Pakistan is a land of colors and festivities. While the world may know us for bombs and terrorists and attacks and uncertainty, we are far beyond those dull elements and have a life more vibrant than a lot of places in the world.
Annually, Pakistan hosts some of the most internationally acclaimed festivals which attract not just tourists but help the economy by a lot of means too.
If there’s something you must add on your TO DO LIST before you die, it’s attending these five amazing festivals that occur in Pakistan.
Here’s the list
Shandur Polo Festival
Everyone has definitely heard of the festival which takes place in the world’s highest polo ground. Yes! It’s in Pakistan and it’s one place you must visit. The festival takes place around summer time in july every year and marks one of the finest display of festivity of the country. Shandur pass is the major mountain passes between Chitral and gilgit and annually invites visitors to take part in a polo tournament. In addition to polo matches between local and international teams the festival also includes folk performances, dances, music, and a camping village is set up for a week.
Karakoram Car Rally
The Pakistan tourism development corporation (PTDC) in collaboration with South Asian Federation (SAF) organizes an annual Karakoram Car Rally which attracts thousands to the high lands of karakoram mountains. The rally includes a parade of cars which starts from Islamabad and ends between karakoram mountains at the Khunjrab pass. The rally includes an exotic display of vintage and modern SUVs and is one of the biggest car rallies of the world.
Held annually at the Lok Virsa museum in Islamabad, the Lok Mela is display of pakistan’s folk culture. From truck art to provinicial cultures displaying food, clothes, folk tales and a lot more, the lok mela is the biggest ensemble of cultural diversity found in Pakistan. The lok mela is a 10 day festival usually held in April and aims to revive endangered folk arts, crafts and music as well as to promote and safeguard traditional practitioners associated with Pakistan’s folk heritage. It serves to disseminate the dynamic creativity of our countryside and gave rural folk a pride in their identity.
Also known as the Kalash Spring Festival, Chilimjusht is celebrated annually in May. , it’s a celebration of spring like no other, and it’s of religious significance to the Kalash pagans who pray for their valleys to be fruitful in crops. The festival goes on for three to four days starting from the middle of May, honoring the fairies. The Kalasha seek the safety of their herds from the fairies before they could go and graze the fresh grown pastures. The chiefs recall the stories of their past in rhythmic chants, remembering and glorifying their ancestors.
Horse & Cattle Show
Celebrated fervently in Dera Ismail Khan, the annual horse and cattle show is another major festival to be visited once in your lifetime. The two day festival includes display of cattle and horses along with music, fireworks and food. The carnival is taken so seriously by the local population that the government announces holidays to ensure participation by everyone.