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L a n a
07-31-2017, 02:02 AM
I’m the type of person that LOVES being festive and enjoying the holidays. My absolute faves would have to be Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Easter, Independence Day/"Fourth of July", Thanksgiving, and Halloween (I’m 21, but I still love me some candy and costume parties lol).

I know that Muslims fast for Ramadan, for nearly a month/a full month, but what are the other holidays that Muslims observe? What are the significance behind them, and how are these holidays typically celebrated (with family/guests, etc.)?

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Muslim Woman
07-31-2017, 05:57 AM
Hello ,

our next festival is coming ....may be on September 1 or 2.

related info :


WHAT DOES EID AL-ADHA COMMEMORATE?

During the Hajj, Muslims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham.

The Qur'an describes Abraham as follows:

"Surely Abraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next ​he will most surely be among the righteous." (Qur'an 16:120-121)


.....Allah has given us power over animals and allowed us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life. Muslims slaughter animals in the same way throughout the year. By saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter, we are reminded that life is sacred.

....The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor. The act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts, in order to follow Allah's commands.

...."It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him" (Qur'an 22:37).

..
WHAT ELSE DO MUSLIMS DO TO CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAY?

On the first morning of Eid al-Adha, Muslims around the world attend morning prayers at their local mosques. Prayers are followed by visits with family and friends, and the exchange of greetings and gifts. At some point, members of the family will visit a local farm or otherwise will make arrangements for the slaughter of an animal. The meat is distributed during the days of the holiday or shortly thereafter.

https://www.thoughtco.com/eid-al-adha-2004304
Reply

L a n a
07-31-2017, 04:30 PM
Originally Posted by Muslim Woman
WHAT DOES EID AL-ADHA COMMEMORATE?

During the Hajj, Muslims remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham.

The Qur'an describes Abraham as follows:

"Surely Abraham was an example, obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the polytheists. He was grateful for Our bounties. We chose him and guided him unto a right path. We gave him good in this world, and in the next ​he will most surely be among the righteous." (Qur'an 16:120-121)


.....Allah has given us power over animals and allowed us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life. Muslims slaughter animals in the same way throughout the year. By saying the name of Allah at the time of slaughter, we are reminded that life is sacred.

....The meat from the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor. The act symbolizes our willingness to give up things that are of benefit to us or close to our hearts, in order to follow Allah's commands.

...."It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah; it is your piety that reaches Him" (Qur'an 22:37).
I don't eat meat, but I think it's nice that the meat is mostly given away to those who are hungry or those who would go without. It's better than food going to waste.

Do people have to eat the meat? What about those who are vegetarian/vegan? Do they have to actively participate in the sacrifice if they're not comfortable with it?

Originally Posted by Muslim Woman
WHAT ELSE DO MUSLIMS DO TO CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAY?

On the first morning of Eid al-Adha, Muslims around the world attend morning prayers at their local mosques. Prayers are followed by visits with family and friends, and the exchange of greetings and gifts. At some point, members of the family will visit a local farm or otherwise will make arrangements for the slaughter of an animal. The meat is distributed during the days of the holiday or shortly thereafter.
Thank you for telling me about Eid al-adha.
Reply

STN
07-31-2017, 08:42 PM
Originally Posted by L a n a
Do people have to eat the meat? What about those who are vegetarian/vegan? Do they have to actively participate in the sacrifice if they're not comfortable with it?
No and No. We get a butcher to prepare the meat.

I don't know any vegans and everyone loves to eat. But up to them whatever they want to eat.
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L a n a
07-31-2017, 09:55 PM
Originally Posted by STN
No and No. We get a butcher to prepare the meat.

I don't know any vegans and everyone loves to eat. But up to them whatever they want to eat.
Okay, cool. I was just wondering.
Reply

Zzz_
08-01-2017, 02:53 AM
Originally Posted by L a n a
I’m the type of person that LOVES being festive and enjoying the holidays. My absolute faves would have to be Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Easter, Independence Day/"Fourth of July", Thanksgiving, and Halloween (I’m 21, but I still love me some candy and costume parties lol).

