Today the Supreme Court here decided that it would still be legal to celebrate Basant. Basant is an annual kite-flying festival held at the coming of spring here in Lahore. It doesn't only involve flying kites, but battling them. Everyone who is anyone has a top class kite to fight it out during the festival which starts Feb 15th this year. The problem is, people have gotten a bit too serious and kite battles have turned deadly; not only for the kites but for innocent passerby as well! For months leading up to Basant, people make kite string out of shards of glass. These thin strings are like mini invisible guillotines, flying everywhere in the air. Picture this, you're riding on your motorcyle to work and suddenly, you drive through a kite string and your head is cut off! just like that. I was told 7 or 8 people have been decapitated in such a way in the last four or five years. Last year the celebration was banned despite protests outside the supreme court. I think it pretty much went on anway, but the marketers took a big hit since it's one of the biggest celebrations of the year. This year it will go on as planned, and I'm definitely planning to avoid open fields and rooftops for fear of losing my head...literally! Crazy sports these Lahoris have here.
Find out more about Basant here: