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March 9, 2020

Pakistan Blooms 2020, an event to celebrate heritage, culture and tourism with flowers, kicks off

Lahore

March 9, 2020

LAHORE : Pakistan Blooms 2020—an event to celebrate heritage, culture and tourism with flowers—formally kicked off inside Delhi Gate, the Walled City on Sunday.

The three-day event is being organised by the Lahore chapter of the Floral Arts Society of Pakistan (FASP) in collaboration with the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA), Parks & Horticulture Authority (PHA), Amateur Gardener's Club, Pakistan Horticulture Association and Lahore Gymkhana Gardening Club while the Jang Media Group is the media partner of the event.

Dignitaries including foreign guests, designers, floral artists, flower designers and members from different chapters of FASP from across the country are attending Pakistan Blooms 2020. The event will also include competition among floral artists, demonstration by international floral artists, a magical floral extravaganza and a gala dinner.

The first day began with the arrival of the delegates at the courtyard of Wazir Khan Mosque early Sunday morning which was followed by a talk and a presentation “Floral Frescos of Masjid Wazir Khan” by Noshin Sarfraz, one of the most dynamic and innovative horticulturists of Pakistan.

Noshin Sarfraz said Masjid Wazir Khan, a 17th century mosque, had been on the tentative UNESCO World Heritage list. She said her research on painted flower arrangements at the mosque revealed that the design concept was mille de fleur, which means thousands of flowers. She identified flowers in the design as fritillaries, tulips, dianthus, hydrangeas, daisy, bearded irises, marigolds and clarkia.

She said seeing the painted fritillarias, bearded irises and tulips at the Wazir Khan Mosque prompted the question what the European flowers were doing here in Lahore of 1634-35 as little was known about them and their cultivation in recent times in Pakistan.

After the talk the delegates visited the Wazir Khan Mosque and admired the architectural masterpiece of the city. Many of them were also seen taking photographs of the historical mosque. This was followed by a brunch in which the participants were served with traditional halwa puri and naan channay.

Afterwards the participants enjoying colourful rickshaw rides reached the historical Shahi Hammam, also known as the Wazir Khan Hammam, the only monumental building in Pakistan representing the Central Asian/Turkish/Irani tradition of public hot baths, situated next to the Delhi Gate inside the Walled City. During the guided tour the participants visited different sections of the Shahi Hammam.

It is pertinent to mention here that FASP Lahore chapter core committee comprises Naveen Syed, Ambreen Irfan, Farida Hasan, Ruhi Syed, Dr Tina, Ghazala Rafique and Shaista Khawar. Talking to The News, Shaista Khawar said Pakistan Blooms was a non-commercial activity aimed to promote a soft image of Pakistan. She added some foreigners had especially come to Pakistan to attend the three-day event being organised on a self-help basis.

In the afternoon the delegates visited the Governor’s House where they met Begum Samina Alvi, wife of President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi, and Begum Perveen Sarwar, wife of Punjab Governor Ch Mohammad Sarwar. Samina Alvi and Perveen Sarwar also accompanied the delegates during a mini-tour of the Governor’s House. The delegates also had a photo-session with them. Later in the evening the delegates left for sightseeing of the provincial metropolis on the double-decker bus service. The day culminated with a dinner at the Fort Road Food Street.