The beginning of the spring season means the start of the Jashn-e-Bahara festival for Lahoris
If you have recently found yourself extra motivated and positive, it probably has a lot to do with the weather. The season of new beginnings and rejuvenation is here. The days are longer. The heaters and warm clothes have been packed up in the storerooms again. The Mall and the Canal Bank Road are lush green with bright leaves and buzzing bees. You can smell the sweet aroma of colourful blooming flowers all around the city. Spring is in the air. This year especially, the spring season was even more anticipated as it would mean a further reduction in Covid-19 cases and a relaxation of restrictions.
The beginning of the spring season means the start of the Jashne Baharan festival for Lahoris. Like every year, the festival is being held in Jillani Park. It was inaugurated by the chief minister on Thursday. The park is abuzz with families, groups of friends and children. It is a much-awaited event and this year’s preparations do not disappoint.
The lights and colours are bright. There are stalls selling clay pottery, jewellery and all kinds of books at reasonable prices. There are also the traditional khussas, which are being made right in front of the patrons. Then there is a mouth-watering variety of food. There is the traditional saag and makai ki roti, chicken barbecue, halwa poori and everything else that Lahore is known for. A proper seating area for families has been set up.
There are lots of activities for children, which is not always the case. There are rides as well as regular swings. There is the Pirate Ship for the older children and the merry-go-round for younger ones. You will also find trampolines for children of all ages, with loud pumping music in the background. There are horses and camels for rides as well. There are vendors carrying boards with balloons as a shooting challenge for children. A stage has been set up for live musical performances.
The entry is free of cost and the entertainment is unlimited. However, the cleanliness of the park has not been maintained very well. Some of the visitors have been throwing used cups, plates and all sorts of rubbish on the ground, while the waste bins are empty. Maybe they could charge a small entrance fee that could be used to maintain cleanliness. But it would be even better for Lahoris know not to litter our parks.
Also, the lighting is very poor. There are not enough lights at night. Effective illumination will make the experience even better. Moreover, Covid-19 SOPs are hardly being followed. You rarely see anyone wearing a mask or bothering to maintain a safe distance. Another point to note is that there is little to no security at the gate. It is crucial to have a proper security system in place.
All in all, the festival is a good recreational activity for the public. It gives people a chance to spend time outdoors with their families and friends.
The writer is a communications manager. She can be reached at [email protected]