‘Tourists should be educated to respect local values’

Chilimjusht festival from May 12

CHITRAL: Eidul Fitr and the Chilimjusht spring festival of the Kalash tribe are likely to fall on the same day next month after more than three decades, which is set to attract an unprecedented number of tourists if the coronavirus situation does not worsen by that time.

The spring festival is scheduled to commence from May 12 to continue for five days in the adjacent Bumburate, Birir and Rumbur valleys, while this year the Eidul Fitr is likely to fall on the first day of the Kalash festival.

The Kalash people have started preparations for the festival by renovating their houses after the extended winter season. Women are seen shopping in the Chitral Bazaar, buying new clothes, shoes, cosmetics and ornaments for the occasion. 

The hotel owners in the valleys said advanced booking of rooms had already started for the festival days, and they anticipated a huge rush of tourists to the valleys if Covid-19-induced restrictions were not put in place.

Mast Wali, a hotel owner, said this year’s Chilimjusht would attract a multitude of tourists from different parts of the country due to its concurrence with the Eid holidays. He said he intended to pitch tents to accommodate the teeming number of guests as all the 17 rooms of his hotel had already been booked.

Special assistant to chief minister on minorities’ affairs, Wazirzada said the festival would be celebrated by conforming to the SOPs.–Dawn

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