By Basharat Tayyab. It is Lahore which made Basant, a spring festival popular not only in Pakistan but all over the world as the largest kite festival. It is a mega festival centering on kite-flying, which adds colours in the sky and makes people happy and brings them out from their daily hectic routine. However, the celebrations of spring known as 'Jashn-e-baharaan' in Urdu, are carried on in the entire country for almost a month.
Basant is celebrated most fervently throughout Pakistani Punjab, Lahorites, the city dwellers of ancient city of Lahore bid farewell to the cold and foggy days of winter and usher in spring. They mark the beginning of spring with the Basant festival, a party of kite-flying, rooftop and garden parties and colourful events. It is a celebration involving huge gatherings of people for socializing, conversation, and recreation. Basant typically featurea food, music and dancing.
The city dwellers and out-of-town enthusiasts dress yourself in glamorous clothes, in the yellow and green of spring flowers blooming citywide. Nighttime kite-flying in the 16th century Badshahi mosque and Lahore fort inaugurates the festival. Ancient mughal palaces hold all-night parties to view the kites. 'Lollywood' stars from local film industry perform sing sufi poetry with musicians at parties.
Historicall, Basant was a popular festival at the major Sufi shrines, such as Nizam Auliya ki Basant, Khwaja Bakhtiar Kaki ki Basant, Khusrau ki Basant; festivals arranged around the shrines of these various sufi saints. Khusrau, the famous sufi-poet of the thirteenth century, even composed verses on Basant:
Bangladesh is blessed with six seasons: Grisha (summer), Barsha (rainy), Sarat (early autumn), Hemonto(autumn), Shhet (winter), Boshonto (spring). Each season appears with it's own beauty, color, sign and sound.
Pahela Falgoon the first day of Falgoon the 11th month of Bangla calendar marks the beginning of "Boshonto" the spring season in the country and it has special significance in the Bangladeshi culture.
Spring is the king of the season. Nature looks bright and charming. Trees and plants put their new leaves and twigs on. Most Flowers start to bloom, the Marygold flowers fill the garden's joy. The birds are happy and start singing their melodious songs.
Boshonto utshab is a traditional festival to welcome the spring. Each year thousands of people come to Dhaka the capital city of Bangladesh to enjoy this biggest, colorful celebration from different parts of the country. Folk dances, folk music, Rabindra sangit,Nazrul geeti, drama, recitations and the rallies throughout the city is the main attractions of the spring festival.
Traditionally Bangladeshi people celebrate this occasion wearing yellow color dresses, called "bashoti rang",caring flower on their hands, wearing Marygold flower ornaments , as well as singing spring songs. Some people even paint their faces to make the celebration more interesting. Spring is the most attractive season which brings color and festivities in the lives of Bangladeshi people.