Ancient ‘Chilam Joshi’ Spring Festival Kicks Off in Pakistan’s Chitral

Wed May 15 2024
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PESHAWAR: The Chilam Joshi festival, an ancient tradition of the Kalash people has commenced in the scenic Rumbur valley of Pakistan’s northwestern Chitral region. This festivity heralds the arrival of spring within the Kalash community and is celebrated from the 13th to the 16th of May every year.
Characterized by a burst of colors and cultural richness, the festival is a celebration of the arrival of spring and the melting of snow with an array of cultural performances, melodious music, lively dances, and age-old sports. It stands as a cornerstone of the region’s cultural legacy, drawing inquisitive visitors from across the globe.

Women bedecked in vibrant traditional attire, accentuated with gleaming gold and silver ornaments and intricate headpieces, while men don traditional Shalwar Kameez complemented by woollen waistcoats. Amidst rhythmic drum beats, Kalash women and men sway in harmonious circles, singing and dancing with joy.

During this jubilant occasion, prayers are offered for the protection of fields and livestock, symbolized by the sharing of milk among kinfolk. The festival grounds are bustling with a diverse crowd, including local and international tourists, as well as officials from the district administration and tourism department, all partaking in the festivities that span three exhilarating days.

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Security measures have been meticulously put in place by the district administration, ensuring a safe environment for all attendees. Additionally, the Tourism Police extend their guidance services to tourists, enhancing their experience amidst the cultural extravaganza.

The celebration pulsates with fervor as traditional dances and rituals unfold, encapsulating the essence of Kalash heritage. Post-celebrations, the Kalash people will embark on their annual journey, guiding their livestock to high-altitude pastures.
Spread across the picturesque valleys of Bumburate, Birir, and Rumbur, the festival resonates with the rhythmic beats of traditional drums, as Kalasha girls and boys revel in the joyous spirit of their ancestral customs.

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