I know that Muslims fast for Ramadan, for nearly a month/a full month, but what are the other holidays that Muslims observe? What are the significance behind them, and how are these holidays typically celebrated (with family/guests, etc.)?
In Isam, there are only two holidays. They are the two Eids (festivals). They are Eid Al Fitr aka sweet eid aka small eid, and Eid al Adah aka big eid aka eid of sacrifice. Muslims go out the night before the eid for shopping to buy new clothes, shoes, henna, etc.

The eid Fitr comes at end of the month of Ramadan to celebrate the end of fasting. Normally, Muslims wake and make something sweet to eat and eat it before going to pray in the morning so show they not fasting. Afterwards, it's visiting and meeting friends and families. Other than that, how they celebrate varies culture to culture and family to family. Some Muslims in the west wrap up gifts (like christmas) and give those to kids. In the East, it's usually giving money to kids who go out to buy sweets and stuff from the market.

The Eid Adha is as described above regarding it's historical connection to prophet Abraham. For this one, Muslims go and pray first and then they come back and do the sacrifice. Muslims in the east normally do it themselves and ones in the west normally pay to online charity to do it on their behalf and give it to the needy. Then it's the normal stuff of visiting families and stuff. This Eid has 3 day celebration window so if you are traveling or something then you can do the sacrifice if you get home in time.

These two are the authentic holidays of Islam. There are other religion related (innovated) and cultural holidays Muslims celebrate, like Mawlid un-nabi (Prophet's birthday), independence day, etc.
Reply

L a n a
08-01-2017, 06:43 PM
Originally Posted by Zzz_
In Isam, there are only two holidays. They are the two Eids (festivals). They are Eid Al Fitr aka sweet eid aka small eid, and Eid al Adah aka big eid aka eid of sacrifice. Muslims go out the night before the eid for shopping to buy new clothes, shoes, henna, etc.

The eid Fitr comes at end of the month of Ramadan to celebrate the end of fasting. Normally, Muslims wake and make something sweet to eat and eat it before going to pray in the morning so show they not fasting. Afterwards, it's visiting and meeting friends and families. Other than that, how they celebrate varies culture to culture and family to family. Some Muslims in the west wrap up gifts (like christmas) and give those to kids. In the East, it's usually giving money to kids who go out to buy sweets and stuff from the market.

The Eid Adha is as described above regarding it's historical connection to prophet Abraham. For this one, Muslims go and pray first and then they come back and do the sacrifice. Muslims in the east normally do it themselves and ones in the west normally pay to online charity to do it on their behalf and give it to the needy. Then it's the normal stuff of visiting families and stuff. This Eid has 3 day celebration window so if you are traveling or something then you can do the sacrifice if you get home in time.

These two are the authentic holidays of Islam. There are other religion related (innovated) and cultural holidays Muslims celebrate, like Mawlid un-nabi (Prophet's birthday), independence day, etc.
Thank you for the detailed response.

It was nice reading about these two holidays, since I've never heard of them before. What are some of the other more minor cultural holidays that are celebrated, if I may ask?
Reply

Zzz_
08-04-2017, 07:24 PM
If you google Muslim holidays, in addition to the two Eids mentioned before, following are what shows up. Although they are more of observations days then "celebration" days.

mid-Sha‘ban - Sha'ban is the 8th month of Islamic calendar (month before Ramadan). 15th of sha'ban is regarded by some as special in that they believe it is the time Allah comes to lowest heaven to forgive people, although none of it has any basis in Islam. The cultural Muslims celebrate it with fireworks, while the supposedly religious ones celebrate through fasting, reading Quran and other worship.

Ashura - is on the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar year. Sunni Muslims fast on this day out of respect since it is the day Moses and his people were saved from the pharaoh. Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and son of Ali, and his companions were brutally murdered on this day in what is known as the battle of Karbala (in Karbala, Iraq). Shia invited him to come to Iraq from Saudi to become the ruler of Muslims but they betrayed him and killed him and now they observe this day as day of mourning and engage in self flagellation as reenactment of that day.

