Basant: Indian Festival Of Spring

Basant is a famous spring festival celeberated throughout India. Learn more about this colorful festival.

Basant is a seasonal festival celebrated throughout Indian sub-continent mainly in Punjab (both in Indian Punjab and Pakistani Punjab). This festival is celebrated at the end of winter to welcome spring, when there are yellow flowers in the field (Punjab province is neither hilly area nor desert but famous for its agricultural land). This festival, usually celebrated at the end of February or in the begging of month of March (depending on weather). In Pakistan nowadays this festival is celebrated as a national festival.

"Kite flying" is the major and most colorful event of this festival. The sky is covered with colorful kites and it seems that sky is moving. You can hardly see sky, as there are too many kites on the sky (do not confuse this with Chinese kite flying festival, where there are big kites made of cloth, plastic etc, tied with ropes and many people are busy in flying one kite. But in basant festival kites are of medium size normally from 1 feet to 4 feet in diameter, made of paper). Kites are usually made of paper, made especially for this purpose. Kites are of different shapes and so identified by different names like "Tukal","Pari", "Doo-Akhal", "Pan", "Lepo", "Rocket", "Parpharata" etc. The kite is tied with specially made thread called "Doore". "Doore" is the most important thing in kite flying and many precautions are taken to prepare it. Thread for "Doore" is locally prepared in Pakistan as well as it is also imported from other countries. Then "Manja" (a paste made of glue, color, and finely crushed glass mainly) is spread on the thread in a special way and in this way a thread becomes "Doore". Preparation for this festival started many days ago and people spent a lot of money on the kites and "Doore", as they hold the key importance in this festival. People made new clothes for this festival and made delicious dishes for this particular occasion (as Pakistan is famous for its delicious and spicy foods).

"Yellow" is the color of the festival and so it dominates everywhere i.e. in the kites, in the clothes, especially in the clothes of ladies, as ladies made a lot of preparation for this particular occasion. There are kites in the sky not only in daytime but also in night. People use searchlights in the night to fly the kites. All the family members gather at one single place (as in Pakistan there is joint family system) and celebrate this festival.

People use necks of bottles or tapes to cover their fingers as "Doore" cut their fingers (because thread is spread with finely powdered glass). "Lahore" (Capital of Punjab province) is famous for this festival. There are thousands of tourists not only within country but also from outside the country that come to enjoy the festival. There is loud music in the air and people dancing when they cut someone other's kite.

Although there is noise it makes you move, not bored. When there is "Basant", there are kites, music and dancing people all around.

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