A RAVAN FESTIVAL IN LAHORE 1923
SUNDAY COURIER LAHORE REPORTS FESTIVAL
Not even in peoples memory today
The area in front of Lahore Fort has witnessed many things. The Minar of Pakistan stands there today, but in the same vicinity there used to be many things. Known to us as Minto Park, it housed an annual exhibition of things. Ladies of Lahore thronged there not only to see things but buy things of their choice. Regular Kite flying (Patangs) were there on holidays and the standard was the peak of Lahore. Fondness for research is there now and a student from NCA, Ms Zoya Hassan is researching a thesis on Guddi ground.
We came across a reference in newspaper magazine of France, namely Sunday Courier in 1923, with a drawing of a RAVAN FESTIVAL in Minto Park Lahore. We are told by the paper that there were 200,000 spectators to see the event. Obviously not all would be Hindus as the drawing itself shows Muslims enjoying the show too. Strangely we do not see anything like that today, but it is a thing that is there all over India, to this day, as can be seen by various images. So enjoy a page from the past!
Strangely on one side, outside Taxalli Gate Lahore was the HINDU WOMEN BURNING GROUND, where they cremated their dead Hindu ladies. People recall the smell of burning flesh in the area. On the other side was the place where Zorastarians or our Parsee brethern left their dead bodies behind for the traditional end of being eaten by birds and animals and the throwing of the remains in a traditional well, the Silent Tower of Lahore. The symbolic killing of Raven no one remembers at all.