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Karachi Holidays Overview
Karachi is the capital of Sindh, which is a province that is located within the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan and is a bustling and busy city which is often referred to as the ‘ City of Lights’ and the ‘City that Never Sleeps ’ that is home to nearly 18 million people. This coastal city is the financial and commercial capital of the country and its largest port.
Karachi is also the most cosmopolitan city in Pakistan as its population is made up of several different nationalities and ethnicities for the city through the ages has hosted (and continues to host) various economic and political migrants. Karachi’s population like the rest of Pakistan is largely Muslim but the city also has a significant Christian, Hindu and Zoroastratian populations.
The city is also the largest port in Pakistan which is located on the country’s south eastern coast that borders the Arabian Sea. The history of the city of Karachi can be traced to the early Greeks who named it 'Krokola'. In fact Alexander the Great prepared his fleet for Babylonia in the area of Karachi after he completed his campaign in the Indus Valley in 326 BC. Karachi was then founded and named "Kolachi" by Baloch tribes from Balochistan and Makran who established a small fishing community in the area. It was also visited by the Ottoman Admiral Sidi Ali Reis in the 1550s. The city was ceded to the Talpurs of Balochistan in 1789.
The city remained as fishing village even under the Talpur’s who erected a mud fort here.The British colonists of the Indian sub continent began to show and interest in Karachi in 1839. Sir Charles Napirer in fact dispatched the British ship, HMS Wellesley to Karachi in 1839. The British ship was greeted by cannon fire by the Talpurs but city easily fell into the hands of the British who then went on to capture much of Sindh. The British designated the city as the capital of the province and Napier
its first governor.
Under the British, Karachi grew and prospered as roads and railways were constructed along with various Gothic and Victorian style buildings like Frere Hall, the Sindh High Court, the Sindh Assembly Building, St Andrew’s Church, St Patrick’s Cathedral and Empress Market which are today the city’s most prominent landmarks. Karachi was also made the capital of the new country of Pakistan after the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947. During the partition of the country the city witnessed much bloodshed as large scale communal riots drove out Karachi’s native Hindu population from the city. At the same time the city also received an influx of Muslim migrants from India. These migrants called ‘mohajirs’ expanded the city’s population and greatly altered its demographics.
Karachi remained the capital of Pakistan until 1958 when the capital of Pakistan was shifted to Rawalpindi and then onto the newly constructed city of the Islamabad. After this event the city was neglected for a long period of time as development stagnated.
The city received another wave of immigrants during the 1980’s and 1990’s as it received an influx of refugees who were escaping the Afghan war. Thereafter the city was often racked by riots as tensions escalated between mohajirs and the native residents of Karachi. The situation seems to have settled in recent years though relations between the two groups continues to be tenuous until today though the city has grown to be an important financial and industrial center of Pakistan that handles much of the country’s overseas trade and contributes greatly to its GDP.
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holidays - Top Events
Karachi celebrates all the major religious and national holidays that are celebrated in Pakistan like :-
This religious festival is celebrated at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on the first day of Shawwal. Like all festivals, this event is also celebrated in the company of friends and family and involves the purchasing of new clothes, feasting of good food and exchanging of gifts.
Eid Ul Azha
This day is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice which falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja of the lunar Islamic calendar. This festival is celebrated over three days and involves the sacrifice of a sheep, goat or cow to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismael as an act of obedience to God. This event also marks the end of Haj or the annual pilgrimage to Mecca which is undertaken by thousands of Muslims every year.
This is another religious festival which is celebrated by Muslims all over the year. Muslims believe on the night of Shab-e-Barat , Allah(the almighty) determines the destinies of all people for the following year by taking into account their actions of the past. This festival also features prayers, the exchange of sweetmeats, fireworks and visits of family and friends.
The city also celebrates the national holidays of Pakistan Day (which is celebrated to commemorate the anniversary of the Pakistan resolution passed by the Muslims of South Asia on March 23, 1940 at Minto Park) and Independence Day on August 14th.
Apart from these festivals, the city plays hosts to a lot of cultural fests and events like
The Sindh Sea Festival
The Sindh Sea Festival is held annually in January at various beach front venues in Lyari town in Karachi. This festival aims to showcase the indigenous culture and products of the region of Sindhi. The festival features many ethnic products, foods, music, apparel and handicrafts and is popular with both locals and tourists alike.
The Kara Film Festival is Karachi’s annual international film festival which is organized by the Kara Film Society. This film festival aims to create a space for independent cinema in Pakistan and the festival accordingly features screenings of alternative Pakistani and international films and documentaries. This festival also provides filmmakers a chance to interact and learn from each other. The Kara festival is held in January every year.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines like Malaysian Airlines, Emirates, Gulf Air, Etihad,Qatar offer air links from Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne to Karachi. However the flight time of these journeys largely depends on the route that you choose to take and the various stops that you are compelled to make.
The Australian Government has a consulate in Karachi in addition to its High commission which is located in Islamabad.