Mawlid al-Nabi (birthday of the Prophet) - is celebrated around the Muslim world, although has no basis in Islam. It is celebrated in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar. Those who celebrate it sing songs and poetry praising him and read/discuss/remember his life.

Islamic New Year
- The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. The word Muharram means “forbidden”, and many Muslims fast during this period. Muharram marks the anniversary of the historical battle of Karbala.

Saints and Pirs - there is no such thing as sainthood in Islam but some take pious men of the past and raise them to sainthood status and celebrate them and pray to them to act as intermediaries. Pirs are what you call self proclaimed fake miracle workers. Many ignorant follow them, celebrate them and give money to them.

Culturally, there are many holidays specific to different regions, such as Independence of their nation. Others are either related to local culture or imitation of others. Locally, you would have to ask other Muslims from those cultures. So they are more of cultural holidays of different nations and ethnicity then "Muslim" holidays. The cultural holidays Muslims engage in are iether form their own culture and society or an Imitation wise of other nations and people, such as as birthdays, anniversaries, mother/father days, thanksgiving, holi (hindu color festival) and other, all of which are forbidden in Islam.

They are forbidden in Islam because the imitation of the disbelievers is forbidden. Beauty of Islam is that unlike Christianity, it doesn't wipe your culture and language out when it comes to your land, rather it cleans up your culture and cultural holidays. For example, if you were working on something and nothing bad has happened yet then you would say Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah) rather then "knock on wood" to ensure safety of whatever you were working on.

As for those cultural holidays, you'll just have to google any nation or people you are interested in and see what holidays they have or ask a Muslim of those regions.


Here's a look at Pakistan's holidays as an example:

Official Holidays:

23-26 February Pakistan Flower Show Flower Show at Karachi
February–March Jashn-e-Baharaan The celebrations with the start of Spring season
23 March Pakistan Day Republic Day and to commemorate the Lahore Resolution
28 May Youm-e-Takbir Celebrated in commemoration of the first Nuclear test
14 August Independence Day
6 September Defence Day Celebrated in memory of those who were killed in the Indo-Pak war of 1965
7 September Air Force Day Celebrated to commend the role of Pakistan Air Force in the 1965 war with India
8 September Navy Day Celebrated to commend the role of Pakistan Navy in the 1965 war with India
9 November Iqbal Day Birthday of Muhammad Iqbal, a great poet of Pakistan
25 December Quaid-e-Azam Day Birthday of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founding Father of Pakistan


Other festivals:

Kalam Festival
Shandur polo festival
Horse and cattle show
Lok Mela festival (Islamabad)

Details:

Pakistan Flower Show - It is an annual flower show and a festival held every year in Karachi, Pakistan. It is organized by the Horticulture Society of Pakistan. It was established in 1948 and held every year in February.

Jashn-e-Baharaan - is celebrated very enthusiastically in Punjab. People on this occasion are in yellow dresses. People make arrangements in grounds and on their rooftops to fly kites. On this day sky is full of bright and colorful kites, although now banned aftere few kids fell from rooftops and died.

Pakistan Day - Lahore Resolution and to celebrate the adoption of Pakistan’s first constitution. Pakistan’s national flag is hoisted on public and governmental buildings at dawn on Pakistan Day. A 31-gun salute in Islamabad and a 21-gun salute in provincial capitals are fired. A change of guard occurs at the mausoleums of Muhammad Iqbal (commonly known as Allama Iqbal) and Muhammad Ali Jinnah (commonly known as Quaid-i-Azam or the Supreme Leader), followed by garlands being laid.

A main feature of Pakistan Day celebrations is a parade at Constitution Avenue in Islamabad. An award ceremony is organized where the president gives military and civilian awards to recognize recipients’ achievements and contributions to Pakistan. Pakistan Day festivals, parties, national songs and debate competitions are featured throughout the day, which sees many people spend time with families, friends and loved ones. Pakistan Day specials are broadcast on radio and TV. Special prayers are offered for peace and prosperity.

