CHITRAL: The four-day Chilam Josh spring festival is in full-swing in the three Kalash valleys of Rumbur, Bumburet and Birir in Lower Chitral.
The main function was held in Bumburate valley on Sunday where the Kalash people sprinkled milk on their loved ones and prayed for good fortune.
A number of domestic and foreign tourists witnessed the event and evinced a keen interest in traditions of local tribes. They also lauded the arrangements made by KP Culture and Tourism Authority for assistance and facilitation of visitors.
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 among the children for drinking and eating.
The Kalash people, including men, women and children in groups along with their goats and sheep go to the fields and green pastures. Officials at the Tourist Information Centre in Chitral briefed foreign tourists upon their arrival in the town.
The tourists were provided brochures, pamphlets, maps and other informative material and guidelines about the local culture and traditions and the scenic attractions in the three Kalash valleys.
Kalash people wear new dresses and prepare various dishes to welcome the Chilam Josh spring festival.The festival is the most important event of the Kalash people as it signifies the end of chilling cold in the mountainous region and the people celebrate the arrival of spring and summer seasons.
Kalash people make arrangements for taking their herds of sheep to the summer pastures. They dance to the traditional music and drumbeats. Young girls and boys sing and dance in groups in the community halls.
The main feature of the festival is selection of life partners for unmarried boys and girls and the event culminates with such couples tying the knot.The KPCTA officials on the occasion highlighted the significant cultural and religious values of the Kalash community in the valley.
They said the unique cultural practices and traditions of the Kalash people, which have been preserved for centuries and continue to fascinate visitors from all over the world.