CHITRAL: The celebration of Chilimjusht festival is in full-swing as a large number of foreign as well as domestic tourists have thronged the three Kalash valleys to enjoy the spring festival.
The main function of the event was held in Rambur valley, where the Kalash people sprinkled milk on their deities and prayed for good fortune. Attired in their traditional dresses, the women, children and men danced and sang together to celebrate the festival.
The elderly Kalash women and children distributed milk and yogurt of goats and sheep among the children for drinking and eating. The Kalash people, including men, women and children in groups along with their goats and sheep go to the fields and green pastures.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Culture and Tourism Authority (KPCTA) under the aegis of the Tourism Department and the district administration of Lower Chitral have made all arrangements for the event to facilitate tourists and local residents to celebrate the event in a befitting manner. Tourists from Germany, France, Japan, Malaysia and elsewhere in the world have arrived in Kalash valley and are enjoying the festival.
They would stay for several days to enjoy the local culture, traditions, tourist attractions and festivals in the scenic valleys of the district.
A foreign woman tourist told reporters that whatever she had read about the history and culture of the Kalash people held true when she visited the valley. Officials at the Tourist Information Centre in Chitral, are briefing the foreign tourists upon their arrival in the town.
The tourists are provided brochures, pamphlets, maps and other informative material and guidelines about the local culture and traditions and the scenic attractions in the three Kalash valleys – Bamburet, Birir and Rambur.
Situated about 45 kilometres from Chitral town, the Kalash people attract the world for their unique culture and religion.
Kalash people wear new dresses and prepare various dishes to welcome the Chilimjusht or Chilim Joshi spring festival. The festival is the most important event of the Kalash people as it signifies the end of chilling cold in the mountainous region and the people celebrate the arrival of spring and summer seasons.
The Kalash people make arrangements for taking their herds to the summer pastures. Small kids wear new clothes and they are baptized during the festival. The ceremony of baptism of kids is called Pich Injek while a young man sprinkles milk on the newborns and their mothers. The Kalash girls spend lavishly on purchase of clothes and ornaments for the event and the occasion is being used to show off their financial status. They dance to the traditional music and drumbeats and thank god Goshidai as they believe it protects their herds during spring and summer seasons. Young girls and boys sing and dance in groups in the community halls.