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5 Wedding Venues for Bridal Season 2017/18

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The tinker of wedding bells sparks an enthusiasm and fervor in the entire family, be it the groom’s or the bride’s. A typical wedding season is bustling with excitement of pre marriage arrangements. From hall bookings to deciding the menu and sending out invitations the amount of work is cumbersome. And all this needs to be done within a set budget.

If you are getting married in the beautiful city of Lahore you are in luck! Here we have a detailed guide of all you can desire to know about some of the best options for your wedding venue selection. Other than these venues, farmhouses remain a wonderful option for those who seek a more customized location that can be personalized according to your taste. You can check about these from the best event managers in the city.

Brides & You carried out a survey to compare different options available to help you decide upon a venue for the big day! Bookings run out fast, so hurry up and get on with it before your favourite venue gets booked.

Pearl Continental Hotel

Pearl Continental is perhaps the most popular venue for holding a wedding party. Located on the Mall Road in Lahore, it has many banquet halls and two are in the pipeline. Crystal, Emerald, Shalimar, Palace, Kohi-Noor, Shahi Khema and Pearl are some of the most popular and established wedding venues. Ballroom A and Ballroom B are under construction, soon to be launched.

The capacity of each hall varies. Crystal Hall can accommodate up to 500 people. Emerald can hold 200. Shalimar can hold 300 people. Palace and Koh-e-Noor have a capacity of 500. Shahi Khema can hold a total of 600. Ball Room A and B will have a capacity of 800 people.

PC offers a standard one-dish menu. If mutton is on the menu the cost will be Rs 1725 approx. per-head. In the case of chicken the cost is Rs 1425 approx. per head.

PC has a carpeted stage, chairs and tables. The flowers and other décor arrangements such as the sofa and lighting etc have to be imported from proper décor vendors, which can cost between Rs 50,000 and two lakhs depending on how lavish it is.
The months November and March are the busiest. The pre booking of a hall all depends upon availability, so you better plan well in advance.

Garrison Golf & Country Club

Another favourite among the wedding venues seems to be Garrison Golf and Country Club. The Qasar-e-Noor Nauroze hall boasts of close proximity to Cantonment and Defence Housing Authority and is quite a popular choice. The décor and colours make you feel like you are entering a grand palace of some royal era.

The place offers a wide range of menus that range from Rs 1400 to Rs 1900 depending on the choice of mutton and chicken dishes; both curry and rice. Also, on the menu are the traditional Lahori Puri and Pathooray. The rates of Qasar-e-Noor halls are Rs 50,000 for a full hall and Rs 35000 for half occupancy, but they offer discounted rates for Armed forces personnel and Garrison Golf Club members. Qasar-e-Noor offers an approved panel of decorators, out of whom any one can be selected.

Faletti’s

If you are looking for an old world charm setting for your special day, Faletti’s Hotel is your go-to choice indeed. The place itself offers that colonial ambience which is due to strike a chord with old school romanticism.

The wide range of menu options is priced between Rs 1250 to Rs 1800 approx. and the hotel offers its own especially appointed event decorator, who can be hired from Rs 50000. The spacious newly refurbished hotel offers four halls, the smallest being Shalimar with a seating for 100 people. The busiest season is from October to mid April and it is recommended to book way earlier to avoid disappointments. There is ample parking at the venue and the staff at the Hotel is courteous and friendly.

Royal Palm

As time passes trends change and new options pop up. Royal Palm is another option open for weddings. Located on the canal bank road, it holds three banquet halls: Summit Hall, Dome Hall and Fair Way. Summit holds 300, Dome 200 and Fair Way 120. Rates are Rs 25,000 for Summit, Rs 25,000 for Dome and Rs 15,000 for Fair Way. The décor charges vary between Rs 50,000 and 100,000, depending upon client’s preference. The menu is one dish and the price per head which includes tax and beverages is Rs 2000 approx for mutton and Rs 1750 approx for chicken dishes.

Lahore Grande

Lahore Grande is a banquet hall located on 144 Upper Mall, Lahore. It has three halls, namely Mirage, Empire and Signature. Mirage can accommodate up to 250 people. Empire can hold up to 300 people and Signature can hold up to 600.

