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Carrying on a tradition: An ode to communal harmony
Tuesday October 14, 2014 10:58 AM, IANS

The melodious sound of shahnais reverberated in the air while a troupe of fire dancers captivated the spectators as Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung Monday launched the "Phool Walon Ki Sair", the annual procession of flower sellers, organized as a symbol of communal harmony since the Mughal era.

Phool Walon ki sair

The festival that promotes friendship between Hindus and Muslims dates back several hundred years and was revived by the Anjuman "Sair-e-Gul Faroshan" society in 1962. Despite losing its grandeur down the ages, it is still celebrated every year.

The highlight of the festival is the procession, led by shehnai players, who present floral 'pankhas' (fans) at the historic Yogmaya Shaktipeeth temple and at the Dargah of Khwaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, both situated in south Delhi's Mehrauli area, in a celebration of India's syncretic culture.

Jung too was presented with a floral pankha and said: "The Phool Walon Ki Sair is an example of the rich composite culture of our great nation and the pankhas are a symbol of national integration and communal harmony."

Jung also praised the Anjuman Sair-e-Gul Faroshan society for their efforts in fostering communal peace in the society.

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