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FAIRS & FESTIVALS

JANUARY
Sarhad Golf Tournament
Festival of Fireworks
FEBRUARY
Sibi Mela
Sindh Horse Show
Golf Championship
Amateur Golf Tournament
Larkana Folk Festival
National Horse Show
Kashmir Day
Basant Kite Festival
MARCH
National Folk Festival
Shikarpur Folk Festival
Pakistan National Day
Nauroze Festival Gilgit
Bari Imam Festival
Festival of Million Lamps
APRIL
Horse & Folk Show
MAY
May Day (Int'l Labor Day)
Chilimjusht Kafir Festival
JUNE
Mela Lorian
JULY
Bank Holiday
Shandur Polo Festival
Utchal Kalash Festival
AUGUST
Eid-e-Milad-u-Nabi
Independence Day
SEPTEMBER
Pakistan Defense Day
Quide-e-Azam's Day
Phool Kalash Festival
Latif Bhittai Festival
OCTOBER
Gilgit Festival
Eid-ul-Fitar Festival
NOVEMBER
Iqbal Day
DECEMBER
Chowas Kalash Festival
Quaid-e-Azam Day
Christmas Festival
Bank Holiday
Eid-uz-Zuha Festival
Ashura
Suggested Reading
 
 

  FESTIVALS & HOLIDAYS

Based on lunar calendar    ? Exact date unknown    N Celebrated nationally    L Celebrated locally 

NOTE: The followings are the famous fairs, festivals and holidays observed all over Pakistan.
There are so many other colorful festivals celebrated locally in all the districts & regions of Pakistan.


 JANUARY

CHIEF OF AIR STAFF GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP (04 Days) ....  L
Held at Golf Course Peshawar. Players from all over Pakistan and many foreign countries participate in this glorious event. The participation fee (as compared to western countries) is most economical, whereas, the cash awarded to the winners of trophies is quite substantial. An golden oportunity for the foreign players to win the trophy.


SHAB-E-BARAT (01 night) ............................................. N
A religious festival featuring fireworks and light displays which is celebrated throughout Pakistan. Almost every home, small or big, rich or poor, in city or village is decorated with candles, lamps and lights. Kids and adults equally participate in firing crackers and intricate fire works.
                                                                                         
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 FEBRUARY

SIBI MELA(03 Days)  ................................................................  L
Traditional sports, exhibitions of handicrafts, dresses, jewelry; horse show, cattle show, camel & horse races, camel & horse dances, tent pegging, concerts and colorful stalls in industrial Exhibition. The most colorful show of the year. Sibi Town is about 110 miles from Quetta on Quetta Sukkhar Highway in the province of Baluchistan.


SINDH HORSE & CATTLE SHOW (03 Days) .........................  L
At Jacobabad, about 85 kms from Sukkhar. Sukkhar & Jacobabad are both connected by air with Karachi. Features traditional sports, exhibitions of handicrafts, dresses & jewelry; horse & cattle show, camel & horse races, camel & horse dances, tent pegging, bull racing, concerts and colorful stalls in a elaborate industrial Exhibition.
                                                                                         
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FRONTIER AMATEUR GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP (04 Days).......  L

Golf Course Peshawar. Players from all over Pakistan and many foreign countries participate.
 


OPEN GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP (04 Days) ................................  L

Golf Course Peshawar. Players from all over Pakistan and many foreign countries participate.


JASHAN-E-LARKANA (03 Days) ..............................................
 L
 

At Larkana, which is connected by air with Karachi.  Features competitions of Malakhra (wrestling) & other traditional sports, exhibitions of handicrafts, dresses & jewelry; horse & cattle show, camel & horse races, camel & horse dances, tent pegging, concerts and colorful stalls. 
 


NATIONAL HORSE AND CATTLE SHOW (03 Days) ..............
 L

The biggest national show of Pakistan at Fortress Stadium, Lahore. Features traditional sports, exhibitions of handicrafts, dresses & jewelry; horse & cattle show, camel & horse races, camel & horse dances, tent pegging, concerts & colorful stalls in an exhibition. Extraordinary fireworks, aerobatics, acrobatics, operas, pipers & brass drums shows and children shows.