The charges per head are Rs 1100 approx. plus tax for chicken and Rs 1450 approx. plus tax for mutton. The menu décor prices vary starting from a minimum of Rs 20,000 and can go up to as high as 700,000. The vendors for the décor are provided by Lahore Grande and it is up to the client to decide on how luxurious a décor he wants. The busiest seasons according to the manager are from November to April. The prices remain the same irrespective of the wedding seasons.

Wedding is a special occasion not only in a couple’s life but in also in the cultural setting of South East Asia, for the entire family involved. The entire journey from the engagement to the date setting and finally the big day can get extremely taxing. Gone are the days when functions were held in house lawns. But we also feel that lavish spending on weddings to the extent of it becoming a carefully staged show, can be a waste of money and useful resources. There is elegance in simplicity but you will still need a venue to accommodate all your guests who come in for the ceremony to shower the couple with best of wishes for a happily ever after!

Culture Entertainment

The Good Doctor

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It is wonderful to see so many new stage plays coming up in our country recently and theatre seems to be moving towards the path of flourishing with full bloom. A new play which is being staged in Lahore in Alhamra Arts Council is titled, ‘The Good Doctor’, being performed on 22nd, 23rd and 24th September 2017. It is a production of LATZ (Lahore Amateur Theatre Zealots). Their last production ‘Dil-e-Nadaan’ was a roaring success.

One of the cast members Rasti Farooq says,  “I’ve been doing theatre for a few years now and I find nothing more thrilling or nourishing. The most fun I’ve ever had was playing Satine in Moulin Rouge in college and good old sardonic Mehreen in my first Urdu play, Dil-e-Nadaan earlier this year.”

The Good Doctor also happens to be a comedy. It has the total duration of 2 hours. It is directed by Tughral Turaab Ali and cast members include old timers like Tughral Ali, Ian Eldred, Zainab Ahmed, Yasir Romee, Hassan Raza and Rasti Farooq.

The price of tickets is different based on seats from Rs 500, Rs 1000 to Rs 1500. You can order them online at easytickets.pk or call on numbers given on their poster (also check LATZ on Facebook) and get delivery in Gulberg and Cantt. They can be purchased from Latz office at 7B/12 Aziz Avenue, from Alhamra office or from HKB DHA. Support the arts and do take the time out to watch the play. Get your tickets because they seem to run out faster than the speed of light!

Culture Entertainment

How much is too much when it comes to your Shadi?

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Care to know what is happening with the wedding ceremonies now? What is all that will be expected of you if you want to emerge successful at the end of the functions as being known for having thrown a great party? Do you need to break the bank? If you are about to organize a wedding or get married yourself, you better read on what the two event organizers we interviewed have to say. They are Hirra Waqas of Peppermint and Shazreh Khalid of Z and S Events.

Hirra Waqas Ali tells us, “Traditionally the functions were supposed to be a Mehndi, Baraat and Valima. The latest trend is that of throwing a Sangeet as well as multiple mehndis- one from the groom’s side and the other from the bride’s side.

The concept of joint reception has evolved but the number of parties keeps increasing. A joint reception or a Shalima (shadi/valima) seems to be happening a lot.  The cost for a Sangeet function varies from class to class. The upper class can have singers such as Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Sunto, Sukhbir who demand up-to 1 million. Singers such as Humaira Arshad & Ali Sethi demand about 5 lakhs. Sangeet is basically a commercialized version of a dholak.”

Zareen Khalid was the pioneer of event management in Pakistan. According to Shazreh Khalid, Zareen’s daughter, traditionally a wedding event commenced with the Milad followed by Mayun.

Bye Bye Milad/ Mayoon- Hello Sangeet

“The Mayoon has now been taken over by the Sangeet. A Sangeet is an event which has any kind of musical performance. According to Shazreh, the current trend is to have the mehndi/shaadi together which saves up on cost. The rasams, dances, rukhsati and dinner are all summed up in one event. The Valima is usually a function from the groom’s side of the family. So the groom pays for the Valima whereas the bride’s family pays for the baraat. When it comes to food, the one dish menu on staged events is strictly according to law. However, if you have a dholki without a stage, a menu with a larger variety can be served.

I Need 10 more jewellery sets for Sangeet daddy!

