Every year on September 10, families of new-born male children flock the Ravi
On the banks of once exuberant River Ravi, hundreds of devotees can be seen dressed in their finest clothes, carrying colourful, hand-made boats of varying sizes, carefully placing them in the river, watching them float gently in the now scant waters of the river.
Every year on September 10, families of new-born male children flock the Ravi with hand-made boats to commemorate what is believed to be a centuries-old tradition, as a way to offer thanks to the 12th Century sufi, Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, for his blessings for them.
The legend goes that the sufi once raised a sunken ship caught in a fierce storm, saving all its occupants, by placing his hand inside his cloak, while teaching his students.
Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani was born in 1078, in the town of Na’if, Iran. He was a jurist and a sufi residing in Baghdad. In 1127, he joined the school belonging to Al Makhzoomi as a teacher and gained immense popularity. Upon his death in 1166 his body was entombed in a shrine on the east bank of the Tigris in Baghdad, Iraq.