Chaand Raat in Lahore: The Perfect Checklist
Lahore approaches Chaand Raat the way Sleepy from Snow White would approach a roller coaster.
The city and its inhabitants are underprepared for Chaand Raat but, for better or for worse, it’s all systems go. Traffic’s a mess; clothing stores are in a state of disarray; restaurants are scrambling to tuck away those iftar buffet dishes and recalibrate for Eid.
To call it a mess is an understatement.
For people like you and I, this is a recipe for inconvenience. You’re bound to get separated from your party in public places, someone or the other is going to cry over an inadequate mehndi pattern and you’re going to have to smooth-talk them into eating a Hardees burger out of your hand.
Yep, I’ve been there; know it all too well. And since I’m, like, a REALLY magnanimous person, here’s what you should do to make the most out of Chaand Raat.
FIRST THING’S FIRST
(PREPARE IN ADVANCE)
You should know better than to waste the night away buying any of the following:
- The dress (dresses, if you’re going all out)
- The shoes (multiple pairs, now that you’ve committed to going all out)
- The Eidi (Saaf note if adult; wallet with a functioning zipper, if not)
- The cake (Either prepare for sh*t loads of them in the mail, or make sure you’ve booked some)
Get sorted with this stuff beforehand so that you can do what you’re supposed to on Chaand Raat: go out and have a blast!
(FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STRATEGIZE)
Don’t underestimate this advice. What was once a ten minutes’ errand will easily take double the time on Chaand Raat; not because you have no self-control (I believe in you) but because this is GOING to be a problem.
Lists will come in handy, preferably with adorable little check-boxes that’ll help you keep track of stuff (and look cute).
If you’re with your family, or just a group that has a dynamic age bracket, go to a mall. Everyone can form their own subgroups and wander off. You’ll be off the hook. Let’s face it, these will probably have to be Emporium or Packages.
…BUT MAKE IT COUNT
Just divvy up your evening between family, friends and some good ol’ quality time. Don’t half-ass this evening since Lahore’ll probably be pretty lit. Roam around Khalid Masjid’s market in Cavalry Ground and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Simple but abundant decorations, and a palpable energy will greet you in every nook and corner. Worst case scenario? You’ll roam around and find nothing you want to purchase. Then again, visiting these bustling centers to merely purchase something(s) defeats the purpose. Explore, child.
PICK UP A LITTLE SOMETHING
Chaand Raat brings with it food stalls of all fashion. Magic Corn, churros, cotton candy, swirly fried potatoes on a stick, tha cola, everything and anything is up for grabs.
Granted, these snacks will sooner be damned than fill your stomach.
You’ll have to queue up at some of these stalls too, but oh man it’ll be worth the effort. Basically, if you’re not feeling absolutely disgusted by the end of the night, you’re doing it wrong.
THE ELEVENTH-HOUR SALON FRENZY
(PLUCK UP DAT COURAGE)
The week leading up to Eid is always hectic. Everyone wants you over for iftari; you’ve got to lay out your wardrobe choices for the three-day holiday; and you have to squeeze all of this between your daily work/study/life routine. HEC-TIC. It’s understandable that you forget your salon needs between all of this.
Beware: you’re in for a ride. Far too many people in a confined space demanding pedicures (eugh).
It’s all a bit much. I’m sorry, there’s no silver lining to this; you’re just going to have to soldier your way through it. And oh God, the mehndi: you’ll probably be the 100th customer there.
I’m honestly just going to pray for you in advance: here’s hoping you don’t mess it up.
The thing is, Chaand Raat is always going to be an adventure. F*ck ups are bound to be a part of it, as will the breaking of curfews. Mehndi stains on car doors will be a-plenty. But that’s okay! You’ll have some kickass anecdotes for all those awkward pauses in drawing room meetups with family, family friends, and saath waali (next-door) Rubina Auntie.
No pain no gain, fam. BUCKLE UP!