Traditionally, the jewellery used to be floral but now the trend is more towards polki or kundan. On the Sangeet, the bride usually wears traditional clothes with gota on it. There are two schools of thought when it comes to fashion- the old school and the new school. Kamiar Rokni for example follows the philosophy of the old school and Khadija Shah of Elan for one, belongs to the new school. The old school follows a traditional pattern of kundan, jhoomar, tikka, choker, sat-larra haar in jewellery and dabka, tila, sitaara and hand embroidery. On the other hand, the new school follows diamonds as well as polki, stones and crystals. All the embroidery is done by hand and this has a lot of detailing, with touches of dabka etc. But the look is more contemporary.”

Shazreh goes on to tell us, “Wedding décor is in white usually in fresh flowers such as gladiola or roses and mehndi cum sangeet is usually designed using yellow flowers traditionally known as the gainda. Flowers are my passion they can make or break a wedding event. Every event that I design is customized according to the requirements. I love using pastel colours for receptions and themed colourful decor for more festive events like mehndi and sangeet.”

(Yayyyy to Sushi for Sangeet!)

Hirra Waqas tells us, “The food can be as extravagant as sushi, Chinese, desi or as simple as only a one dish menu depending upon the scale of the Sangeet. If it’s a typical qawalli setup then the traditional one dish sometimes enough. Otherwise, the amount to which one can spend has no limits.

Farmhouse = I can party till dawn!

A Sangeet is often held at Bedian in a farm house. Residents of Bahria town have a proper venue in their community but the trend is towards Bedian. Although the law doesn’t allow functions to extend after 10 pm, the law does not apply on farm houses.”

The trend of destination weddings is on the rise in Pakistan. Amal Mujtabah got married in Nathia Gali in the Lawrence College lawns. Another wedding was done in Shigar Fort, hospitality by Serena, in Baltistan. Natasha of Natasha’s Salon in Karachi got married in Dubai. The famous Gulzar wedding took place in Istanbul, Turkey. So different venues are chosen within and outside of Pakistan depending upon what the client likes.”

One destination wedding Shazreh attended was of Amal Khan which took place in Muree which was fabulous. In Bedian, Shazreh has worked with different farm houses as well as people’s homes with big grounds. When questioned about Bahria Town she was of the view that it was not such a popular venue with people but again it depends from person to person.

My giveaway must make hearts stop!

Hirra Waqas: “There are two types of giveaways. One, which come with the invitation card which are in a paper or a crystal box. Another which is the traditional bid given on the Nikah in a pouch which includes chawara, makhana, badaam, saunf and supari. These can be upgraded according to status as well. Some can add eclairs, others chocolates and others can add more expensive chocolates.

Shazreh Khalid tells us that the giveaways for the bid usually is the traditional chawara, almond eggs and some dry fruit and the mithai post nikkah has either balooshahi, ludoo or Fazal ki barfi. Chocolates from Lal’s or Patchi and dates from Bateel are also in trend.

Which one is the bride?

In most weddings held in Punjab, particularly Lahore the trend is the heavier the look in makeup and jewellery, the better! One cannot differentiate the bride from the rest of the relatives. The bride does not shine as everybody is dressed equally formally. This pattern follows mostly in Lahore, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Multan and Islamabad. In Karachi people still prefer to dress practically and not to go over the top,” says Hirra.

Is my wedding hashtag trending?

Social pressures are on all of us, but at the end of the day it is you who is important and not people’s opinions. People have short memories and usually trash all fancy boxes and pouches! On the other hand how would you get your hash tag trending on social media fabulously, if you didn’t put a solid dent into daddy’s pocket! Which kind of bride will you be?

Culture Entertainment

Colours a complex phenomenon

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Colours play an integral part in our lives and even shape the mood we are feeling such as having the blues or green with envy or so angry that you saw red. Different colours are associated with different qualities. Moreover, the same colours have different meanings in different cultures; Let us see first what the general meaning of basic colours is and how they vary across the globe?

Red: red is the colour of fire and blood. So it is associated with energy, danger, war, strength as well as passion and desire. In India red represents a married woman. In South Africa red is the colour of mourning. The same red colour represents the day Sunday in Thai culture. Whilst in China it is the colour of New Year.

