Tourists enjoy Uchal

Tourists enjoy Uchal festival in Kalash valley

F.P. Report

CHITRAL: The foreign and domestic tourists and the local people enjoyed the three-day Uchal festival in the scenic Kalash valley in Chitral district. Kicked off on August 20, this year a great number of foreign and domestic tourists visited the Kalash valley to enjoy the Uchal festival.

The tourists besides enjoying the cultural and religious rites in Rambur and Bamburet valleys also visited the historic museum in Kalash. The mega event of Uchal festival was held in Rambur, Bamburet besides Anish, Broon Karakul and other small villages in Kalash valley.

On the first day, the young boys and girls gathered at the community hall in Rambur and sang songs and danced to the drumbeat. The members of Kalasha community prepared cornbread, buttermilk and cheese and distributed them among the local people, foreign and domestic tourists to celebrate the festival.

The Kalash women and girls had decorated their houses. The ceremony was also accompanied by dancing and rhythmical chant to the drumbeat. The women and girls were attired in their traditional black robes, ornate cowries shelled headdresses and adorned with coloured necklaces and danced in a circle.

During the festival, prayers and processions were held at a high plateau outside the village in Balangkuru where the long night of performing dance held. The festival celebrated in annual harvesting with singing, dancing and paying homage to the nature for blessing them with good food and fruits.

The Uchal festival is one of the cultural festivals celebrated by Kalash community like many other festivals around the year. It is marked in the barley and wheat harvest season every year in August. Before Uchal, the Kalash community also performs Ranat dance in July after harvesting the maize crop.

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