3-day Uchal festival kicks off in Kalash valley

CHITRAL: The foreign and domestic tourists and the local people thronged the Rambur and Bamburet valleys as the three-day Uchal festival kicked off in the scenic Kalash valley in the Chitral district on Tuesday.

?A large number of foreign and domestic tourists have reached the valley to enjoy the festival. Many of the tourists also visited the historic museum located in the Kalash,? a local official said.

The Uchal festival continues for many days moving on to different locations within the valley. The mega event of Uchal festival will be held in Rambur, Bamburet besides Anish, Broon Karakul and other small villages in Kalash valley.

The young boys and girls gathered at the community hall in Rambur and sang songs and danced to the drumbeat. The festival celebrated in annual harvesting with singing, dancing and paying homage to the nature for blessing them with good food and fruits. It is marked in the barley and wheat harvest season every year in August. The people of Kalash community prepare cornbread, buttermilk and cheese to celebrate the festival.

In the festival, Kalash women and girls decorate their houses and the ceremony is accompanied by dancing and rhythmical chant to the drumbeat. They wear traditional black robes, ornate cowries shelled headdresses and adorned with coloured necklaces and dance in a circle. During the festival, prayers and processions are held at a high plateau outside the village in Balangkuru where the long night of dancing begins.

The Uchal festival is one of the cultural festivals celebrated by Kalash community like many other festivals around the year.

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