Youm-e-Takbir - (The day of greatness) is celebrated as a national day in Pakistan on May 28 in commemoration of Chagai-I and Chagai-II when Pakistan detonated seven nuclear devices in response to India's five detonations of Pokhran-II in 1998, 17 days after the incident. The tests made Pakistan the seventh nation to possess nuclear weapons, and the first in the Muslim world. It was first celebrated by giving awards such as Chagai Medal to various individuals and industries in the field of science and industries.

Defence Day - Army of Pakistan displays their latest missiles, tanks, guns, army aviation helicopters and armament being used by Engineers, Electrical and Mechanical Corps, Army Air Defense, Signals, Army Service Corps and Army Medical Corps live on various places. Everyone is allowed to watch such functions live by going to the specific places. These shows are displayed on national channels as well. National songs and special documents about 6 September 1965 and martyred people of 6 September are displayed on TV. It is told to people how people gave sacrifices for the defense of the country and what is the responsibility of young generation now especially the children who are the future of Pakistan.

Defence Day celebrates the discipline, professionalism and patriotism of the Pakistan Armed Forces. It essentially celebrates the defence of Lahore and decisive victory over an overwhelming force in 1965. The change of guard ceremony takes place at Mazar-e-Quaid, Karachi, where the cadets of Pakistan Air Force Academy present Guard of Honour and take the charge.

Air Force Day - is celebrated in Pakistan as a national day on 7 September, after the annual celebration of the Defence Day. Airshows and other programs mark the Pakistan Air Force's (PAF) role in defending the nation in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. A notable event of the war was that Pakistan Air Force flying ace Muhammad Mahmood Alam shot down five Indian Air Force Hawker Hunter Mk.56 fighters in less than a minute, four being in first 30 seconds and became one of the few aviators who became ace in a day and the only jet age ace-in-a-day. He was awarded the Sitara-e-Jurat ("The star of courage") and bar for his actions.

Iqbal Day - The day is a public holiday in some provinces of Pakistan. Iqbal, a poet and philosopher, was a great inspiration for the Pakistan Movement towards Indepdence from colonial British India. The well documented influence of Muhammad Iqbal on Jinnah (founder of Pakistan), with regards to taking the lead in creating Pakistan, has been described as "significant", "powerful" and even "unquestionable" by scholars. Iqbal day is organized and celebrated on 9 November every year in all the provinces as a tribute to Allama Muhammad Iqbal, the "Poet of the East", and the Government of Pakistan officially declared him the national poet.


Kalam festival, kalam mela or Swat Summer festival- is a cultural and recreational event, held every year in the month of July or August in the scenic valley of Kalam and Mahodand,100 kilometers from Swat city. The festival is organized by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism Department in collaboration with the Pakistan Army. Sports, cultural and recreational activities are arranged during the week, such as paragliding, handicraft display, Jeep rally, Cycling, Canoeing, with Cultural shows, and Music concerts. Traditional Khattak dance, horse dance, Chitral dance and regional dances are also part of the festival. A large number of tourists from across Pakistan and abroad attend the festival. In 2012, about 0.5 million tourists visited Swat Summer festival. This number has increased in the coming years.


Shandur Polo Festival - organized by the Tourism Corporation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP), there is a polo match played on Shandur Top between the teams of Chitral District and Ghizer District. Shandur Top (el. 12,200 feet (3,700 m)) located in Chitral District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Shandur is often called the 'Roof of the World'. The top is flat, a plateau and can be crossed between late April and early November. The grade is very gradual, and the area is crossed by plentiful small streams during summer.Free-styled mountain polo is arguably polo in its purest form. This version of the game played at Shandur-Top has attained legendary status and is of great interest to international and domestic adventure tourists alike. There are no umpires and there are no holds barred. The rules are: There are no rules! In "The Roof of the World" Amin/Willets/Tetley write: "by comparison, an American Wild West rodeo might pass for choir practice." Players rarely wear helmets, The horses' legs often have no bandages, and mallets often have no grips or straps.


