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Annual festival of Kalash community ends in Pakistan

Last Updated: Monday, December 23, 2013 - 19:48

Peshawar: The annual religious festival of the Kalash community, Chatarmas or Chomas, concluded in a remote valley of Pakistan`s Khyber-Pakthunkhwa province on Monday.
The elites of the Kalash community announced the beginning of the festival with the beating of drums at Rumbor, Berir and Bomborate Valley on December 7.

During the festival, Kalash men stay in a cattle house for three days, feast on goats and drink locally made wine.

No Muslim is allowed to enter the homes of the Kalash people or even shake hands with them during this period. After the end of the three-day period, the men come out of the cattle house and start beating drums while the women perform folk dances.
The youth climb mountains in search of foxes they can chase for a ritual. The Kalash people believe that if the fox crosses a river during the chase, the next year will be a happy one.

Youths also ride donkeys, carrying a dog in their laps and the skin of a goat. The dog represents a lion or a tiger and the skin the success of the youth in their hunt. They also blacken their faces and people present them gifts.

Kalash girls distribute traditional food among their relatives and sing religious songs at night.

During the festival, the Kalash people arrange dances in their villages and their religious leaders make predictions for the coming year.

A sizeable number of tourists, including foreigners, visit the Kalash Valley during the festival.

First Published: Monday, December 23, 2013 - 19:48
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