Delhi’s oldest secular festival, Phool Waloon Ki Sair, has managed to survive the test of time. The festival which was initiated by the Mughals in 19th century, has come a long way. It came to a halt though when the country was under the British rule. It was revived by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1961.
This annual week-long celebration in the Capital organised by Anjuman Sair-E-Gul Faroshan, brings together communities to promote communal harmony. “What happens over the border can’t stop us from holding this festival,” says Usha Kumar, general secretary, Anjuman Sair-E-Gul Faroshan. She adds that the younger generation is oblivious to this more than a century-old tradition. But she adds, “The response has been increasing every year.”
Since its inception, the festival has been known for promoting peace and oneness among Hindus and Muslims. “Keeping the grudges aside, people from both the communities will visit the Dargah of Khwaja Bakhtiar Kaaki near Qutub Minar on October 20 to offer floral chadar and panka. The next day, they will head to the Yogmaya Temple in Mehrauli to offer a floral chatra and panka (fan),” says Kumar.
The Yogmaya mandir where the members will offer floral chhatra and Panka on October 21. The festival is celebrated every year at Mehrauli in the Capital. (Mohd Zakir/HT Photo)
The festival’s itinerary aims to showcase composite culture of the city. The festival which kick started on October 14 with multiple activities, will culminate with the offering-ceremonies on the last two days.Floral chadar and panka will be offered at the Mazar of Qutubbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki on October 21. (Mohd Zakir/HT Photo)
About India-Pakistan relations and its effects on the festivities and Kumar adds, “People from all over the city come together to celebrate this festival and at such a time when there’s friction in the hearts people in both the countries, the relevance of this festival increases manifolds.”
CATCH IT LIVE
What: Phool Waloon Ki Sair
Where: Dargah of Khwaja Bakhtiar Kaaki near Qutub Minar
When: October 20 and 21
Timings: 4 pm
Nearest Metro Station: Qutub Minar on Yellow Line