Shah Hussain in Baghbanpura, on the outskirts of Lahore, Pakistan, adjacent to the Shalimar Gardens. The festival also used to take place in the Shalimar Gardens, until President Ayub Khan ordered against it in 1958.
The festival used to be the largest festival in the Punjab, but now comes second to Basant. Common peasants, Mughal rulers, the Punjabi Sikh residents and even the British officers during their British Raj used to show up at this festival. Maharaja Ranjeet Singh (13 Nov 1780-27 June 1839) had high respect for this 16th century sufi saint Shah Hussain. In the early half of the 19th century, during the Sikh ruling period in Punjab, Maharaja Ranjeet Singh used to lead a procession from the Lahore Fort to this festival site.
Eid al-Adha is the second and the larger of the two main holidays celebrated in Islam (the other being Eid al-Fitr). It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to Allah’s command. Before Ibrahim could sacrifice his son, however, Allah provided him with a lamb which he was supposed to kill in his son’s place because of his willingness to sacrifice his own son in the name of God.
In commemoration of this intervention, animals are ritually sacrificed. Part of their meat is consumed by the family which offers the animal, while the rest of the meat is distributed to the poor and the needy. Sweets and gifts are given, and extended family members are typically visited and welcomed. The day is also sometimes called the Greater Eid.
In the Islamic lunar calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for four days. In the international (Gregorian) calendar, the dates vary from year to year, shifting approximately 11 days earlier each year.
this festival is like Nowruz of Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. In Chitral, Gilgit, and Baltistan, Nowruz is celebrated as a socio-religious festival from 21st to 23rd March. It is celebrated with much fervor in Balochistan and in almost all of Pakistan’s major urban centers. The celebration lasts for weeks.
In Baltistan, the main features of Nowruz include distributing colored eggs to friends and family and polo matches. In Balochistan, the festival is, however, marked with outdoor feasts, traditional musical evenings, polo games and the traditional jumping over a fire to wash away sins to usher in a fresh start of life.
The origin of this festival goes back to a pre-Islamic era when Pakistan was part of the Achaemenes and Sassanid Persian empires. Children and women used to dress up in new clothes to greet each other. Special congregations were held in different towns where special prayers were offered for the prosperity of the country. In Hunza district, the Nawroz festival is started off with agriculture activities, as people begin to plough their fields.
05. Silk Route Festival
Silk route festival is an exceptional and amazing combination of adventure, history, natural raw beauty, culture, and crafts – all creating a unique experience that should not be missed.
A blend of natural environs, the landscape along with a privileged location in the highest mountains of the world. A festival that embodies breathtaking snow peaks, sparkling glaciers, lush green valleys of fruits and an unexplored heritage.
Silk Route is an international festival that is observed in multiple countries with different time and seasons. In Gilgit-Baltistan, it is commonly observed in the month of September or October. This festival is known as one of the most inspiring festivals of the world owing to the following features that it offers.
Highlights of the festival
Artisans-at-work (Gilgit, Karimabad & Skardu) – Mater artisans from the remote part of Northern Areas will be at work in beautifully designed and documented pavilions.
Folkloric Songs & Dance Ensembles (Gilgit, Aliabad, Gulmit, Karimabad & Skardu) – Folk Dances and Musicians from all part of Northern Areas including Dance, Song Ensembles from the neighboring Xinjiang Province of China and Central Asia will be invited to entertain visitors the festival.
Folk Music Group – Small open-air stage will be set up at the festival grounds in the different cities to present musicians from all over the Northern Areas.
Exotic Craft Bazaar – Exotic Local Bazaar will be held including Sunday and Friday markets for the local communities in several places. Farmer will exhibit and sell fruits.
Polo Matches and Indigenous Sports Events – Several Polo Matches will serve as a major attraction for foreign visitors at Gilgit and Skardu.
Camping Village and Open-air Restaurants – will be set up at the scenic spot for nature lovers.