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 KASHMIR DAY (01 Day) ......................................................  N
 

An important day celebrated by all Pakistanis all over Pakistan to express and exhibit their political, cultural, moral and religious support to their brothers in occupies Kashmir.  Rallies, processiona, debates an public seminars are held all over Pakistan.

 

 BASANT KITE FLYING FESTIVAL (End Feb) (2 Days)......... N


The Basant festival heralds the end of winter and arrival of spring. It is celebrated in the entire country, with flying kites. Lahore, Kasoor, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Gujrat, Faisalabad and other major cities of Punjab become the hub of activities with sky full of kites of different styles, sizes and colors. This festival starts at mid-night when the white kites flying in the sky are lit with millions of flood lights from every roof top. People enjoy kite matches and freely use amplifiers, music, drums, fire works and dance. The festival continues for the full night and full day.

 

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FOLK FESTIVAL OF PAKISTAN (04 Days)............................... L
Folk Dances, artisans at work, folk products on display and for sale, folk music, folk & classical dance, open air theater, magic shows, puppet shows, photographic exhibitions, food stalls, regional cuisines and many other colorful cultural activities. Organized by the Institute of Folk Heritage, Islamabad at Folk Heritage Complex Shakar Parian, Islamabad.
 

 JASHAN-E-SHIKARPUR (03 Days) .....................................  L


At Shikarpur, about 42 kms from Sukkhar. Cultural activities, exhibitions and traditional sports, exhibitions of handicrafts, dresses & jewelry; horse & cattle show, bull, camel & horse races, camel & horse dances, tent pegging, music concerts and colorful marts, puppet shows, tug of war, wrestling, tent pegging, bull racing and many other colorful cultural activities.  


PAKISTAN DAY (01 Day / 23 March) ........................................
 N

Commemorates 1940's decision to press for a Muslim nation independent of India. military Parades, processions, and other activities are held in Quetta, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Rawalpindi. The largest parade is held at Islamabad and includes displays of the latest war planes and weapons. The president of Pakistan also awards military and civil awards to the people who exhibit excellence in their professions. All offices, banks & business observe a national holiday.
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JASHAN-E-NAUROZE (03 Day / Gilgit) .....................................
L
 

Held in Gilgit with Divisional Polo Tournament as the main highlight added with folk dances, music, dance, local games, wrestling, tug of war, acrobatics etc. Coupled by exhibitions and traditional sports, exhibitions of handicrafts, dresses & jewelry.
 

 MELA BARI IMAM (06 Days) ............................................ L
 

March-April. The Urs (birthday) celebrations of Shah Abdul Latif also known as Bari Imam - He was one of the most prominent saints of the Pakistan-Indian Sub-Continent during. This is one of the largest Urs in Pakistan featuring visits of pilgrims in millions from all over the country. Colorful food & handicrafts stalls, folk music, folk dances, handicrafts and a variety of faces.

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 MELA CHIRAGHAN (Festival of Million Lamps - One Week)... L


Held for 01 week at the shrine of a famous saint in Lahore near Shalimar Gardens. Pilgrims from all over Pakistan gather here to celebrate the birth ceremony of the saint by offering one hundred thousand oil lamps at the shrine. The whole area is decorated with lights and pilgrims dance on the beat of huge drums.
 

APRIL

HORSE  & CATTLE SHOW (03 Days)......................................
L

Local games and competitions. At Dera Ismail Khan, 340 kilometers from Peshawar. Linked by air. Features traditional sports, exhibitions of handicrafts, dresses & jewelry; camel & horse races, camel & horse dances, bull racing, tent pegging, concerts, colorful stalls and fireworks. Large display of handicrafts, regional cuisines, one of the largest display of military bands, exhibition of floats and many other attractions. 

