Basant III

Basant is all about the party. Families dress up, put their boom-boxes on the rooftops (and I do mean BOOM boxes), bring out the bhangra remixes, lots of food, tons of kites and strings, and every person you know – young and old. On adjacent rooftops are your neighbors and rivals. Afternoons start off amicably enough; genteel challenges, good-natured banter, innocent flirtations, there may even be gentlemanly agreements on avoiding hath-pherna [hard yanks]. Eventually, the shine wears off and competition heats up; boom-boxes get turned around to face the enemies, the girls disappear, the old ones abandon the chaat to the boisterous ones, the sharper strings come out, cuss-words fill the air, AOWAYY! BOO KATA!!. Night falls. Flood lights search the skies for that little piece of paper with reflecting patches. Time, for once, replaces Wind as your enemy. Fingers bleed, get taped, bleed. Proud patches of a day well-spent for the next week. The knee-high stash of gudis dwindles away. The string flies away from the fingers.

But that is not the Real Basant, Aamir would say. The Real Basant happens in the old city around the Minar-i Pakistan. That other one has no rules. Kids macking, sheesh. This Basant has rules, teams, khalifas [certified captain], referees.

  • You stand on a bench (or in a small demarcated space) from which you cannot budge.
  • The Lahori rules stipulate a small standing place [2’x3′], allows big kites and restricts tugging. The Karachi or Nawabi rules stipulate a bigger standing area [30’x15′], uses smaller kites and allows tugging. The Kabuli rules have no restriction of standing area but do not allow any tugging.
  • The paich [contest] starts when the referee blows the whistle and the two kites move towards each other.
  • If one of the kite breaks away before the contact, it is null.
  • If it breaks during the contest, that player loses.
  • If both break, the refree decides who gets the point.

Here is a nice photo-essay. And look at the size of that thing!

34 Replies to “Basant III”

  1. I just came to USA…i celebrate many basant in Pakistan…i lived in Islamabad…and i also enjoy my basant the was Lahoreis celebrates. but now its not the same. everything is change now. people are scared now because on last basant many children’s were died, cz of sharp thread and other thing they dont want fun no more, Pakistan is now change. and people too. I saw them and feel…i dont know how to say but its true… but basant WAS a very powerful festival of Pakistan

  2. hello! sky where did you get this info.I don,t heard any news like that. plz send me the link where you get this info about basant.

  3. Congradulation lahori people the govermenyt has allowed to celebrate basant in lahore from 7 to 8 march 2010 with completer safty measures After a long Meeting with DCO Sajjad Bhuta They deceided to allow bsant but with safety measeres they will announced the basabt on 5th march
    Happy Bsant Lhori
    Pakistan Zinda Bad

  4. Salam guys, yh goverment aisay nahi manay gi hm apnay haq k liya road py nikalna ho ga agr hm sb mil k lahore press k samnay ahtajaj karay to my be hamay aik do din ki ijazat mil jai warna yh loog jo logo ko loot rahay han do do haath yh hamay kabhi bhi apni khushyan nahi mananay gay kya ap log maira saath do gay Lahorio? Agr ap loog mairy saath han to mairy email id py mujhay email karo waqas.honney@yahoo.com aur hm sb mil k aik din decide kr k lahore prewss club k samnay ahtajaj karay gay aur dharna bhi day agr ap log mujh say agre krtay hon to mujhay email zaroor kijiya ga
    me wait ur replyz
    Regards
    Waqas Honney

  5. yes,governement announce that it is on 7 and 8 march……basant is on 7 and 8 march final date…

  6. hey everyone! can someone tell me when is basant in lahore 2009!!! i have to book my ticket since i live in Canada!

  7. plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz tellllllllll meeeeeeeee abtt basantttttttt as soon as possibleeeeeeeeee

  8. I think basant should be celebrated like it used to be back in the day. They have motorcycle antennas and collars to protect the bikers now so I don’t see any reason why it should not be celebrated. Basant has been a part of our culture since before most of us were even muslims, so why now label it un-islamic. The indians think of basant as a Sufi festival. These mullahs will be the end of all things nice that are left in Pakistan so I recommend that we do whatever we can to celebrate basant.

  9. hi everyone,
    i am surprised that people are too much anxious abt the date of “Basant” while they surely not have ever been much anxious abt the starting date of Ramdan ul mubarik. i dont say that kite flying is bad but if this hobby keeps us away from islam then as a muslim we should not follow it.

  10. Hi, I am from Lahore. This is 1st March 2008, Now we celebrate basant on 16th March 2008.

  11. Hi, Hope u all r doing well!!
    Can your department tell me as soon as possible that what is the DATE OF BASANT in LAHORE in 2008?

    I M FROM OUTSIDE PAKISTAN. IF U KNOW ABOUT THE DATE OF BASANT PLEASE SEND ME EMAIL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. (REQUEST)

  12. well frnds DATES FOR basant HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED AND ON 24 & 25 of FEB. it will be BASANT in LAHORE.i hope that u all people will come and enjoy tht time.have fun.
    love u all
    bubyeee

  13. Basant is a festivle of kites.We should enjoy it by using thin and smooth strings like the children use in in America etc. But also it is full of fun.The gay spirited sons of Lahore are very enthusiastic about it.Some parties act as Rivals.The rooftops are crowded.People cry aloud ‘Bo-Kaata’ throughout the day.But the most important thing is that we have moved away from our real culture .islam. and have adopted an Hindu custom. It is good but many precious lives of innocent people are lost due to the chemical string.We all should think about it guys.

