PESHAWAR: The Chilimjusht or Joshi festival kicked off on Thursday to welcome the spring season in the scenic Kalash valley in Chitral.
The festival was organised by the Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) and district administration Chitral, Saramat Khan, the religious leader of Kalash tribe and elder of Sharakat family formally inaugurated the festival by beating the drum and performing traditional dances by the Kalash people.
The four day Chilimjusht festival which heralds the arrival of spring is usually celebrated in the three Kalash valleys of Bumburate Birir and Rumbur every year.
TCKP Managing Director Mushtaq Ahmed Khan said that proper arrangements had been made to celebrate the festival in a befitting manner.
He said the department would extend every possible support to Kalash tribe so that people could revive their traditions and customs and celebrate their religious rites.
The organizers said that this year the participation of local and foreign tourists was tremendous and almost all the hotels in the Bumburate valley had been booked well before the commencement of the festival.
The hotels received more tourists than the capacity they had for the visiting guests. Stringent security arrangements were in place particularly the foreign tourists were provided protection by the special security teams.
Of the three Kalash festivals Chilimjusht which normally lasts for four days is considered to be the important of all.
Young girls and boys sing and dance in groups in the community halls. Houses are decorated and the Kalash people wear new clothes that are specifically prepared for the occasion.
Main feature of the festival is selection of life partner for unmarried boys and girls. Kalash men and women are seen shopping for the festival in the Chitral bazaars while in the valleys they are busy in preparing traditional dresses for the festival.
The Kalash girls spent lavishly on purchase of clothes and ornaments for the event and the occasion is being used to show off their financial wealth.
Such festivals are being highlighted to introduce the serene valleys ensure the access of local and foreign tourists to the beautiful sites of the province and provide them better facilities while staying over there.
Courtesy : TheNews