COLORFUL FESTIVALS OF NORTHERN AREAS

 

Shandur Polo Festival:

Shandur Top is located at 12,200 feet (3,719 metres) above sea level, in District Ghizer, Gilgit-Baltistan and it is often called the ‘Roof of the World’. The top is actually a flat plateau and it can be crossed from the end of April to the beginning of November. Shandur Pass is one of the major mountain passes of Gilgit-Baltistan. The people, who live on both sides of Shandur Top, speak the Khowar language.

Shandur Polo Festival invites a number of visitors to experience a traditional Polo Tournament. It has started in 1936, and it is held annually from 7th to 9th July, in the Shandur Polo Ground, on Shandur Top, between the teams of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. The festival includes Folk music and traditional dance as well. A camp village has been set up to accommodate visitors. The game is played in its original form. In the past, the British Rulers remained the patrons of the game.

shundur polo festival

Kalash Festivals:

Kalash Valley consists of Rumbur Valley, Bunboret Valley and Birir Valley in Chitral, near Nuristan in Afghanistan. Kalash is the home of Kalash (wearers of the black rose), a primitive pagan tribe. The Kalash is an ancient tribe and have a unique religious and cultural heritage. It is narrated that a General Salik Shah, who was called by the Greek as “General Sulfurous”, came with five soldiers of the legions of Alexander of MACEDON and got settled in Chitral; they are the progenitors of the Kalash (Kafir) Tribe. The Kalash are famous for their traditional festivals. There is much dancing where the elders chant lyrics with drum-beat, the women-folk dance around. Locally brewed mulberry wine is drunk in copious quantities. The Kalash People celebrate three main festivals in the year.

Chilam Joshi Festival kalaash

JOSHIO CHILMJUSHT:

This Festival is celebrated on 14th and 15th May, to thank the Almighty. They celebrate it on the arrival of spring season with new hopes and aspiration.

Festival Chilam Joshi

UCHAO O UTCHAL:

On 19th to 20th August, Kalash celebrate Uchao to pay homage to Almighty, for the grapes and other ripe fruits. They prepare wine, cheese, corns etc. and rejoice in Uchao Festival.

 

Gianni Festival:

21st June to 25th June

The traditional “Ginani’’ festival has been celebrated in Central and Lower parts of Hunza valley, during 21st to 25th June, with traditional zeal and fervour. Two major gathering points are; Altit and Aliabad villages. Local community performs the traditional rituals, at the main places and along with traditional dances on local tunes. Special traditional dish, locally known as Dirum Pitti, has been prepared to mark the festival.

This carnival is called Ginani and Chineer in Hunza, Strublah in Baltistan and Ganoni in Gilgit.

 

Navroze:

It is celebrated in Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu and Chitral, from 21st to 23rd March to welcome spring season. Polo, foot-ball, volley-ball and hockey matches are played. Traditional folk dance and music also part and parcel of the carnival.

 

Silk Route Festival:

The Festival of colors, on the Roof of the world, where natural environment, serene landscape, highest mountain peaks of the world, spectacular scenic beauty, wildlife, glittering glaciers, valleys with lush green foliage and fruits, clear water of gleaming and scintillating streams, rich diversity of people, culture, folklore, arts, crafts and heritage, await you here in the Silk Route Festival.

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