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MAY 

MAY DAY - LABOR DAY (01 May) ............................................  N

Public holiday throughout Pakistan. This day is celebrated to pay tribute to the labors of Chicago who sacrificed their lives for the rights of labors around the world. Rallies, seminars, speeches and processions bearing banners, placards and slogans are held all over Pakistan. The political leaders address labors in their constituancies.


CHILIMJUSHT OR JOSHI (01 Day) .......................................
L

Celebrated in all the Kafir Kalash Valleys of Chitral which is linked by air and by road with Peshawar. Marked with singing, dancing & feasting. Kafirs are the decendents of Alexander's army who came into this region in 327 B.C. Ever since, these people have never stepped out of these valleys & still leading primitive life based on matriarchal society. Their odd rituals, strange habits & queer customs attract & bewitch tourists from all over the world.

 


JUNE
 

 

 JULY

BANK HOLIDAY  (01 DAY / 01 July) .........................................
  N

Other offices and businesses remain open.                    Go on Top

SHANDUR POLO FESTIVAL (07-09 July / 03 Day) ........ L
Played at the highest Polo Field of the World at Shandur Pass (3750 Meters / 12300 feet), this festive & colorful tournament is played between the top divisional teams of Gilgit, Chitral, Hunza & Skardu. It is always hosted by the President or Prime Minister of Pakistan. Unusually, the polo played here is quite primitive, & rough with very few rules. The festival is added with folk dances, music, dance, local games, wrestling, tug of war etc


UTCHAL (01 Day) ..................................................................
L

Kalash harvest festival with singing, dancing & feasting.

Celebrated in all the three Kafir Kalash Valleys of Chitral. Kafirs are the decendents of Alexander's army who came into this region in 327 B.C. Ever since, these people have never stepped out of these valleys & still leading primitive life based on matriarchal society. Their odd rituals, strange habits & queer customs attract and bewitch tourists from all over the world.

 

AUGUST

EID-E-MELAD-UN-NABI (01 day) .......................................... N

The Holy Prophet Mohammed's birthday. Celebrated throughout Pakistan with never ending processions featuring beautifully decorated carts, animals & vehicles & colorfully dressed singers' groups reciting religious songs. Free food and lots of charity is given to the poors all over the country.

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INDEPENDENCE DAY (01 day / 14 August) .........................  N
 

14 August. The largest celebration in Pakistan commemorating the founding of Pakistan in 1947. Celebrated throughout Pakistan with fireworks, lightings, processions & public meetings. Folk Festivals and circus display in various cities of Pakistan. Youth carrying Pakistani flags take our noisy bike processions on the roads. National holiday. All banks offices, buisnesses and educational institutes are closed.

 

SEPTEMBER

DEFENSE OF PAKISTAN DAY (01 Day / 06 September) ........
N

Commemorates the India-Pakistan War of 1965 over Kashmir with processions, parades and air force displays at Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Sargodha, Karachi and Quetta. This day is quite popular in kids as they enjoy riding tanks & watching military weapons on diplay.
 

DEATH ANNIVERSARY OF JINNAH (01 day / 11 Sep).........  N

 

Observes the death of Pakistan's Founding Father with meetings and seminars which are held throughout Pakistan.Jinnah rose to prominance in the Indian national Congress expounding ideas of Hindu-Muslim unity & helping shape the 1916 Lucknow Pact with the Muslim League. He also became a key leader in the All India Home Rule League. Later Jinnah quit the Congress & took charge of the Muslim League.

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PHOOL (01 Day)............................................................ L
 

Another colorful Kafir Kalash Festival celebrating reaping of grapes and walnuts in all the three Kalash Valleys of Chitral. . Kafirs are the decendents of Alexander's army who came into this region in 327 B.C. Ever since, these people have never stepped out of these valleys & still leading primitive life based on matriarchal society. Their odd rituals, strange habits & queer customs attract and bewitch tourists from all over the world.

