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May 4, 2018

#KalashChitral - Chitral to celebrate extended cultural festival from May 3

When mentioning Chitral and spring festivals, most people think of the Chilum Joshi festival in the Kailash valley in upper Chitral. However, the district government has decided to make spring a broader attraction for the entire district, launching its own festival.

In this regard, the Jashan-e-Chitral festival and the Mulki Cup Polo Tournament will be held from May 3 in the district.

According to a statement issued by the Chitral Deputy Commissioner’s office on Tuesday, the District has a rich tangible cultural heritage that has given a stark colour to the lifestyle of the inhabitants of the region.

These cultural assets, said official Rashidul Ghafoor, of the communities, are richly reflected in their behaviour, manners, cuisines and festivals.

While the festivals were forgotten in the aftermath of Chitral formally joining Pakistan in 1969, they were revived in 2002.

Chitral Deputy Commissioner Irshad Sodhar explained that to preserve local culture, it has been decided to revive the traditional festivals and the centuries-old “Mulki Cup Polo Tournament” in its original form which was discontinued since 1968. u

The festival, he said, is expected to start from May 3, and will last for ten days, culminating at the Chitral polo ground on May 13.

In addition to the traditional free-style polo tournament, several cultural events will be held during the festival, including folk dances such as the traditional Nohtik and Pasthok, Tatali Wawali, Chong Rigishi, and Lok Zhor. There will also be folk songs such as Charvelo Khano Dhani, Laspuro Hakimo Dhani, Rustamo Dani and Bulbulo Dani. The songs will be accompanied by reed instruments and the pure Chtirali Sitar, and Pasture flute.

Local poets will also present their works in the locally spoken Khowar language. Folklore and traditional tales will be presented.

Moreover, stalls of traditional cuisines will be set up.

A number of sporting events have also been planned including tug-of-war,  the traditional Wakhi sport of Buz Kashi, tug of war on a horse, horse racing with pails of water, tent-pegging, archery, chat chato oleyk, volley ball and even paragliding.

Moreover, the district commissioner said that the traditional Kailash festival of Chilum Joshi will be celebrated alongside the Jashan-e-Chitral festival.

The district administration hopes that a large number of local, national and international tourists to participate in the festivals.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2018.



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