There are several folk festivals held regularly in every part of the country. Exact dates of such festivals are fixed annually by the District Administration of the respective area, at least a month in advance. Pakistan’s main regional festivals are listed below:
Sibi Festival: Falls in last week of February. At Sibi (Balochistan). Traditional sports, handicrafts exhibition, folk music and dances.
Sindh Horse & Cattle Show: Falls in last week of February. At Jacobabad (Sindh). Similar activities as in Sibi Festival.
Jashan-e-Larkana: Falls in last week of February. At Larkana (Sindh). Traditional sports, exhibition of handicrafts, folk music and dances.
Bassant: With the advent of spring Basant Festival is celebrated with pomp and show in mid-February every year in Lahore. In other words this is the spring festival.
Alleging that kite flying is a Hindu event is also sheer ignorance. The sport originated in China about 5000 years ago, when Hinduism was in non-existent. Why single out kite-flying then, especially when it is a source of joy for the old and the young men and women? The simple reason is that Hindu at Basant Festival fly kites for enjoying Basant. With times Muslims who were living together with Hindus in the sub-continent also join them in kite-flying. Since then Muslims are taking participation in just kite-flying at the time of Basant connotating it as Pala Urant. Now a day’s people of Lahore enjoy it by kite flying competition and by visiting the shrine of Saint Madho Lal Hussein, where they assemble to pay their benediction.
Lahore is becoming the main focal point for the celebration of this festival in Pakistan. People traditionally fly kites on the roofs of their buildings. It is commonly observed that rest houses, hotels and house of relatives of the participants are fully packed with guests from all over the country. Moreover some five star hotels also arrange this function on their roof top for foreigners and other high class gentry. They also arrange variety of dishes with musical concert. Sometimes Lahorities on this occasion become emotional and in this state create law and order problems for the administration. Some of them use metal thread for kite-flying. Their deed often imposes, besides life threat, a serious problem for WAPDA when the thread touches the live wires.
In spite of the fact Basant Festival which has no links with the Muslim culture is becoming very popular and being celebrated in Lahore regularly every year with zeal and fervent.
Nauroze: 21-23 March: Celebrated only in Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu and Chitral. Polo, foot-ball, volley-ball and hockey matches, folk dances and music.
Mela Chiraghan: Last week of March. Held for 01 week outside Shalimar Gardens, Lahore. Commonly known as "Festival of Lamps". Horse & Cattle Show: End of March till 1st week of April. At Dera Ismail Khan. Local games, folk dances, music, cattle races and exhibition of local handicrafts.
Jashan-e-Shikarpur: 1st week of April. At Shikarpur, Sindh. Cultural activities, local sports and handicrafts exhibition. Joshi or Chilimjusht: 14-15 May. Kalash festival of welcoming spring, held in Kalash Valleys near Chitral. Folk dances, music and exchange of dishes.
Shandur Polo Festival: June-July. Traditional polo tournament between the teams of Chitral and Gilgit is being held on the highest polo ground of the world - The Shandur Pass (Chitral district). Allied activities include fold music, folk dances and other competitions. A tent village along Shandur Lake will be set up in cooperation with the local administration.
Utchal: 15-16 July. A harvest festival, celebrated by Kalash people in Kalash Valleys, Chitral.
Phool: 20-25 September. Held in Kalash Valleys near Chitral. Reaping grapes and walnuts, dancing and singing.
Lok Mela: 1st week of October, for one week. Folk Festival held at Islamabad. Folk Music, songs, music contests, folk dances, craftsmen at work, exhibition and sale of handicrafts. The festival presents a unique opportunity to watch the culture and craft of the whole country at one place.
Chowmas: 18-21 October. Held in Kalash Valleys near Chitral. Welcoming of winter with first snow-fall. Activities restrict to indoor.
Karakoram Car Rally: A colorful closing/award giving ceremony was held in Hunza Valley. Prizes, shields, certificates were distributed among the rallies’. SAF-International Karakoram International Karakoram Car Rally has been proposed to be held during the month of November as part of the International Year of Mountains celebrations.
National Industrial Exhibition Islamabad: In November. Exhibition and sale of Pakistan’s industrial products and handicraft items.