National Horse and cattle show - From February till March horse & cattle shows are held in different agricultural centers of Pakistan. The famous ones being at remount stadium Sahiwal horse show , Dera Ismail Khan horse and cattle show, Sibi mela and Lahore. Such shows are held to provide an opportunity to breeders to exhibit their stock and ex- change views and learn about cattle and horse breeding. The National horse and cattle show in Lahore is held at the Fortress Stadium usually in end feburary early march. The festival features livestock from all over Pakistan, as well as folk dancing , camels and horse dancing displays, traditional music, Military pipe bands give a colourfull display,. There is tent-pegging competitions between different regions, games and handicraft exhibitions are held. Dates of these festivals are not fixed and need to be coordinated.

Lok Mela festival - largest cultural activity in Pakistan held in October each year. Pakistan tourism government website had this to say about it:

Over the past two decades, this festival has taken on an international flavour and more than 20 different countries have sent their artisans and performers to participate in the festival. Nationally, the festival has become a thing of pride for artisans and performers, who come on their own to participate. Most important of all, the Provinces of Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir put up beautifully decorated pavilions and visitors have the unique opportunity to see an assortment of Pakistan's traditionally rich culture in the federal capital of Islamabad for an exciting ten days.

An exhibition of artisans at work under the banner of the Heritage Museum forms the core of this festival. The Research & Media Centre of Lok Virsa arranges groups of dancers that perform all over the festival grounds, inviting visitors to join in, and in the evening, arranges music concerts from all parts of Pakistan. Documentation of the festival is carried out by Lok Virsa's researchers, who interview all the artisans and artists.

Participants come from all over Pakistan. You would be able to feel and experience the variety in tastes, cultures and heritage of Pakistan all under one roof. One may find different pavilions displaying the crafts of their respective provinces. The Kashmir pavilion may display major crafts from Azad Jammu and Kashmir like Embroidered shawls, Namda and Gabba (floor rungs and wall hangings), wood works, basketry, metal crafts and jewellery etc.

The Punjab Pavilion may host traditional food items along with singing and listening pleasures of Punjab folk songs. Punjabi style handicrafts also manages to catch viewer attention.

From the Balochistan pavilion one may expect to get depictions of nomadic balochi life styles and traditional artisans displaying their skills of various Baloch crafts. Leather embroidery crafts and crafts using date leaves are also prime choices of interest in this pavilion. Apart from this one may expect to get a taste of Balochi folk songs and their all famous dish called "Sajji".

The Sindh pavilion may offer depcitions of Sindh life style, village scenes and working men and women. Artisans preparing different crafts and their traditional folk songs and instruments. "Ajrak" a traditionally made shawl is by far the most highlighted attraction of this pavilion.

The N.W.F.P Pavilion features the pushtoon culture, customs, crafts and cuisine. Glittering metal crafts of Brass and Copper are displayed in a great variety along with stalls of traditonally made baskets. Stone carving which was traditionally done on tomb stones is also shown in a diversified fashion which can be used on planters, table tops and wall hangings. Along with this Pathan dancers perform their famous "Khattack Dance" and offer their traditional "Chappli Kebab" for your eating pleasures.

Apart from these pavilions one may witness all kinds of cuisine, musical galas, crafts bazar, lok virsa's display and sale stalls. A richly cherishable experience bound to create a lasting impression.


Youtube videos may be available for most of these holidays/festivals.
Reply

L a n a
08-07-2017, 01:05 PM
Originally Posted by Zzz_
If you google Muslim holidays, in addition to the two Eids mentioned before, following are what shows up. Although they are more of observations days then "celebration" days.

mid-Sha‘ban - Sha'ban is the 8th month of Islamic calendar (month before Ramadan). 15th of sha'ban is regarded by some as special in that they believe it is the time Allah comes to lowest heaven to forgive people, although none of it has any basis in Islam. The cultural Muslims celebrate it with fireworks, while the supposedly religious ones celebrate through fasting, reading Quran and other worship.

