CHITRAL: The Zhoshi festival, which heralds the arrival of spring, will commence from 14th May in the three Kalash valleys of Bumburate, Birir and Rumbur. Of the three Kalash festivals, Chilim Jusht lasting for four days is considered to have prime importance.
Young girls and boys sing and dance in groups in the community halls meant for the purpose. Houses are decorated and the Kalash people wear new clothes that are specifically prepared for the occasion.
Kalash men and women are seen shopping for the festival in the Chitral bazaars while in the valleys, the are busy in preparing their traditional dresses for the festival.
A Kalash community leader Tash Khan told chitraltimes.com that the Kalash girls spend lavishly on purchase of clothes and ornaments for the occasion.
He said that the rising prices of essential commodities have affected the purchasing power of the Kalash community for the occasion. However, he said that, a common girl spends up to Rs25,000 on this occasion while the girls from affluent families spend more than that.
He said that the Kalash use the occasion for ostentation and even go beyond their financial capacity and show off their wealth by spending more and more on their women.
Employed in a government office, Mr. Khan said that he has almost spent double the amount of his monthly salary for the festival.
A main characteristic of the festival is selection of life partner for unmarried boys and girls, who make announcement of their choice on this occasion. According to Kalash sources, more than 60 couples will be announcing their options during the festival.
Tourists have started arriving here to watch the colourful festival of the Kalash people having unique culture and way of life.
Note: It is not necessary to chose life partner in festival and nobody announce their life partner as the boys and girls have understanding for many years, but some prefer to get marry during festivities and some like to ask boys to send some people to engage the couple. As early Kalashatimes had published details of the festival and cost of dress which was 18000 PKR per women.