National Industrial Exhibition Lahore: 3rd week of November lasts for 15 days. Held at Fortress Stadium, Lahore. Exhibition and sale of industrial products and handicrafts of Pakistan. National Horse & Cattle Show Lahore: 3rd week of November held for 05 days. Held at Fortress Stadium, Lahore. Cattle races, cattle dances, tent-pegging, tattoo show, folk music, dances, bands, cultural floats and folk games.
The show has been described as an eloquent expression of Pakistan's heritage and an authentic account of its agricultural and industrial achievement's. It is held in Lahore Fortress stadium at the end of February or at First week of March. The fortress stadium, the venue of the show is thronged by active participants, foreign visitors and peoples who watch the festival with great enthusiasm, verve and aplomb.
A large number of them are interested in watching and appreciating the best breeds of livestock. Many derive pleasure by watching other activities such as display parade of animals, dances by horses and camels, polo matches, tent pegging, dog shows and their races, vaudeville acts of stuntmen, mass display of military band, rhythmically physical exercise by the children.
Tastefully decorated industrial floats and torch light tattoo shows. Additional attractions include a subtle interplay of lights to weave enticing patterns at night and breath taking acts by foreign groups. The show began as a modest exhibition organized by the army to project the cattle wealth of the country in the early fifties.
Today it is an international event to which come dignitaries from abroad and visitors and foreign tourists. The organizing committee comprises representatives of a number of agencies including army, rangers, LMC schools, the police, industrialists and the art councils.
Kara Film Festival: In December. Organized under the aegis of the KaraFilm Society, a grouping of committed young filmmakers, the KaraFilm Festival is a celebration of the moving image and of storytelling. Our goal is to promote an appreciation of the art and craft of filmmaking among a wide population as well as to encourage creativity and high standards among filmmakers. We hope that this will have a salutary effect on the development of the motion picture industry in Pakistan and elsewhere.
Many years ago, international film festivals in Karachi attracted large audiences and some of the best filmmakers in the world. Satyajit Ray, for example, was one of a host of world renowned directors screening films in Karachi in the 1960s.
With this festival we hope to create, once again, a space for alternative and independent cinema in Pakistan, where both experienced and new filmmakers can exhibit their creative endeavor’s and where work is recognized on the basis of merit. In addition, the festival also provides an excellent opportunity for filmmakers to meet and learn from each other. If you would like to travel in an area not mentioned in our itineraries, or customize an existing itinerary we will accommodate your needs. All itineraries are 100% customizable.
If you would like to travel in an area not mentioned in our itineraries, or customize an existing itinerary we will accommodate your needs. All itineraries are 100% customizable.
Polo the Game of Kings, and the king of all games are traditionally played in the Northern areas of Pakistan and Chitral for over the centuries, it has been played between the small kingdoms, villages and rival groups.
With the advent of spring, skies of Lahore and Rawalpindi are resplendent with all types and sizes of kites. The entire population participates in kite flying matches to herald the coming of spring.
Shimshal is the remotest area of the Hunza Valley in the Upper Hunza Gojal, bordering with China.Shimshal covers the largest territory within Upper Hunza, from its western reaches bordered by the Hunza River.
The Kalash believe they are originally from Tsiam, although no one yet knows where that is. It is more likely they are descendants from Indo-Aryans (about 2000BC).
Kalash people organize Uchal, the harvest celebration to pay homage to the Almighty that blessed them with fruits and other crops. They prepare cheese, buttermilk and corn to celebrate this festival.
The festival is celebrated to welcome the arrival of the New Year. All the Kalash people remain indoors and outsiders are not allowed to enter their settlements for 7 days.
Horse and cattle shows are held at several places in the country to provide recreation and create an opportunity for healthy competition in various species and breeds of livestock.
Fairs are celebrated everywhere in the world, sometimes to commemorate a special event or seasonal change. This fair, held in the small but historic town of Sibi. It is 163 Kms, 3 hours drive, to the south east of Quetta.
Pakistan folk arts are centuries old. Unfortunately these arts are not being carried forward and there is a fear of the heritage being lost. Awareness is being created by organizing workshops, exhibitions, musical evenings etc.
For centuries, the Silk Route remained the main trading route between the south Asia and central Asia. The Silk Road Festival has provided a great opportunity to travelers to explore the un-spoiled natural beauty & unique cultural.