The three-day Chilimjusht or Joshi festival was held recently at Kalash valley.

On the first day, the elderly Kalash women and children distributed milks and yogurt of goats and sheep among the children. This rite is commonly known as Cherak Peepe.

The Kalash people, including men, women and children in groups along with their goats and sheep go to the fields and green pastures. They also perform traditional dance and singing songs while celebrating Cherak Peepe.

Other rituals were performed in the remaining two-day Chilimjusht.

Tourists from Germany, France, Japan and elsewhere in the world enjoyed the festival.

Officials at the Tourist Information Centre in Chitral briefed the foreign tourists upon their arrival in the town.

The tourists were provided brochures, pamphlets, maps and other informative materials and guidelines about the local culture and traditions and the scenic attractions in the three Kalash valleys – Bamburet, Birir and Rambur.

Situated about 45 kilometres from Chitral town, the Kalasha people attract the world for their unique culture and religion.

The Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) authorities have set up a tent village to facilitate the tourists in the scenic valleys.

Last year, the TCKP had established a tent village for the tourists. The facility attracted a large number of visitors to the festival.

Kalash people wear new dresses and prepare various dishes to welcome the spring.

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 status.

They dance to the traditional music and drumbeats and thank god Goshidai as they believe it protects their herds during spring and summer seasons.

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. The event culminates with the loving couples tying the knot.

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