Kalash’s Choimos festival in progress, last rituals to be offered today

50

The two-week long winter festival of Kalash com-munity of Chitral district is in progress and the last ritual of the annual event will be performed on Thursday (December 22), involving an activity of fox chasing considered as a good omen. The festival started on December 8, 2022 with a ritual of Chut-yak Sarazari consisting of smoke making and visit-ing villages and household by boys and girls who sing songs in each house for their good health and luck and are served with food and fruits.

The Choimos, means winter in Kalash language, festival symbolizes a prosper year for the locality and its inhabitants. During the festival, people search of foxes which is considered a good omen if found. Torch parades travel from neighbouring vil-lages to Charsue area, the main traditional dance venue. The festival also have rite, Khuta Mru, dur-ing which day fresh wheat flour is grinding then at night time they make walnut breads.

The next morning the bread is distributed among the relatives and neighbours. During Chui Nari ritual, boys and girls go to a higher slope of the sacred place and there they do a purification and rituals and come down by holding each other, they enter the Jes’tak Hans.