Orange: it combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, and stimulation. In the West orange stands for fun and curiosity. In the Middle East it’s associated with mourning. In Japan and China it represents courage, happiness, love and good health.

     

Yellow: it is the colour of sunshine and so depicts joy, happiness, intellect and energy. Whilst yellow is a positive colour, in France it has a negative connotation of jealousy and betrayal. In China it is associated with pornography. In Africa it represents people of high rank because of it having the colour of gold. In Japan it represents bravery and wealth.

Green: it is the colour of nature. It represents growth, fertility, freshness, harmony. It is also associated with money. In western cultures green represents money, greed, jealousy. Middle Eastern and Asian countries associate it with birth, fertility, new beginnings, youth. Across many South American cultures green is the colour of death.

Blue: it is the colour of sky and sea. It is associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. In western cultures blue is associated with melancholy and depression. But at the same time it stands for trust, security and authority. It is also the colour of the male gender. However, in China blue represents the female gender.

Purple: it is made of the stability of blue and energy of red. It is associated with royalty. It symbolizes wealth, extravagance, wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity. It is associated with death and mourning in Brazil, Thailand, India, UK and Italy. In the USA it’s a symbol of honour and courage.

White: it represents purity, innocence, virginity, goodness and it is also the colour of perfection. In the west it represents purity, peace, elegance and cleanliness. But in China, Korea and some other Asian countries it is the symbol of mourning.

Black: it is associated with evil, mystery, death, power, elegance, formality. In the Middle East black can represent both rebirth and mourning. In Africa it symbolizes age, maturity, and masculinity.

So what colours mean in different cultures is vast. With the world becoming a global village it is essential to understand colour symbolism across countries to be able to communicate effectively.

 

Culture Entertainment

5 ‘Desi Totkay’ all desi beauties need to know

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So, there is an impending festivity in your family or close friends around the corner, and you in your busy schedule are too busy to find a way to appear your usual lovely stress-free self. You meet your family on the dining table for one of the mandatory meets of the day, which could range from breakfast, lunch or dinner and find out those ‘quick fixes’ also known as ‘desi totkas’ to look beautiful.

These ‘totkas’ range from hair care to ensuring you become the favourite ‘bahu’ of your (non existent) in laws. Let’s take a look at some of these age old ‘totkas’ which have defied the test of time.

To achieve Rapunzel locks!

Hair is an essential beauty item which is listed in the “I want” section since times immemorial. You will also come across various reasons described in detail by various aunties on different occasions as to why girls are losing out on hair these days. Those insane blow dry and shampooing rituals will be cursed repeatedly. We have all tried or have been forced to try yogurt and egg on our hair to achieve Rapunzel like locks!

To look like a peach! 

There was a time when good ‘gharelo’ girls used to apply raw milk on their skin instead of running out of the gate to try the new skin treatment offered on a discount at a local trending spa. Well, it is supposed to give a peachy rosy look to our ‘murjhayee hoyee’ (read exhausted) skin.

To improve eyesight! 

God forbid if you have ruined your eyesight due to excessive ‘parrhayee’! We have been advised on countless occasions to use fennel seeds to remarkably cure failing or weak eye sight. Because, no one in their right mind will want to get married to a ‘chishmish’.

To ensure a loving relationship with in laws! 

Hmm, so if you have asked someone to apply mehndi and the colour has turned out to be light, this probably means your in laws (read mother in law) will be a living breathing dragon. However, if the mehndi turns out to be a rich dark colour, well, you can see yourself dancing away on the horizon of a big happy family version of a Pakistani movie. On numerous occasions we have also seen poor girls trying to get a darker shade of the said mehndi by pouring a strange concoction of sugar and lemon on their mehndi designs.

To ward off “nazar” 

This one is our favourite by far! So, what do you do, when things are not going in your favour and life becomes a series of unfortunate events? Did you spill curry on your new ‘jora’? It was definitely due to an evil eye. Did you find out at the last minute that your ‘parlour wali’ has taken a day off?  Did you sprout a fresh pimple on your face right before your big day? This is all due to ‘nazar’ or ‘evil eye’ and can be warded off by burning red chillies on a ‘tawa’ or on fire. Once the evil eye has been warded off, you are free to roam around the streets and well, ‘jalnay walay ka moo kala’!