Ashura - is on the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar year. Sunni Muslims fast on this day out of respect since it is the day Moses and his people were saved from the pharaoh. Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad and son of Ali, and his companions were brutally murdered on this day in what is known as the battle of Karbala (in Karbala, Iraq). Shia invited him to come to Iraq from Saudi to become the ruler of Muslims but they betrayed him and killed him and now they observe this day as day of mourning and engage in self flagellation as reenactment of that day.

Mawlid al-Nabi (birthday of the Prophet) - is celebrated around the Muslim world, although has no basis in Islam. It is celebrated in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar. Those who celebrate it sing songs and poetry praising him and read/discuss/remember his life.

Islamic New Year
- The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. The word Muharram means “forbidden”, and many Muslims fast during this period. Muharram marks the anniversary of the historical battle of Karbala.

Saints and Pirs - there is no such thing as sainthood in Islam but some take pious men of the past and raise them to sainthood status and celebrate them and pray to them to act as intermediaries. Pirs are what you call self proclaimed fake miracle workers. Many ignorant follow them, celebrate them and give money to them.

Culturally, there are many holidays specific to different regions, such as Independence of their nation. Others are either related to local culture or imitation of others. Locally, you would have to ask other Muslims from those cultures. So they are more of cultural holidays of different nations and ethnicity then "Muslim" holidays. The cultural holidays Muslims engage in are iether form their own culture and society or an Imitation wise of other nations and people, such as as birthdays, anniversaries, mother/father days, thanksgiving, holi (hindu color festival) and other, all of which are forbidden in Islam.

They are forbidden in Islam because the imitation of the disbelievers is forbidden. Beauty of Islam is that unlike Christianity, it doesn't wipe your culture and language out when it comes to your land, rather it cleans up your culture and cultural holidays. For example, if you were working on something and nothing bad has happened yet then you would say Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah) rather then "knock on wood" to ensure safety of whatever you were working on.

As for those cultural holidays, you'll just have to google any nation or people you are interested in and see what holidays they have or ask a Muslim of those regions.


Here's a look at Pakistan's holidays as an example:

Official Holidays:

23-26 February Pakistan Flower Show Flower Show at Karachi
February–March Jashn-e-Baharaan The celebrations with the start of Spring season
23 March Pakistan Day Republic Day and to commemorate the Lahore Resolution
28 May Youm-e-Takbir Celebrated in commemoration of the first Nuclear test
14 August Independence Day
6 September Defence Day Celebrated in memory of those who were killed in the Indo-Pak war of 1965
7 September Air Force Day Celebrated to commend the role of Pakistan Air Force in the 1965 war with India
8 September Navy Day Celebrated to commend the role of Pakistan Navy in the 1965 war with India
9 November Iqbal Day Birthday of Muhammad Iqbal, a great poet of Pakistan
25 December Quaid-e-Azam Day Birthday of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founding Father of Pakistan


Other festivals:

Kalam Festival
Shandur polo festival
Horse and cattle show
Lok Mela festival (Islamabad)

Details:

Pakistan Flower Show - It is an annual flower show and a festival held every year in Karachi, Pakistan. It is organized by the Horticulture Society of Pakistan. It was established in 1948 and held every year in February.

Jashn-e-Baharaan - is celebrated very enthusiastically in Punjab. People on this occasion are in yellow dresses. People make arrangements in grounds and on their rooftops to fly kites. On this day sky is full of bright and colorful kites, although now banned aftere few kids fell from rooftops and died.

Pakistan Day - Lahore Resolution and to celebrate the adoption of Pakistan’s first constitution. Pakistan’s national flag is hoisted on public and governmental buildings at dawn on Pakistan Day. A 31-gun salute in Islamabad and a 21-gun salute in provincial capitals are fired. A change of guard occurs at the mausoleums of Muhammad Iqbal (commonly known as Allama Iqbal) and Muhammad Ali Jinnah (commonly known as Quaid-i-Azam or the Supreme Leader), followed by garlands being laid.

