PESHAWAR: Tourists from Germany, France, Japan and elsewhere in the world continue to throng Kalash valley to attend the three-day Chilimjusht or Joshi festival celebrations.
The tourists are being provided brochures, pamphlets, maps and other informative material and guidelines about the local culture and traditions and the scenic attractions in the three Kalash valleys – Bamburet, Birir and Rambur.
The Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) Managing Director Junaid Khan said the festival will be celebrated in a befitting manner to promote tourism and cultural activities in the province.
“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is blessed with exotic valleys and unique rich culture and traditions. The province is a peaceful destination for foreign and domestic tourists to come and enjoy the beauty of nature it has to offer,” the managing director said while presiding over a meeting.
Situated about 45 kilometers from Chitral town, the Kalasha people attract the world with their unique culture and religion. The local people have launched a cleanliness drive, while the TCKP authorities have set up a tent village to facilitate the tourists in the scenic valleys.
Besides tent village, every possible support is being extended to the Kalash tribe so that the people could revive their traditions and customs and celebrate their religious rites. Last year, the TCKP had also established a tent village for the tourists.
The facility attracted a large number of visitors to the festival. According to the census data, the population of Kalash people stands at 4,100, but they are a major tourist attraction in the region despite their dwindling population.
Though the Kalash people observe various festivals, Chilimjusht is the most popular. Thousands of tourists throng the valleys every year to enjoy the event. Kalash people wear new dresses and prepare various dishes to welcome the spring.
According to organisers, Kalash men and women are seen shopping for the festival in the Chitral bazaar while in the valleys they are busy preparing traditional dresses for the festival.
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.