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December 18, 2017
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All set for Chitramas winter festival in three Kalash Valleys

National

December 18, 2017

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CHITRAL: The severe cold has failed to dampen the spirit of the Kalash people as they continued to make preparations to celebrate their winter festival, Chitramas, in a befitting manner.

There is a hustle and bustle in the three valleys of Bamboret, Birir and Rambur where the Kalash people live. The small Kalash community of about 5,000 people have finalised all arrangements to celebrate the festival from December 18 to 22.

During the festival, men and women would confine themselves to separate places. "Men will spend these days at the cattle-pen, eating meat of goats. And the women stay at separate places and feast on meat of she-goats," said a Kalash elder.

Talking to The News, Kalasha leader Abdul Khaliq said that the Kalash people would sing religious songs during these days, adding that Muslims were not allowed to visit their houses as they don't eat non-Halal meat.

However, he said that there was no restriction on the entry of non-Muslims into their houses. Abdul Khaliq said that the Kalash people would try to find a fox in the forests on December 21. "It would be the sign of drought if the fox ran towards east and it would be the year of snowfall if it ran towards west," he informed.

The Kalash leader said that all men and women would gather at the Jashtakhan, their place of worship, on December 22. As most of the hotels in Kalash valleys remain closed in winter, tourists are residing with the members of the Kalash community.

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