A main feature of Pakistan Day celebrations is a parade at Constitution Avenue in Islamabad. An award ceremony is organized where the president gives military and civilian awards to recognize recipients’ achievements and contributions to Pakistan. Pakistan Day festivals, parties, national songs and debate competitions are featured throughout the day, which sees many people spend time with families, friends and loved ones. Pakistan Day specials are broadcast on radio and TV. Special prayers are offered for peace and prosperity.

Youm-e-Takbir - (The day of greatness) is celebrated as a national day in Pakistan on May 28 in commemoration of Chagai-I and Chagai-II when Pakistan detonated seven nuclear devices in response to India's five detonations of Pokhran-II in 1998, 17 days after the incident. The tests made Pakistan the seventh nation to possess nuclear weapons, and the first in the Muslim world. It was first celebrated by giving awards such as Chagai Medal to various individuals and industries in the field of science and industries.

Defence Day - Army of Pakistan displays their latest missiles, tanks, guns, army aviation helicopters and armament being used by Engineers, Electrical and Mechanical Corps, Army Air Defense, Signals, Army Service Corps and Army Medical Corps live on various places. Everyone is allowed to watch such functions live by going to the specific places. These shows are displayed on national channels as well. National songs and special documents about 6 September 1965 and martyred people of 6 September are displayed on TV. It is told to people how people gave sacrifices for the defense of the country and what is the responsibility of young generation now especially the children who are the future of Pakistan.

Defence Day celebrates the discipline, professionalism and patriotism of the Pakistan Armed Forces. It essentially celebrates the defence of Lahore and decisive victory over an overwhelming force in 1965. The change of guard ceremony takes place at Mazar-e-Quaid, Karachi, where the cadets of Pakistan Air Force Academy present Guard of Honour and take the charge.

Air Force Day - is celebrated in Pakistan as a national day on 7 September, after the annual celebration of the Defence Day. Airshows and other programs mark the Pakistan Air Force's (PAF) role in defending the nation in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. A notable event of the war was that Pakistan Air Force flying ace Muhammad Mahmood Alam shot down five Indian Air Force Hawker Hunter Mk.56 fighters in less than a minute, four being in first 30 seconds and became one of the few aviators who became ace in a day and the only jet age ace-in-a-day. He was awarded the Sitara-e-Jurat ("The star of courage") and bar for his actions.

Iqbal Day - The day is a public holiday in some provinces of Pakistan. Iqbal, a poet and philosopher, was a great inspiration for the Pakistan Movement towards Indepdence from colonial British India. The well documented influence of Muhammad Iqbal on Jinnah (founder of Pakistan), with regards to taking the lead in creating Pakistan, has been described as "significant", "powerful" and even "unquestionable" by scholars. Iqbal day is organized and celebrated on 9 November every year in all the provinces as a tribute to Allama Muhammad Iqbal, the "Poet of the East", and the Government of Pakistan officially declared him the national poet.


Kalam festival, kalam mela or Swat Summer festival- is a cultural and recreational event, held every year in the month of July or August in the scenic valley of Kalam and Mahodand,100 kilometers from Swat city. The festival is organized by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism Department in collaboration with the Pakistan Army. Sports, cultural and recreational activities are arranged during the week, such as paragliding, handicraft display, Jeep rally, Cycling, Canoeing, with Cultural shows, and Music concerts. Traditional Khattak dance, horse dance, Chitral dance and regional dances are also part of the festival. A large number of tourists from across Pakistan and abroad attend the festival. In 2012, about 0.5 million tourists visited Swat Summer festival. This number has increased in the coming years.


