CHITRAL: The four-day Kalash spring festival, Chilim Jusht, began here in Rumbur valley on Tuesday.
The Kalash people known for their primitive culture and ways of life formally began the festivities by sprinkling milk on the deity placed in the place of worship and holding the ceremony of chhirpiyak (offering of milk).
The boys and girls sang songs and performed the traditional dance, while men and women of all ages marched to the common dancing place, charsu, in Guru village and stayed put until night.
The Kalash people wore traditional clothes and renovated and decorated their houses to mark the festival.
Tourists from within the country and abroad showed up in large numbers, while many are on the way to the region to participate in the festival.
Most foreigners belonged to Germany, Greece, Japan and France, who got visa on arrival.
French national Agathe told Dawn that the natural beauty and tranquility of Bumburate and Rumbur valleys were beyond her imagination.
“I found the primitive Kalash people to be how I’d read and heard about them. They are much connected to their culture and civilisation,” she said.
The tourist said she and her team’s members were enjoying every moment of their stay in the region.
The festival will end in Rumbur valley on Wednesday, in Bumburate valley on Thursday and in Birir valley on Friday.
The festival will reach its climax on Thursday when elders and notables of the Kalash community from all three valleys will perform rituals in the Bumburate charsu. The tourists have already booked hotels in all three Kalash valleys, while the Tourism Corporation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has put up a tent village for those failing to get hotel rooms.
The TCKP has also made arrangements to facilitate tourists in their visit to the valleys besides providing services to the Kalash people.
Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2019