Pakistan News

Lots of singing and dance at Chitral festival

Lots of singing and dance  at Chitral festival

CHITRAL: Chilim Jusht spring festival of Kalash people concluded on Saturday after five days of festivities, attracting large number of tourists, including foreigners.

Charsu (the central dancing place) of Bumburate reverberated with the songs for more than five hours on the last day.

Hundreds of Kalash people, including boys and girls, danced in their traditional attires, marking the conclusion of the festival.

Before the concluding ceremony, a procession was taken out to the venue, participated by a large number of people of all ages, carrying freshly plucked twigs of walnut which they constantly waved as part of their dogmatic belief.

The Kalash people from the other two valleys of Rumbur and Birir turned up in large numbers to the concluding ceremony in Bumburate.

The festival in Rumbur and Birir concluded on Friday.

A Kalash qazi (religious leader) Bojam Khan said the participation of Kalash people in the Chilim Jusht festival was obligatory as anyone could lost his relationship with the community if he failed to participate in it for three straight years.

He said that another activity of the festival was the marriage of couples, adding that this year 12 couples tied the knot.

The foreigners were highly thrilled by the performance of Kalash people, especially group dancing and singing.

A Swiss couple told Dawn that they had heard of the primitive people and their unique cultures based on a number of festivals of which the Chilim Jusht had great importance.

They said that some of the rituals performed at the festival were merely superstitious but still they loved them.

The Kalash people kick off farming and leave the valleys for pastures at higher altitudes after the Chilim Jusht festival ended and tend their cattle there for coming four months.

Shahuk Kalash said women in the pastures returned by the end of September coinciding with the start of Uchhal festival in all the three valleys.

Meanwhile, it was pathetic to note that no government functionary visited the valley on the occasion of the festival, this year.

The local people accused the Tourism Corporation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) of taking no interest in exploiting tourism potential of the region.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2015

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