If you thought the city of lights couldn’t get any brighter, you were wrong. Commencing from Independence Day, Pak-China Lantern Festival witnessed bright lanterns, illuminating Karachi’s urban oasis Benazir Bhutto Park with greens, pinks and blues, becoming quite a surreal add-on to a dark backdrop.

The festival was inaugurated by Sindh Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Dr. Junaid Ali Shah. Being organised by K.N. Amusement, the festival is staged for bewildered spectators till the 14th of this month.

The festival has been family entertainment on a budget, with an admission fee of Rs. 300, with activities to keep all eyes busy and fascinated. Jugglers and performers keep kids glued and the bouncy castle calls to their oomph at the same time. Brightly-lit structures of Minar-e-Pakistan, Quaid’s mausoleum and Faisal Mosque alongside gold and red Chinese lanterns make a picture of two cultures blending into one another; all showcasing splendid light works.

There is a small collection of birds for the little ones to marvel at, alongside mannequins of dinosaurs and more, who could not make an appearance. If you plan on visiting, you can expect to run into excited kids running hither and tither.

And of course, how can there be a festival in Karachi without eateries? Street food and junk food for the little ones to keep sugar levels up go hand in hand at any event in this city. You will find our loved sour and salty delicacies to enjoy be it pani puri, chaat or anday wala burger.

The festival has been an attraction for the Chinese population here in Karachi, catering to those home feels. The entire event has been a great show of lights giving us a small feel of what a Chinese festival may be like. I kind of hoped to see a dragon while at it, But… oh well!

– Eman Saleem