CHITRAL: The 10-day winter festival of Kalash people concluded in Bumburate valley here on Saturday.
The closing day at the major Kalash valley of Bumburate coincides with the first day of the Kalash calendar and prediction for the new year is made by setting free a captive fox. A panel of Kalash religious leaders makes the prediction based on orientation of the fox which is taken as positive if it leaps towards the village.
Gruk Shah Kalash told this scribe by phone that the fox made a long skip into Broon village soon after it was released from captivity by the panel head Shapirek who announced with joy that peace and prosperity would prevail during the year.
He said that the groups of men and women who had gone into seclusion in the cattle houses on the advent of the festival as an important obligation also came out on this occasion and were given a warm reception.
“Hundreds of goats were slaughtered in the valleys as part of the festival,” he said, adding that in the later part of the night the young boys and girls would make announcements of their engagements. He said that they would tie the knot in the spring festival of Chilim Jusht in May.
Despite intense cold weather in the valley, hundreds of foreigner as well as local tourists attended the concluding ceremony held in Broon village.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary Naveed Kamran Baloch and Commissioner Malakand divison Zaheerul Islam were among those who watched the concluding ceremony. Minority MPA Wazirzada Kalash welcomed the guests and appreciated the Muslim community’s support to hold the festival peacefully.
Published in Dawn, December 23rd, 2018