March 14, 2023

Kalash Festivals And Chitral Valley

The Festivals of Kalash is a significant cultural event that occurs annually in the Kalash Valley of Pakistan. The Kalash people are the inhabitants of the valleys, and they follow an ancient form of Hinduism with their unique culture, tradition, and language. The Hindu Kush Mountains surround the Kalash Valley, and the festival is celebrated three times a year: Chilam Joshi Festival in spring, Uchal Festival in summer, and Choimus Festival in winter. During the festivals, the Kalash people dance, sing, offer sacrifices, and select their future spouses.

Festivals of Kalash Dates:

  • Chilam Joshi Festival (Kalash Spring Festival) Tuesday, May 13 – May 16
  • Uchal Festival (Summer Kalash Festival) Fri August 20 – August 22
  • Choimos Festival (Winter Kalash Festival) Wednesday, December 15 to December 22.

Kalash Winter Festival

The Chilam Joshi Festival, also known as the Chinese New Year, lasts for four days and begins with the Milk Festival. The Kalash women wear brightly colored traditional clothes with floral patterns, beaded necklaces, and tiaras, while the men wear traditional shalwar kameez and wool vests. The festival marks the beginning of summer and the good harvest season, and the Kalash people thank God for their blessings.

Kalash Uchal Festival

The Uchal Festival, which marks the arrival of summer, is a popular event attended by many international tourists. The festival takes place for several days, during which the Kalash people celebrate their Lord by dancing and praying to their God. The festivities culminate in a procession to the plateau on the outskirts of the village of Palangkuru, where the Kalash people pray to their Lord.

Kalash Winter Festival

The Choimus Festival, which symbolizes a prosperous year for the city and its inhabitants, is celebrated during the winter season. The Kalash people search for foxes, which they consider a good sign, and the torch parades travel from neighboring villages to Charsue, the main traditional dance venue. The celebrations and dances take place indoors and continue into the night, accompanied by the pouring of local wines.

Jashan E Chitral & Broghill Festival

Apart from the Kalash festivals, Pakistan also celebrates other cultural events, such as the Jashan-e-Chitral festival, celebrated from September 15 to 22nd. And the Broghil Festival, which takes place from July 15 to 17th on the famous Broghil plateau in the Chitral region. The Broghil Festival is known for its wild mountain polo, horse racing, yak polo, yak competition, and Buz Kashi.

Pakistan Tour and Travel provides private and individual tours to the Kalash Valley for tourists to experience the unique Kalash culture and witness their festivals. The travel agency offers customizable itineraries to cater to the travelers’ needs and preferences. The Kalash Festival and other cultural events in Pakistan are excellent opportunities to explore and immerse oneself in the country’s rich cultural heritage.

Shandur Festival

Every year in the first week of July, the breathtakingly beautiful Sandur Pass, situated on the border between Gilgit and Chitral, hosts the Sandur Polo Festival in its small, windswept amphitheater. This unique festival takes place in the highest polo stadium in the world, standing tall at a height of 3,734 meters above sea level. Surrounded by the awe-inspiring Hindu Raj Mountains, azure lakes, and rolling pastures, the Sandur Polo Festival is a treat for the senses.

The locals of the area hold regular polo matches at this picturesque venue, but the Sandur Polo Festival is considered the most challenging polo match in the world. The game is played with high tension, emotions, and ferocity, creating a dramatic experience for both players and spectators. Unfortunately, this also leads to horse deaths, perpetual suffering for the players, and serious injuries.

Despite the inherent risks, the polo tradition remains unabated, and the Sandur Polo Festival continues to be a celebrated event. It is a testament to the love and dedication of the people towards their cultural heritage and passion for the sport.

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