The famous festivals of Chitral Kalash
Kalash is a minority that lives in Chitral district of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The local people of Kalash are called Kalashis. There are three valleys in which around 4000 Kalashis live, namely: Rumbur, Bamburet, and Birir. The Kalashis practice an ancient form of Hinduism
It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chitral. It is famous for its hot springs, trout, and gems. Moreover, the Kalash Chitral festivals are famous worldwide and huge numbers of tourist reach the valley to experience the unique culture of Kalash Chitral.
Following is the list famous festivals of Kalash Chitral
Chilam Joshi Spring Festival (May 13-16)
This festival starts from May 13 and ends on May 16. It marks the arrival of spring in the district. Kalashis are seen wearing new vibrant colored clothes. Moreover, women and girls are adorned with their traditional Jewlery pieces. People decorate their houses. People sing and dance in joy as harsh winters are gone. Furthermore, an interesting fact about the festival is that one-year-old babies and their mothers are also purified in this festival.
Uchal Festival (August 20-21)
This festival is celebrated every year from August 20 to August 21. It is to celebrate the harvest season. People sing and dance to thank the nature for giving them wheat and barley. Women wear their traditional dresses and prepare special dishes from cheese, cornbread, and buttermilk for the event.
Phool Festival (Mid-October)
This is an Autumn festival celebrated in the mid of October. It is an annual two-day festival celebrated in the Birr Valley. Festival marks the reaping of the grapes and walnuts harvests. Please sing and joy throughout the two-day festival.
Chaumas Festival (December 07-22)
This is the most important festival of Kalash Chitral. It is celebrated for two weeks from 7th December to 22nd December. It marks the end of the year for farming and harvests. People dance, sing, and sacrifice goats. Kalashis dedicate the festival to their god Balimain who is believed to visit from the mythical homeland of the Kalash, Tsyam, for thefeast. Food sacrifices are offered at the clans’ Jeshtak shrines, dedicated to the ancestors.
At Chumas “impure” people are forbidden to take part in. They must be purified by a waving firebrand over women and children. For men, special fire ritual is done. A shaman waves juniper brand over the men. Young boys dress up as their ancestors and people worship those boys and offer them bread.