Culture Entertainment

Rishta aunty types and how to deal with them

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We have all had our rendezvous with them. Good or bad, sweet or caustic, love them or hate them, rishta aunties have become the phenomenon that has seen tremendous acknowledgment from all the quarters of our eastern social fabric. Much has been written about these aunties and their anecdotes. Looking at the immense material available both on and off the net, we sat down with the damsels in distress *read young girls of a marriageable age* and categorized these aunties into five, hard to miss types. What’s even better, we have also researched on the tried and tested ways to deal with the situation. Here you go!

1. Sweet and irrational:

These aunties have just hopped on to the roller coaster ride of a suitable match making spree. They have heard thousands of stories about how people hate the matchmaking games. So they are extremely cautious and nice. Sadly, they are equally clueless. They would try to make small talk but fail miserably. Also, they are usually accompanied by a bhabi (larrkay ki phuppo) or behn (larrkay ki khala), which more often than not belong to category 2. They would probably like the girl on the first meeting without knowing why but unfortunately, will not be taken seriously by the other controlling figures in the family. Our advice to you: Be nice and polite to the hapless creatures. Just don’t get your hopes up.

2. Rich and controlling:

“Tau ye ghar kitnay kanal ka hay?” is going to be the conversation kick starter. There will be several references to the houses, servants and jewellery the family owns in the middle of the chat. Also, several clichéd hopes of an ideal bahu will be shared. These aunties usually try to gauge the girl in the light of the moolah the family has. Also, if they are *ahem, well connected (if you know what we mean), because well,” logon pay acha impression parrta hay”. Our advice to you: unless you want to have reruns of saas bahu dramas on repeat in your life, run like hell and don’t even look back.

3. Bahir wali aunties (who live in 1950s):

These moved out of the country back in the turn of the century and have had very little connection with the changes that have taken place. Now that they are back on the scene, because, well, “larrkay nay job kerli hay”, they are on a constant lookout for a gharelo Pakistani larrki. Sadly, their ideals for a Pakistani larrki date back to the 1900s. Our advice to you: Try to know the guy beforehand, maybe he belongs to the modern ages and does not share his mom’s vision of ideal bahus. Keep your fingers crossed!

4. Al Huda aunties (halal and mahram):

We don’t have anything against these aunties. Well, as long as they don’t try to recruit you in the abaya brigade against your will. Also, on numerous occasions, we have found some of them to be pretty enlightened. Our advice to you: Try to engage them in a conversation and see if they are radical *read unable to live with.

5. None of the above:

It might be hard to believe but there are the types who have gone through the same charade ages ago and vowed never to become a typical rishta aunty nightmare. They would not observe the girl under a microscope and would be pretty much ok with a ‘aaj kal ke zamanay ki larrki’. Our advice: Be nice to them girls, their laadla might turn out to be ‘the one’!

Culture

Na Maloom Afraad 2, trailer launched

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Filmwala productions & Excellency films along with Urdu1 pictures launched the trailer of “Na Maloom Afraad 2. The cast of the movie attended the event. The event was held in Karachi. The media and PR for the launch was organized by Takell.

Culture Entertainment

ME vs THE SOCIAL MEDIA FASHIONISTA

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The perks of having an interesting Instagram life!

And why I should not feel bad about it?

How many times have you gone online after a hard day’s labor – (yes working full time at home counts too) only to find out your social media feed full of people with their perfect hair, going through their perfect lives. Well, social media was created as a tool to help people socialize better. It is, however, quickly becoming a cause of serious anxiety, frustration and depression among millennials.

Ask us how:

Recently, as we scrolled down our Instagram feed, we couldn’t keep our fingers from double tapping and hearting very inspirational and sensational photos. There was a photo of a baby being smothered with kisses that sent a warm feeling to the heart; an inspirational quote gave us the feeling we could be the next Oprah, and then a couple of Fashionistas swaying their “oh so expensive” designer bags!

And they looked great! I mean, don’t we all want to be in Paris or Milan or Dubai and get ourselves pictured trotting on the boardwalk in Chanel sandals and Fendi shades?  So, we have put together some examples of us versus the social media fashionistas.

