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December 17, 2018

Celebration of Chitirmas festival in full swing

National

December 17, 2018

CHITRAL: A great hustle and bustle was witnessed in Kalash valleys on Sunday as the community is celebrating the ongoing Chitirmas festival with enthusiasm.

There was an euphoria among the people in Ramboor, Bamburet and Birrir valleys as men, women and children made various items and toy animals of wheat flour and distributed them. The people also celebrated various events including Mandahek and Sharaberayak festivals.

They made toy animals like cows, markhor and symbols of their ancestors from the flour and baked them in the fire. These toy animals then placed in the sun. Similarly, Mandahek festival was also celebrated during which tree branches were set on fire and people observed one minute silence. A number of foreign tourists have reached Kalash valley to enjoy the event with the indigenous tribe.

Beginning on December 7 and to be continued till 22th of the current month, the phase of bonfire competitions in the festival has already completed.

Earlier, the children gathered at their sacred place, collected twigs and branches of pine trees and made bonfire to show skills in making high flames and smoke. Making high flames and smoke is meant to welcome peace, prosperity, minerals, green grass and love among the people of the indigenous tribe in the ensuing winter and spring seasons. The children while holding green leaves and branches of trees also sang songs and performed chorus to enjoy the festival. Kalash is a small non-Muslim ethnic community in Chitral. The Kalash people are also found in Nuristan province of Afghanistan.

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