Kalash people busy in merrymaking in the central dancing place on the concluding day of Chitramas festival in Bumburate valley, Chitral, on Tuesday. — Photo by Zahiruddin
Kalash people busy in merrymaking in the central dancing place on the concluding day of Chitramas festival in Bumburate valley, Chitral, on Tuesday. — Photo by Zahiruddin

CHITRAL: The winter festival of Kalash people, Chitramas, concluded here on Tuesday in Bumburate valley after 15 days.

However, the concluding ceremony of the festival did not attract tourists due to fear of Covid-19.

A fox was set free in the foothold of the forest by the panel of bitans (Kalash religious leaders), who made prediction for the year on the basis of the direction it followed after being released.

Muhkam Ayuni, an eyewitness told Dawn, by telephone that fox leaped towards the village after it was unfettered and disappeared in a few strides which led to predict pleasant year with no sign of natural disasters and prevalence of peace and galore of milk products.

He said that the groups of men and women, who had gone to seclusion five days before the end of the festival as one of the religious rituals, also came out amidst the warmth of welcome.

The Kalash women and children were attired in new traditional dresses.

They arrived at the central dancing place situated at Broon village in small groups singing special song of the occasion and joined the grand assembly.

The last day of the festival also marks commencement of the Kalash calendar year after which they prepare themselves for the rough winter season, which extends to four months.

The announcement of engagement of about 17 boys and girls was also made on this day as part of it.

The couples will formally solemnise their marriage during the spring festival Chilim Jusht in the month of May next.

ROADS: The 147-kilometre Chitral-Shandur Road and 82-kilometre Chitral-Gobor Road were formally transferred to National Highway Authority from communication and works department here on Tuesday.

Two roads in Chitral had recently been federalised by the central government with 100 per cent mutation of right of way by the provincial government in the name of National Highway Authority (NHA).

Published in Dawn, December 23rd, 2020

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