Basant in Pakistan

Basant - the kite flying festival of spring - was supposed to be celebrated last weekend in Lahore but, at least officially, it was postponed because of the tragic Lahore bombings. But Basant season is obviously here. For good and for bad.

Basant in Pakistan

Basant is a festival celebrating arrival of a spring season. People dress up in colorful clothes and fly Patang or gudday (Kites) of various shapes and sizes using a thoughtfully selected and prepared dor(Kite String). Some people fly kites just for fun. Others fly in serious competitions among various families, mohalas and emotions can run high.

Basant always brings childhood memories from Rawalpindi.

Kite flying Pakistan

We use to prepare for festival by “dor sotna” (preparation of kite flying string). It starts from selecting the string first. Strings come in many varieties like number 5, 2, 12 Reech (bear), Camel brand, Air blade, 5 panda etc.

BASANT IN Pakistan

Art of “dor sotna” involves many secret ingredients like special glue, string, glass, “saresh”, color and many other secret stuff. Then “dor” is put on a “charakrhee”. After that we use to go and purchase kites of various types like gudday, Patang, Lakhnow Kut, Pari in various sizes and colors. gudday come in sizes like 2.5 Tawa, 3 Tawa, 6 Tawa whereas Patang sizes are known as Har Githhi, Panch Gitthi, 6 Githhi, 8 Githhi etc. Then dor is attached to kite using a process known as “Kanee Dalna”. It is an art itself.

Basant in Pakistan

On Basant day, we wear colorful clothes and climb to roofs and have Patang Bazee. Shouts of “Bo Kata”, “Aur Dheel Day”, “Nazar a Raha Hay Guda”, “Oyay Chor Maree Door ko”, “Khich Mar Na Yar”, “Neechay Say Neechay Say Paycha Laga” were norm. Due to very sharp “dor”, index and other fingers get very deep cuts. But those cuts were badges of honors and were proudly shown to people next day.

Basant is a fun filled festival. But every year many deaths occur due to kite string cutting somebody throat, electrocuting someone due to vicinity to overhead electric wires or falling from roof tops. So a great caution must be exercised so as not to lose human lives.


1. Salman, who is a dear friend of mine from Pakistan, enlightened me on types of Guday, Patang and Dor.
2. Photos by Rehan Fazal at flickr.com

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