A 200-year-old festival of flowers and unity | delhi | Hindustan Times
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A 200-year-old festival of flowers and unity

Phool Walon Ki Sair, the nearly two-century-old festival showcasing the cultural syncretism of Delhi, began today with the presentation of floral pankhas (traditional handheld fans) to the lieutenant governor, chief minister and other dignitaries.

delhi Updated: Oct 25, 2012 23:29 IST
HT Correspondent

Phool Walon Ki Sair, the nearly two-century-old festival showcasing the cultural syncretism of Delhi, began on Thursday with the presentation of floral pankhas (traditional handheld fans) to the lieutenant governor, chief minister and other dignitaries.

The weeklong cultural festival that began in 1812 was stopped by the English during the Quit India movement but was revived by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1961. It has been organised since by Anjuman Sair-e-Gul Faroshan.

Flower traders from Mehrauli prepare pankhas of flowers decorated with shells as part of the festival. It is their way of offering their obeisance at the two places of worship belonging to two communities.

Apart from Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna, pankhas were presented to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, divisional commissioner Dharam Pal, chief secretary

PK Tripathi and also to Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar.

"This festival is an example of composite culture of our country, where both Hindus and Muslims celebrate by laying the traditional floral chadar at the Mehrauli mosque and the adjacent Yogmaya Shakipeeth temple. Fruits of development and progress can only be enjoyed where there is peace in the society," said Khanna.

Floral pankhas would be offered to the president and the vice-president. On November 1, Khanna will lead people to offer a chadar and a pankha at the dargah.

"There will be sports and kite flying near Hauz-e-Shamsi on October 31. It will be followed by a similar offering at Yogmaya temple on November 3. The same day, other states, too, participate in a cultural procession with their own pankhas through the Mehrauli bazaar. The ministry of information and broadcasting will present a cultural programme," said a statement from Anjuman.