Memos from Asia

Cholistan’s Cultural Heritage: Chanan Peer Festival in a Desert of Pakistan

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Chanan peer festival is celebrated to mark the death anniversary of Sufi Saint Chanan Peer.

It is one the most famous festival of the Cholistan desert and has kept alive its historical, cultural heritage.

Hundreds of years ago, Raja of Jaisalmer had thrown his newborn son in the desert. The reason, as they say, was the prediction of the child becoming Muslim in the future. However, the child survived and now is known by the name of Chanan Peer.

We don’t know if the story is true or not, but it is what the local people tell. Chanan Peer is buried in an open grave according to his will.

You can see the open grave that is covered by a green sheet and find more about the history of Chanan Peer here.

Camels and the desert go side by side, and here is a beautiful capture of them walking in the Cholistan.

Two Camels are walking in the desert of Cholistan

The Time of the year when festivities begin in the Cholistan

The festival takes place in the village Chanan Peer, named after the Sufi Saint, in the Cholistan desert of Pakistan. The village is near the city of Mandi Yazman and 65km far from Bahawalpur.

In this tweet, you can see beautiful pictures of the Cholistan desert in the south of Punjab.

The Urs of Sufi sain starts on a Thursday in February every year and continues for seven consecutive Thursdays. The most popular day of the festival is the fifth Thursday. There is a public holiday for local people in the area on the fifth Thursday.

Chanan Peer is the Spiritual center of Cholistan, and the festival is a symbol of its cultural heritage that is hundreds of years old.

Few Glimpses of the Festival:

People from different parts of the country gather to celebrate the Chanan peer festival in the desert. Festival is filled with activities such as dance, theatre performance, magic shows, camel dance, horse shows, and feasting.

Here is a look at people who are gathered to enjoy the festival in the desert.

This festival, through its activities, brings an opportunity to local people to present their culture in front of the world.

The tractor driver shows off his signature move by removing the front wheels. In the tweets below, you can get a close up look at the serious expressions on the drivers’ faces.

Here is a picture of a beautiful morning in the desert where people gathered to mark the death anniversary of Chanan peer.

A short Instagram video shows few glimpses of different cultural activities during the Chanan peer festival with local music in the background.

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