Memos from Asia

Sibi Mela: A Historical Spring Festival of Baluchistan, Pakistan

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The cultural diversity of Pakistan makes it a beautiful country. With spring season blooming in the country when winter ends, Pakistani people celebrate it in different parts of the country. There are many historical and traditional spring festivals in Pakistan.

Baluchistan is a province in the south of Pakistan and has borders with Iran and Afghanistan. It is famous for minerals, Gwadar Port, and traditions that people follow for a long. People in Baluchistan celebrate the spring in their own way. The most famous spring event in Baluchistan is Sibi Mela.

A Bit about Historical Sibi Festival:

Sibi Mela, as the name suggests, is celebrated in Sibi City that is located 163km to the southeast of Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan. It is a traditional festival that is held for 5 days in February end every year.

People from different parts of the province and country gather to celebrate the event that includes horse and cattle shows, cultural shows, local sports, and exhibitions of handicrafts. This colorful event has an excitement of its own.

If we talk about the history of the festival, it goes back to the 15th century. Its roots connect back to the annual meeting of local tribal chiefs in the town in February. The British also continued this tradition as an annual darbar that is combined with a fair named as Sibi Mela.

Since its start, Sibi Mela is celebrated each year by Govt officials and people from different parts of the country. Chief Minister of Baluchistan highlights that Quid-e-Azam also attended this famous festival in the following tweet.

Few Glimpses of the Sibi Mela Celebrations:

The 5-day festival has many small events for people to participate and enjoy. People from different cities of Baluchistan and Sindh attend the event with their animals to participate in horse and cattle shows. Cultural shows, animal race, horse dance, folk dance, and music are also part of the festival. Here are a few pictures of the event that will force you not to miss the Sibi Mela next year.

Sibi Mela also has a bazar to exhibit and promote the local handicrafts. People buy local and cultural dresses from the shop set up in the bazar. In the following tweeted video women tell the reporter how this festival represents their culture and why they participate in it with their children to keep the traditions alive.

The beautifully planned and organized festival culminates with fireworks. Here is a video of the closing moments of the event with some cracking fireworks.

Role of the Government in Promotion and Celebration of the Sibi Mela:

It is hard to deny that the Federal and state governments have played a pivotal role in keeping this historical and traditional alive. Local and provincial government takes a keen interest in organizing this event. President of Pakistan and Chief Minister of Baluchistan attend the inauguration or closing ceremony of the event every year with several other government officials present throughout the festival.

Pakistan’s government is keen to promote the historical event on twitter.

With its vision to promote tourism, Pakistan officials have focused to highlight these colorful, historical, and traditional events at every forum. This can be seen in the following pictures posted Pakistan embassy in Vietnam on social media.

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