Shandur Polo Festival - organized by the Tourism Corporation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP), there is a polo match played on Shandur Top between the teams of Chitral District and Ghizer District. Shandur Top (el. 12,200 feet (3,700 m)) located in Chitral District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Shandur is often called the 'Roof of the World'. The top is flat, a plateau and can be crossed between late April and early November. The grade is very gradual, and the area is crossed by plentiful small streams during summer.Free-styled mountain polo is arguably polo in its purest form. This version of the game played at Shandur-Top has attained legendary status and is of great interest to international and domestic adventure tourists alike. There are no umpires and there are no holds barred. The rules are: There are no rules! In "The Roof of the World" Amin/Willets/Tetley write: "by comparison, an American Wild West rodeo might pass for choir practice." Players rarely wear helmets, The horses' legs often have no bandages, and mallets often have no grips or straps.


National Horse and cattle show - From February till March horse & cattle shows are held in different agricultural centers of Pakistan. The famous ones being at remount stadium Sahiwal horse show , Dera Ismail Khan horse and cattle show, Sibi mela and Lahore. Such shows are held to provide an opportunity to breeders to exhibit their stock and ex- change views and learn about cattle and horse breeding. The National horse and cattle show in Lahore is held at the Fortress Stadium usually in end feburary early march. The festival features livestock from all over Pakistan, as well as folk dancing , camels and horse dancing displays, traditional music, Military pipe bands give a colourfull display,. There is tent-pegging competitions between different regions, games and handicraft exhibitions are held. Dates of these festivals are not fixed and need to be coordinated.

Lok Mela festival - largest cultural activity in Pakistan held in October each year. Pakistan tourism government website had this to say about it:

Over the past two decades, this festival has taken on an international flavour and more than 20 different countries have sent their artisans and performers to participate in the festival. Nationally, the festival has become a thing of pride for artisans and performers, who come on their own to participate. Most important of all, the Provinces of Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir put up beautifully decorated pavilions and visitors have the unique opportunity to see an assortment of Pakistan's traditionally rich culture in the federal capital of Islamabad for an exciting ten days.

An exhibition of artisans at work under the banner of the Heritage Museum forms the core of this festival. The Research & Media Centre of Lok Virsa arranges groups of dancers that perform all over the festival grounds, inviting visitors to join in, and in the evening, arranges music concerts from all parts of Pakistan. Documentation of the festival is carried out by Lok Virsa's researchers, who interview all the artisans and artists.

Participants come from all over Pakistan. You would be able to feel and experience the variety in tastes, cultures and heritage of Pakistan all under one roof. One may find different pavilions displaying the crafts of their respective provinces. The Kashmir pavilion may display major crafts from Azad Jammu and Kashmir like Embroidered shawls, Namda and Gabba (floor rungs and wall hangings), wood works, basketry, metal crafts and jewellery etc.

The Punjab Pavilion may host traditional food items along with singing and listening pleasures of Punjab folk songs. Punjabi style handicrafts also manages to catch viewer attention.

From the Balochistan pavilion one may expect to get depictions of nomadic balochi life styles and traditional artisans displaying their skills of various Baloch crafts. Leather embroidery crafts and crafts using date leaves are also prime choices of interest in this pavilion. Apart from this one may expect to get a taste of Balochi folk songs and their all famous dish called "Sajji".

The Sindh pavilion may offer depcitions of Sindh life style, village scenes and working men and women. Artisans preparing different crafts and their traditional folk songs and instruments. "Ajrak" a traditionally made shawl is by far the most highlighted attraction of this pavilion.

The N.W.F.P Pavilion features the pushtoon culture, customs, crafts and cuisine. Glittering metal crafts of Brass and Copper are displayed in a great variety along with stalls of traditonally made baskets. Stone carving which was traditionally done on tomb stones is also shown in a diversified fashion which can be used on planters, table tops and wall hangings. Along with this Pathan dancers perform their famous "Khattack Dance" and offer their traditional "Chappli Kebab" for your eating pleasures.

Apart from these pavilions one may witness all kinds of cuisine, musical galas, crafts bazar, lok virsa's display and sale stalls. A richly cherishable experience bound to create a lasting impression.


Youtube videos may be available for most of these holidays/festivals.
Informative post! Thanks for this, I'll be sure to read up on some of these festivals, especially the Lok Mela.
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