Kalash Valley Spring Festival Tour
Kalash is a majestic valley of a small group of people which lies on the flank of the eastern range of Hindu Kush, embodied with three narrow valleys of Bumburet, Rumbur, and Birir and located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan.
Spring Festival Tour Kalash Valley Pakistan Kalash girls dance beautiful girls of kalash chitral
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||ISLAMABAD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please arrive at least 2 hours before the flight.|
It is of the view that the people of Kalash are the last living representatives of the region of Kafiristan, which was a region extended across the mountain range of Hindu Kush from the eastern part of the Afghanistan.
The number of kalash has decreased so much so that only around 4000 people are residing in the valleys. The Kalashas are polytheistic and according to a renowned linguist Richard strand, is of the view that the people of Kalash practice an ancient form of Hinduism which gradually developed locally and got influenced by the neighboring areas of pre Islamic Nuristan.
The inhabitants of the Kalash valley celebrate a number of festivals all year round. The three predominant festivals are as follows
1) Zhoshi (Chilim Jusht) Spring Festival (May 13—16)
It’s the religious festival of the Kalash which is alternately called as Spring Festival and it is celebrated every year from 13th to 16th May in all the three valleys. The purpose to celebrate this festival is to pray to God for blessing the New Year with prosperity, happiness, good health, better crops production, increase in dairy products, increase in animal herds, increase in fruits, increase in honey production etc. Simply the main theme of this festival to pray the deity for blessing them with economic uplift, better life conditions and prosperity. During this festival all the Kalash women, men, boys and girls perform the rites of dancing, singing followed by sumptuous dinners. All of them wear new dresses; look full of life and happiness. As part of the tradition fresh milk and other dairy product of the goats and cows are served to the guests and to their own families too. Women decorate their houses and collect milk from the cattle. Moreover, one year old babies and their mothers are also purified in this festival.
2) UCHAW (UCHAL) Festival (August 20-21)
Uchaw (Uchal) is the summer festival celebrated in by the Kalash community. This festival is celebrated only in the Kalash valleys of Mumuret (Bumborate) and Rukmu (Rumboor). The main purpose of celebrating this festival Uchaw (Uchal) is to pray to God and to offer thank for blessing prosperity, good health, happiness, good crops and good dairy product in high pastures.
After that the Kalash people gather in Ghriee (Charsoo) dance and sing in the Charsoo locally called Ghriee. After this festival, they Kalash start to hervest the maize crops, collect the grapes, walnuts and other fruits from their fields and orchards.
The people of Kalash valley celebrate the famous annual harvesting festival Uchal with singing, dancing and paying homage to the nature for blessing them with barley and wheat harvest season. Special foods, cheese, buttermilk and corn bread, are prepared for the event. Women in traditional dresses preformed dances.
3) Phool Festival (mid-October)
The Phool/Autumn Festival is an annual colorful two days festival in Birir valley celebrated with high spirit and zeal. The festival marks the reaping of grapes and walnuts harvests. The people sing songs and perform traditional dances throughout the two days festival.
4) Chaumas Festival (December 7-22)
The most important Kalash festival is the Chawmos (cawmos, ghona chawmos yat, khowar “chitrimas” from caturmasya, CDIAL 4742), which is celebrated for two weeks at winter solstice (c. Dec. 7-22), at the beginning of the month chawmos mastruk. It marks the end of the year’s fieldwork and harvest. It involves much music, dancing, and the sacrifice of many goats. It is dedicated to the god Balimain who is believed to visit from the mythical homeland of the Kalash, Tsyam (Tsiyam, tsíam), for the duration of the feast. Food sacrifices are offered at the clans’ Jeshtak shrines, dedicated to the ancestors.