CHITRAL: The Kalash festival ‘Pul’ was celebrated in Birir valley here on Sunday to mark the beginning of harvesting season of grapes and walnuts grown in large scale in the area.

The festival is confined to Birir valley only where local community has imposed a ban on harvesting of grapes and walnuts before this event. During the ban period, no person can pluck grapes and walnut even from his own farm and garden.

As per tradition, the harvesting season was kicked off by Grok Kalash, the eldest person of the valley, who formally plucked a bunch of grapes from the vine amid drumbeats and dance.

The daylong festival included musical concerts held at different points wherein boys and girls danced to the tunes of flutes and sang songs.

Sub-divisional police officer of Ayun, Hassanullah, told Dawn that tight security arrangements were made in the valley so that the Kalash community could celebrate the festival free of fear. He said that a large number of tourists including foreigners reached the valley to enjoy the festival while holiday and fine weather favoured them.

Grapes and walnuts were lavishly doled out by locals to Kalash people coming from the valleys of Bumburate and Rumbur.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2023

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