Ethnic Fashion Show – Depicting regional costumes and cultural traditions will be held.
Community Festival at District level – AKCSP, AKRSP and Craft Development Projects, Literary and Cultural Forums, IUCN, WWF and other NGOs will hold community Festival at District Levels.
CROSSROADS OF ASIA! – One of the few region in the world that holds a fascinating combination of Adventure, History, Natural Beauty, Cultural and Trade at the crossroads of Asia. The region and its indigenous heritage of arts, crafts, history, landscape, people, products, and cultures is a unique experience.
06. Lal Shahbaz Qalandar
Hazrat Sayyid Usman Marwandi, popularly known as Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (لعل شھباز قلندر), was a Sufi saint and poet of present-day Pakistan.
Lal Shahbaz Qalandar was born in Marwand, Sistan to a family from Baghdad. He eventually settled in Sindh and helped many people in converting to Islam and was revered by the local Sindhi population. Lal Shahbaz Qalandar had also been reputed for performing many miracles and was seen as a very holy figure in Sindh.
The 19th century spiritual Sufi Manqabat Dama Dam Mast Qalandar is dedicated to Lal Shahbaz Qalandar and is widely popular in the sub-continent.
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and is observed throughout the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, and all able-bodied adults fast of both food and water from sunrise to sunset for the duration of the 30 days.
Aside from food and drink, tobacco must also be refrained from during the month of Ramadan. Pakistani Muslims devote this month to salat (prayer), recitation of the Quran, and the doing of charitable deeds.
Fasting is not for 30 days straight though! During Ramadan, two meals occur each day. Suhoor occurs just before dawn and is followed by the first prayer of the day while Iftar is eaten at sunset.
So you might be wondering what does this mean for travelers? While restaurants and food stalls will be closed during the day, it should still be possible to buy packaged snacks.
Many tourists report friendly folks going out of their way to help them find food, so no need to fear going hungry while traveling in Pakistan during Ramadan.
Celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr in Pakistan is a must-have experience for anyone who happens the be in the country at the time.
Eid al-Fitr is the earlier of the two official holidays celebrated within Islam (the other being Eid al-Adha). The religious holiday is celebrated by Muslims worldwide because it marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. It falls on the first day of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar; this does not always fall on the same Gregorian day, as the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on when the new moon is sighted by local religious authorities. The holiday is known under various other names in different languages and countries around the world. The day is also called Lesser Eid, or simply Eid.
Ashura takes place from the eve of the 9th of Muharram– a holy month for all Muslims- through the 10th. But what really is this national holiday of Pakistan?
Ashura is a day of commemoration in Islam. It occurs annually on the 10th of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. Among Shia Muslims, Ashura is observed through large demonstrations of high-scale mourning as it marks the death of Husayn ibn Ali (a grandson of Muhammad), who was beheaded during the Battle of Karbala in 680 CE.
Among Sunni Muslims, Ashura is observed through celebratory fasting as it marks the day of salvation for Moses and the Israelites, who successfully escaped from Biblical Egypt (where they were enslaved and persecuted) after Moses called upon God’s power to part the Red Sea. While Husayn’s death is also regarded as a great tragedy by Sunnis, open displays of mourning are either discouraged or outright prohibited, depending on the specific act.
10. Data Darbar Urs
One of the many religious festivals in Pakistan, the Data Darbar Urs commemorates the death anniversary of Sufi saint Data Ganj Baksh, who is believed to have lived in Pakistan in the 11th century.
His shrine, Data Darbar, is the largest in all of South Asia and is considered to be the most sacred place in Lahore.
Though you can visit the shrine 24/7, attending the Urs ceremony is a whole new experience. Over 1 million devotees come during the 3-day festival, many of which stay overnight on the shrine’s grounds.
Unlike other Sufi shrines, Data Darbar has segregated entrances for men and women, though it’s still possible for women to see his tomb. On the streets that surround the complex, you can see malangs performing dhamal and take a gander at qawwali performances.