Winter festival starts in Kalash valleys

CHITRAL: The festivities of ‘Chitirmas’ winter festival of Kalash people have started to gain momentum in all the three valleys of Bumburate, Rumbur and Birir as the mandatory functions, including Sarazari, Kotramu and Madaik, to kick start the event have been performed .

Known as the longest festival of Kalash spanning over two weeks, Chitirmas will conclude on the first day of Kalash calendar year while the hospitable people do not like the outsiders to enter the village during performance of certain rituals.

About the opening rituals, former district councillor Imran Kabir Kalash said that the children below two years of age were dressed in new clothes and costumes during Sarazari.

He said Kotramu was of great interest in which statues of different domestic and wild animals were made by women with dough of wheat flour which were then backed.

He said that during Madaik, the Kalash people piled up their preserved fruits, including grapes, pear, apple and walnut, which they cleaned for use during the festival.

It has been witnessed that very few people are going to the valleys to watch the festival due to Covid-19 pandemic and the prevailing bad weather in the area.

Mastana Kalash of Bumburate, however, claimed that the outsiders were expected to throng the valley on the concluding day of the festival on Dec 22.  .. Source

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