New Delhi: Colourful festivities would begin in Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya on February 9, heralding the beginning of basant or spring. Incharge of the Dargah Syed Kashif Ali Nizami told the Basant Utsav will begin at 4 pm on Sunday, it will continue till 9 pm.
Qawwali is sung inside the shrine and a yellow sheet and mustard flowers will be placed on the saint’s grave and incense sticks would be lit.
The Dargah of Sufi saint Hazrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya is situated in the capital’s Nizamuddin West, very close to Humayun’s Tomb, which is in Nizamuddin East.
It is said that the beginning of Basant Panchami celebration dates back to the time of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, who lived from 1238 to 1325, after whom the dargah was named. One day, Khusrau saw a group of village women dressed in yellow, carrying mustard flowers and singing on the road. Khusrau asked the women what they were doing. The women replied that they were celebrating the arrival of Basant and were going to the temple to offer flowers to their god. Khusrau immediately dressed up in a yellow saree, and carrying mustard flowers, went before the saint singing sakal ban phool rahi sarson. Amused by his costume and song, the saint, who had been gloomy for long, finally broke into a smile.
This was commemorated as an occasion for rejoicing, and since then his followers have celebrated the onset of Basant by dressing up in yellow, carrying mustard flowers and singing qawwali.
Here’s is an old video showing how Basant utsav is celebrated in the Dargah.