KALASH: The celebrations of spring festival Chilimjusht or Chilum Joshi concluded in Kalash valleys amid great fun fare on Friday. This year, a number of foreign and local tourists enjoyed the three-day festivities.
The concluding ceremony of Chilimjusht or Joshi festival was also attended by the Members Provincial Assembly from Kalash, Wazirzada, Ravi Kumar and Ranjit Singh. Earlier in the day, the Kalash people sprinkled milk on their deities and prayed for the good fortune. The Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) has sponsored the event.
Before marching towards the Charsu (the open dancing hall) in Bartrik village in Bamburet, the Kalash men and women held a mixed session in which they sang the songs in praise of their elders by name describing their accomplishments during their lifetime.
They also described the history of Kalash people in their songs and at the same time prayed for prosperity and abundance of the products of milk, fruits, cereals and safety from disasters during the coming summer season.
In the early afternoon, they marched towards the Charsu with green twigs of walnut in their hands which they waved constantly and sang a religious song during the course. The dancing and singing in the Charsu continued till late night and watched by the tourists for whom seating arrangements had been made by the TCKP.
The ceremony in the Charsu was the climax of the festival attended in a large number by the foreign tourists and the locals coming from different parts of Chitral. They thanked god Goshidai as they believe it protects their herds during spring and summer seasons. The announcement of the marriage of young couples was yet another important and interesting event of the festival.
The women and children also distributed cheese and milk among the children. 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.
The Kalash people, including men, women and children in groups along with their goats and sheep go to the fields and green pastures. The TCKP had established a tent village in Bamburet valley for the stay of tourists. This year, a large number of foreign tourists from Germany, France, Japan and elsewhere in the world also turned up to enjoy the festivities.
Speaking on the occasion, MPA Wazirzada said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and Minister for Tourism Muhammad Atif Khan were taking a special interest in the promotion of tourism and cultural activities, particularly the indigenous Kalash culture.
The MPA said that Kalash culture and religion had special importance in the valley, which attracted thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. He said that roads and other infrastructures would be constructed to facilitate the Kalash community and tourists in the valleys.The members of the Kalash community later presented cloak and Chitrali caps to lawmakers as gifts.
The festival, which kicked off on May 14 at the three Kalash valleys – Bamburet, Birir and Rambur. The festival marks the arrival of the summer season and provides an opportunity to the visitors to witness the lifestyles of the Kalash people. The people of Kalash celebrate the festival while dancing to traditional music and drumbeats.