 

SHAH ABDUL LATIF BHITTAI'S FESTIVAL (06 Days)...... L
 

This festival is held every year to mark the Urs (birth) celebration of the popular Sindhi mystic Shah Abdul Sehwan Sharif. The district authorities hold this festival during August-September each year. Pilgrims from all over Pakistan participate in hundreds of thousands. Marked with group dancing (called dhammal), qawwali (religeuos songs) and colorful stalls of regional cuisines.

 

OCTOBER

JASHAN-E-GILGIT (03 Day / Gilgit)...........................................  L

Held in Gilgit with Divisional Polo Tournament as the main highlight added with folk dances, music, dance, local games, wrestling, tug of war, acrobatics etc. Display of regional handicrafts, embroideries, regional cuisines & dresses.


EID - UL - FITAR (03 Days / 25-27 Oct) ...............................  N
 

Muslim religious festival at the end of Ramzan, with cultural and social activities and exchange of sweet dishes. Marked with wearing of new clothes & is celebrated throughout Pakistan. This festival is very special for ladies of all ages who proudly wear bright clothes and decorate their hands & feet with hina and bangels. The celebration goes on for three days in a row.

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NOVEMBER

IQBAL DAY (01 Day / 09 November) ..........................................
N

Commemoration of the birthday of the philosopher, poet and the creator of Pakistan Allama Iqbal. Celebrated throughout Pakistan. The day is marked with seminars, conventions, debates and  speech competitions all over Pakistan. Iqbal's poetry in Urdu & Persian is considered to be among the greatest of the modern era, and whose vision ofan independent state for the Muslims of British India was to inspire the creation of Pakistan.

DECEMBER


CHOWAS (01 Day) ...............................................................? L
Another Kafir Kalash Winter Festival to welcome the first snow fall in Chitral Valley. All dance & music parties are held indoors due to heavy snowfall. Celebrated in all the three Kalash Valleys . Kafirs are the decendents of Alexander's army who came into this region in 327 B.C. Ever since, these people have never stepped out of these valleys & still leading primitive life based on matriarchal society. Their odd rituals, strange habits & queer customs attract and bewitch tourists from all over the world.


BIRTHDAY OF QUAID-E-AZAM (01 Day / 25 Dec)....................
N
 

25 December. National Holiday - featuring lighting, public seminars and rallies coupled with celebrations of Christmas. Jinnah rose to prominance in the Indian national Congress expounding ideas of Hindu-Muslim unity & helping shape the 1916 Lucknow Pact with the Muslim League. He also became a key leader in the All India Home Rule League. Later Jinnah quit the Congress & took charge of the Muslim League.

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CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL (01 Day / 25 Dec) ..........................  N

25 December. National Holiday - featuring lighting, public seminars and rallies coupled with celebrations of Christmas. Pakistan is inhabited by millions of native Christians who freely practice and preach Christianity and celebrate Christmas throughout Pakistan. Charity from Christian missionaries is distributed to the poor and sick all over Pakistan. Santa Claus gives presents to the rich and poor children all over Pakistan. The orphans and the sick children are accorded special gifts.


EID-UL-AZHA (03 days ) .......................................................
 N
 

The sacrifice of Holy Prophet Ismail is commemorated with sacrifices of millions of bulls, cows, goats, lambs and camels. Exchange of dishes, new clothes and household visits. This is the biggest Islamic charity event in terms of distributing millions of tons of meat of slauhgtered animals to the poor people of the country. Celebrated throughout Pakistan. Also coincides with beginning of annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

 


ASHURA (02 days) ..............................................................   N

Commemorating the death of Hazrat Imam Hussain, Grandson of Holy Prophet Mohammed. Two highly emotional days of mourning with processions and public display featuring "self-flagellation" Observed throughout Pakistan. The most unusual & colorful blend haunting blood sights, decorated horses, flags & life size models of shrines. This festival is celebrated by the Shiats Muslims only.
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BANK HOLIDAY (01 Day / 31 Dec) ...........................................
N
 

All other offices and businesses remain open on 31 December.

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