#wokeuplikethis

This topped our list. To see our favourite fashionista #wakinguplikethis with 700 plus hearts and countless comments. While we, on the other hand, always never wake up like this.

#myfriendsarebetterthanyours

Week 4 of ninja style Instagram stalking and we found out our favourite fashionistas hang out with our favourite celebs with the hashtags, #nonewfriends While we were stood up by our besties for the umpteenth time L #lifesucks! 

#earlieratlunchtoday

While we toil under the intense June heat in Pakistan, looking haplessly at the UPS dying on us, our favourite fashionistas are in Bahamas or streetwalking towards their lunch/coffee place in Knightsbridge. (google it up to see where it is)

#dinneratzuma (replace it with any other Michelin star restaurant)

Hmm, so is it the same bhindi and aloo palak for you made by ammi dearest? Because, far far away in a land of #lifeisperfect our favourite hotshot fashonistas are partying it up at yet another high profile dinner.

#seriousshoppingonmymind

And this one, by far takes the cake! After days of hard work of having to dress up in the latest dresses, shoes, bags, watches and shades (read #whatnot), here we find the object of our stalking, stepping inside a mall (preferably in UAE), with a serious look of determination #shoppingonmymind. Seriously, girls, we also would love to have that sense of purpose in our lives!

We love the glamour and the details of a real snazzy lifestyle but it’s important for people of our generation to understand that not everyone’s rich, paid and successful, especially when you are broke and just trying to make it! Similarly, social media is a way of ‘socialising’ and making friends with people in an increasingly shrinking global village, not of an increasing difference between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots.’  It’s ok not to have an interesting “Instagram life”.

So long.

Culture Entertainment

Eid Across the Globe

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After an entire month of fasting and worshipping Allah, Eid comes as a reward for Muslims who celebrate it with a fervor and delight that is unmatchable. Let us look into the different ways Eid is celebrated across the world.

Bangladesh

In Bangladesh people celebrate EidulFitr with much enthusiasm. Pre-Eid parties are held, known as daawats. Preparation of food to be eaten on Eid day begins several days in advance. Biryani (a spicy rice dish with meat), kababs, and numerous sweets, such as shemai (a vermicelli milk pudding), kaalo jam (fried dough balls in syrup), payesh (a rice milk pudding), and doi (sweet yogurt), are made.  People living in the large cities, such as Dhaka and Chittagong, travel back to their home villages to spend Eid with close family members. Eid prayers are held in large, open fields known as Eidgahs. Men and women wear traditional clothes. Men wear Punjabi pyjama whilst women wear shalwaar kameez or saarees.

Malaysia

In Malaysia, Eid al-Fitr is known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri. The day before Eid, Malaysian households are often very busy, preparing a number of dishes such as ketupat (rice cakes in coconut leaves) and lemang (rice in coconut milk cooked in bamboo). On Eid day men wear bajumelayu and women wear bajukurung, traditional clothes of Malaysia. In Malaysia people hold open house where friends, neighbours, relatives are welcome to visit. So this is how EidulFitr is celebrated in different parts of the world. The zeal and fervor with which it is celebrated is no less but the traditions vary from place to place.

United States of America

In the US, Eid is celebrated a bit differently than in Muslim majority regions. The celebration is influenced by diverse cultures. Usually Muslims set up Eid Bazaars where shopping for Eid such as outfits, henna, bangles etc can be done. On Chaand Raat festivities such as music, singing are held to celebrate the sighting of the Eid moon.

On Eid morning Eid namaaz is held in parks, stadiums, convention centers and hotels to accommodate large crowds. Community mosques hold Eid carnivals with various rides, rock climbing and festival food. Families have a hearty breakfast or go to restaurants to eat.

Culture

Heels Launched in Style

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Heels recently launched its flagship store at Lucky One Mall, Karachi. The launch event was attended by celebrities and A-listers, besides socialites, media

Heels is primarily a footwear brand. At the grand launch, the brand also introduced its latest Eid collection titled ‘A Festive Affair’.

The event was well-organised promising to set a new milestone for the brand. It was organised by T-Factor Events; styling and wardrobe by Thomas Fernandes. Media management and PR was handled by IDEAS Events PR.