Although we love to celebrate a year-long list of festivals in Pakistan, the one that Pakistanis don’t mess with is 14th August. And why should they? It’s their independence day! Come August, and an air of festivity engulfs you and if you live in Pakistan you can probably smell it in the air-Independence Day is near.
However, if for some odd reason you can’t, could be that you have a cold! We are here to tell you of the familiar sights that suddenly start to pop up around the country as 14th August draws nearer.
1 . Lawn Ke Kapray
Clothing companies are the first to declare their love for azadi in August. Flags and the moon and the star and the green and white are all integral parts of these clothing lines-for obvious reasons.
2 . Pak Sar Zameen – Good morning Azadi!
If you have young ones at home, 14th. August might be a public holiday for the nation, but look forward to an early morning start at school, all dressed in green and white with the ceremonial national anthem and flag hoisting ceremony, and maybe some breakfast goodies to go!
3 . Azadi Walay Cupcakes
It’s not just the kapray walas, the local bakeries do their share of jumping on to the azadi bandwagon-because you won’t ever get a chance to eat green and white cupcakes at any other time of year. And it doesn’t end at cupcakes; azadi comes in full-sized cakes and cookies and even brownies which are not so brown when you generously lay on the azadi spread.
4 . Dil Dil Pakistan
Your visit to the mall is greeted by, not one, not two, but an endless playlist of super patriotic songs from our super patriotic pop bands. The songs might be old but the melody still feels young and you soon find yourself humming along to the beat! That’s the spirit! Go on and throw yourself headfirst into the azadi jazba-it’s 14th. August after all!
5 . The Street Band-And We’re Talking Super Powerful Surround Sound Here! (The blaring car horns add to the beat)
Azadi jazba knows no limits when the qaum (nation) loses track of fuel costs as wheels hit the roads late night and car stereos blare out a combination of old and new azadi beats. So if you’re sound asleep in bed, to be suddenly awakened by a Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan chorus playing out loud-fear not, it’s just 14th August.
6 . We’ve Got The One And Only Walking Talking-Human Flags
If you happen to venture into a shop, azadi paraphernalia will take you by storm. Everything from footwear to hair accessories, to clothes and handbags, is branded with the Pakistani flag. So don’t bat an eyelid if you see someone sporting a green eyeshadow or wearing a flag badge-walking talking human flags are the trend-and you CAN get away with it, only on independence day.
7 . Jhandiyan (Flag) Alert
These mini paper flags that are strung overhead, across streets and roads, lining the houses, send waves of nostalgia down our spine, right to the tips of our toes. It reminds us of our childhood days, when we would beg our parents to buy those flags in feverish anticipation of decorating our homes with all the green we could find-and every year, on 14th. August, it still feels just like yesterday.
8 . Light Up In Green
It’s impossible that we Pakistanis let any celebration pass by without a massive light décor show. We make sure that whereever you go, you spot the green and white. Sometimes you might even think you suffer from acute green-eyetis (it’s a special term we coined, for a special occasion), because you only see things in these two colours. But fear not, it’s an August virus…you will be healed by the end of the month.
9 . Flags Walay Thailay
In Pakistan, the roadside thailay (carts) sell all sorts of ware from fruits, vegetables, jewelry, handbags and even shoes. But in August they transform into Flags walay thailay (carts that just sell flags) stocked with flags of all sizes and forms-happily contributing to the go-green theme in the city.
So sit back and enjoy the lights, sights and sounds of all that 14th August has to offer to you in Pakistan this year.
Jashan-e-Azadi Mubarak! Happy independence!
Areeba is passionate about writing and often pens her thoughts on her personal blog Icanknot. But her writing isn’t all there is to her. In her own words, she plans to travel the world, get a degree from a design school in the Netherlands, visit CERN and get a pet a lion, or get to pet a lion!