By: Hajra Salim
~The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. ~
Basant, a festival of harmony, joy and happiness. You know it’s Basant when the sky is full of vibrant colors and ecstasy is the one main objective of how everybody is feeling after watching such an eye catching view up in the sky. Contemplating those radiant kites flying over the horizon. Basant is a color filled season of beauty, confidence and love. Basant is like a wakeup call to get up and live life once again and experience everything; inspecting each and every layer of nature and a chance to feel free once again. Enjoying the freedom, being grateful for the endless blessings and opportunities of being able to watch such a magnificent festival. The moment you see multi-colored kites, people standing on rooftops; enjoying the festivities that’s when you would know that it’s time for that wonderful festival Basant to make our lives bright and much more interesting. The word “Basant” holds great energy and devotion. Saying this word out loud motivates me. Thinking of the word Basant makes lots of colors and prints pop up together and make an artistic sketch of beauty and love. This decorative season dipped in togetherness makes everything look attractive and engaging.
Historically, “Maharajah Ranjit Singh” introduced this lively festival as a regular feature of the fairs held during the 19th century. Ranjit Singh and his queen Moran would dress in yellow long dresses according to the tradition and culture of that time and they would fly kites on Basant. The association of kite flying with Basant soon became a Punjabi tradition with the center in Lahore which is considered as the main hub of the festival throughout the Punjab region. Everybody at that time used to take part in such activities and children were the most passionate about the Basant at that time. Everybody regardless of the gender would together organize a funfair or a competition fair about the Basant festival to enjoy it to the fullest or else people would stand on their rooftops on a certain time of the day and try to compete with each other’s kite. People would decorate their houses with yellow flowers and antiques. This festival along with Pakistan is celebrated in the Punjab region of India too and their ancestors also used to take part in such activities and told tales about the Basant festival and all the arrangements.
Now a days, people often cannot cope with all the responsibilities like managing the guests, attending events, visiting neighbors and relatives, cooking, baking and delivering the stuff to their loved ones; so, they arrange different event organizers to organize their event on Basant. Various kinds of seminars are held to make people realize about how much it is important to take part in such wonderful activities and along with all this stuff also be very careful and well-aware of all the dangers this holds. People organize get-together, meetings and gatherings to enjoy this beautiful festival with their beautiful families and friends. After all, sharing is caring and friends and family just make everything complete. Media also reflects this wonderful festival in a much more wonderful way. Social media and print media hold great informative content on this event and keep us updated and aware about all the things this elegant festival holds. The food dishes prepared on this festival are mainly sweets, trifles, custards, cakes, carrot and chocolate fudges etc.; mainly sweet things. People today celebrate this occasion with great responsibility and joy.
After all, everything has some disadvantages or causes damage in some way which may be less or more. And this beautiful festival also comes along with some life threatening issues and complications e.g.: the thread used to fly these kites is very harmful. It is formed with different materials and chemicals which had caused many accidents and are still causing. This thread is so sharp that if it crosses one’s neck or any other body part this thread could separate that body part into two pieces which obviously leads to severe injury and if not treated properly then many seem to suffer and die; while enjoying this graceful occasion. Basant has become a blood shedding festival because of the large number of accidents recorded in this season. Basant has been banned in some areas of Pakistan e.g.: Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi, and Islamabad but still people take part in this festival secretly. I would just like to warn everybody about the dangers and I want people to take care of themselves and take care of their loved ones on this occasion and spread this message to all those people and youngsters who take part in various Basant festival’s that stay away and avoid anything that has a chance to harm you in any way.
~Celebrate life, to truly live.
Celebrate each day of life. Let each day be a festival of joy. ~