The Chitral valley, located in the northern region of Pakistan, is one of the most remarkable places in the world that follows quite a few interesting traditions. They are the ones that convince Pakistanis and people abroad to learn more about the valley and its people.
The city has a unique culture and is largely inhabited by two groups: one is Kalash and the other one is the Kho community. Both the racial groups live in harmony with one another.
1. Bride makes roti on her wedding day
In Chitral, the bride has to make roti (flatbread) on her wedding day. She has to roll the dough and put it on the burner. Once she’s done, her husband helps her flip it upside down and toast it till it’s ready.
Many people might be offended by the fact that Chitralis make the brides work on their wedding day, but that’s their culture. By doing so, they instill the concept of mutual cooperation between a husband and wife, and that is beautiful!
2. The Chillumjoshi festival
It is a celebration of the people of Kalash to pay gratitude to the Almighty. On the day of Chilimjusht or Joshi, the Kalashi community welcomes spring with a whole lotta chanting and dancing. Both the young and old, women and men come together to celebrate.
3. Shandur Polo festival
Shandur peak, which stands at 3700 meters, also serves as a link between the polo teams of Chitral and Gilgit Baltistan. Shandur’s yearly festival offers a great deal of happiness to the residents of these districts. The valley that places dance and music at the heart of its culture, is frequently adorned with cultural orientations of both teams. These celebrations include cultural dances, a paragliding moment, and a taste of their folk music.
4. Folk poets of Chitral
According to a study, Chitral’s folk poets perform battle songs as well as love ballads. Epics are particularly popular among the Kalash community.
“With its origin lost in the mists of antiquity, the ancient tribe of Kalash is a unique cultural resource,” the study reads.
5. Dani and Sauz
Shishtoowar, also known as Sauz, is a traditional folk song that is performed with shehnai on festive occasions such as weddings. The songs have a quick beat to them, and roughly 20 to 25 people dance in a circle. It also marks the end of the usual festivities.
Shabdaraz, also known as Dani is a Persian word that means ‘long and terrible night.’ It refers to a lover’s incessant thoughts about his beloved, which results in him being restless and sleepless. The song is depressing and evocative of his intense feelings of love, which are sure to disappoint him. A dancer must be slim and agile so that he’s able to follow the required footwork. It is particularly important because the tunes change dramatically from being very slow to very high.
Share more interesting traditions of Chitral in the comments section.