  14. It seems to be a deplorable condition that our youth has become addicted to this festival that has no cultural linkage to Lahore or Pakistan and claim an increasing number of lives each year. This was promoted during recent years by the nouveaux riches with a lot of easy money and the so-called culture lovers like Mr. Lashari, Mian Amir and similar ones. Due to the policies of these gentlemen and flow of money into a few pockets people have started forgetting to greet each others on their own religious and national festivals and adopted Basant and Valentine’s day that have origin in nothing concrete but only mythologies. I believe maulavis have not much to do with the ban but its the sensible citizens and those who have lost their loved ones just because the fanatics want to celebrate the zealotry. Those how want this festival and those who approached the court to lift the ban along with the court who lifted ban are responsible for the deaths of slain innocents. Shame on all of us.

  15. Hey Punjab government put ban on basant which will coming this sat-sun 11th-12th march in lahore.But Lahoriye will celebrate and fly there kites kyoine kay paisa laga howa hai guddoine par, iss liye to kehte haine lahore lahore hai lahore lahore hai. ;-)

  16. A.A,

    I am in the U.K but boy i miss LAHORE a lot……

    Basant is the special event and i have been flying kites since my childhood. BASANT is something special which cant be described….

    BUT brothers from past few years my attraction to basant is fading away……..

    Innocent people dying specially children. I can’t bear the news of a girl died in her fathers hands…and they couldnt do anything………….

    I just want to tell everyone that if ur fun is taking someones life than thats not fun its something very cruel………

    i still want to fly kites but only if its safer to do……………

    JUST THINK ONCE BEFORE FLYING KITES, WHAT IF SOMEONE CLOSE TO U SUFFER ITS CONSIQUENCES………

  17. Well Govt has imposed a ban on kite flying. but still people are not following the rules. Two days earlier a 3 year old child died coz her throat was cut by the thread (Dore) while she was going with her parents on motorbike. I think we should try to solve this issue and not fly kites. or atleast dont use these dore’s. if they want to celbrate a festival they should come up with something innovative thread which should not cut throats of innocent people.

    I have heard it is on 5th march but dont have heard any official announcemnets about it.

    Also you people know that those guys who use metal threads give huge blow to Wapda and the losses are in billions.

    The public is not trustworthy at all. If everyone wants to enjoy they should really come up with a good solution instead of people dying and electricity transformers blowing up.

    This sounds harsh but this is the reality. I was also fond of flying kites and last year I saw a child who got killed while looting a kite on the main road hit by a truck and that was basant nite and I did not flew a single kite on basant and neither after that and i dont plan to fly kite on this basant eaither. Someone should come up with a better solution if you really wanna enjoy the festival.

  18. Hey,

    I’ve heard Basant will be on the 5th of March if it does actually happen. Is that right? And is there a big lead up to the event? When does muharram finish?

  19. Hey big up for All true Basant Lovers…I assume every city in pakistan has its own role to play but as far as Lahore stands up; its purely is LAHORE LORE eh badshao. Im kinda far away (in UK)from the exciting city physically but my heart goes out every time I hear about it. its just so exciting to be in Lahore on any occassion / @ any time during the whole YR.

  20. thank the mullah’s as usual they screw things up just bcoz they cannot fly kites its now a hindu festival …. read the newspapers how many mullah’s are accused of molesting children its ok then … these mullah’s should b kicked up the backside …..first zia ul haq screwed us now its the mullah’s….

    if basant is banned the loss of foreign exchange is enormous… pakistan needs trade and money grow up

  21. hi there,

    every one i am now in UK but basant date announced by Kite flying association is 3-5 March (first sunday) but Supreme Court have put a Ban for Basant , Still association fighting against this ban ,,lets see if they remove it or not

    m also waiting for removal of Ban as i will be there for celebrations

    Cheers

    Muhammad

  22. same thing about me.. I am living in Canada and I am making plan to visit lhr but I wana be there on basant…Plz let me know when the basant is..I don’t wana miss it..Its awesome…well, Lhr lhr hee haye.. kia roghnee naan, poore chanay, dhae bhalay…ymmy :)

    Have fun,

    Sadia

  23. I AM IN CANADA SO I HAVE TO PLAN TO CELEBRATE BASANT 2006 SO PLZ LET ME KNOW WHEN IS BASANT IN LAHORE THANX

    FAISAL LAHORIA

  24. Phew, thank god Eid falls before Basant now. Last time I was in Lahore for Basant was a few years ago when Basant fell a week before Eid-ul-Adha. Everyone in the city spent their money on kites and string (and the ladies buying yellow clothes), so when Eid came around no one had enough cash to do qurbani! And everyone was so exhausted after Basant that they didn’t have the energy to celebrate Eid. After all, Lahore Lahore hai.

  25. We are celebrating Basant in Karachi too but I have told my friends that we just can’t do it right. No matter how much we try to celebrate and party like Lahoris but Karachi is not Lahore and Karachites are not zinda dilan e Lahore. It is just so beautiful to be there at this festival.

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