Phoolwalon Ki Sair 2012
When: October – November 2012
Where: New Delhi
Phoolwalon Ki Sair It is celebrated in order to showcase the composite culture of Delhi which has strengthened the city’s communal and harmonious environment. At the present time, the festival is celebrated by both Muslims and Hindus alike. The festival is also known as Sair-e-Gul Faroshan where flower sellers pray for a better season of flowers for the upcoming year.
The origin of the Phoolwalon Ki Sair dates back to the reigns of Mughal Emperor Akbar Shah II. Apparently, the emperor nominated Mirza Jahangir, his son, as the heir. However, one time Mirza Jahangir fired a shot at Sir Archibald, a British resident, from the roof of the Naubat Khana in the Red Fort. Although not hurt, Mirza Jahangir was exiled to Allahabad. Distressed of the incident, the queen vowed that she will offer a blanket of flowers at the Dargah of Khwaja if her son will return. After a few years of exile, the prince was recalled from banishment. The Queen redeemed her vows and offered a blanket of flowers at the Dargah and Jogmaya. Since then, the people celebrate the Phoolwalon Ki Sair every year.
There are various ways to celebrate the Phoolwalon Ki Sair. You can join in the procession which is led by dancers and shehnai players who bear large floral fans. The procession passes through the Yogmaya Temple where the shrine of Devi Jog Maya is found and winds through the Mehrauli bazaar in order to reach the dargah of Khwaja Bakhtiyar Kaki. You will also find flower sellers who offer big fans known as pankha to the shrines. These fans are often embroidered with beautiful flowers to please the deities.
Another event you should not fail to see is the sprinkling of colourful flowers from the tomb of Kwaja Bhaktiar and the temple of Jogmaya. You will hear trumpets being blown during the procession. This is also a realm of dance and music to honour the festive season. You will surely enjoy the Kathak and Owallis dances where glowing firework displays are unleashed. You can also see fan-shaped decorations where palm leaves are adorned with tinsels and flowers. Other things you can enjoy during the Phoolwalon Ki Sair include fire dancing, fire eating, and acrobatic performances.
The Phoolwalon Ki Sair is a great time for both Hindus and Muslims to connect with each other despite their differences. The festival is triumphant in bonding two different cultures and letting them enjoy each other’s presence with communal activities. It is a celebration that they both look forward. If ever you are visiting Delhi during the rainy season, this is one festival that is worthwhile to include in your itinerary.