Kalash Winter Festival (Chaumos)

Kalash Winter Festival (Chaumos)

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    The Kalasha people live in three remote valleys in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, close to the Afghan border. Bumburet, Rumbur and Birir lie approximately 22 miles south of Chitral. The population of Chitral district is about 378,000 people, of whom 4,500 are Kalash. These valleys are the last enclaves to withstand conversion to Islam in the Afghanistan-Pakistan area.

    The Kalash celebrate all four seasons with a festival each. Chaumos, the celebration of the winter solstice, is held in all three valleys in the middle/end of December. At all the festivals, there is dancing in the day and night.

    Each festival has its own particular charm. In Birir the spring festival is held on a mountain top and the autumn festival (my favourite) was held in an open glade with a backdrop of the mountains.

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