Travel Guide of Pakistan
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Culture of pakistan


Culture
The society of Pakistan comprises numerous diverse cultures and ethnic groups from the Punjabis and Sindhis in the east to the tribal cultures of the Baloch and Pashtun in the west and the ancient Dardic in the north. These cultures have been greatly influenced by, and have themselves influenced, many of the surrounding countries' cultures, such as those of Afghanistan, Iran, India, Central Asia and the Middle East. More recently western countries such as the UK, Germany and the USA have been influenced by the Pakistani diaspora[citation needed].

In ancient times Pakistan was a major cultural hub, the home of ancient civilizations, such as the Indus Valley Civilization - one of the first 'settled' peoples. Many cultural practices and great monuments have been inherited from the time of the many ancient rulers of the region. One of the most influenced cultures is that of the Persian Empire. other key influences include the Afghan Empire and later the short lived but influential Mughal Empire.
There are many holidays and festivals celebrated annually in Pakistan. While Pakistan is an Islamic nation, there are also several secular holidays including Pakistan Day (23 March), Independence Day (14 August), Defence of Pakistan Day (6 September), Pakistan Air Force Day (7 September), the anniversaries of the birth (25 December) and death (11 September) of Quaid-e-Azam, Allama Iqbal (9 November) and the birth (30 July) and death (8 July) of Madar-e-Millat. Labour Day (also known as May Day) is also observed in Pakistan on 1 May.
Several important festivals are celebrated by Pakistani Muslims during the year, dependent on the Islamic calendar. Ramadan, the ninth month of the calendar, is characterised by daytime fasting for 29 or 30 days and is followed by the festival of Eid ul-Fitr. In a second festival, Eid ul-Adha, an animal is sacrificed in remembrance of the actions of Abraham and the meat is shared with friends, family, and the less fortunate. Both Eid festivals are public holidays, serving as opportunities for people to visit family and friends, and for children to receive new clothes, presents, and sweets. Some Muslims celebrate Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of the prophet Muhammad, in the third month of the calendar (Rabi' al-Awwal). Shia Muslims mark the Day of Ashurah on the 9th and 10th days of the first month (Muharram) to commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn bin Ali, (the grandson of prophet Muhammad).

Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Christians in Pakistan also celebrate their own festivals and holidays. Sikhs come from across the world to visit several holy sites in Punjab, including the shrine of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, at Hassan Abdal in the Attock District, and his birthplace, at Nankana Sahib. There are also several regional and local festivals, such as the Punjabi festival of Basant, which marks the start of spring and is celebrated by kite flying.


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