Chitral- The Other Beautiful Side of Pakistan!
Feeling the wind blowing its freshness into you, seeing the sun welcoming the glorious mountains, rising at dawn and walking on the wet grass and touch dew-wet flowers, a refreshing evening stroll in lush green fields, witnessing the sky occupied with scintillating stars at night, seeing the glaciers and snow-capped peaks- how sublime.. This is not only an imagination but some of the blessings and rewards of the simple life people living in Chitral- said to be one of the most remote districts of the province of KPK Pakistan.
Praising God is among the due obligations of life so being in such a place and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation repeatedly makes one praise His almighty all the day long. It is not merely the natural beauty that differentiates Chitral to other places in the northern areas but the living traditions and culture one witnesses being there. Every season has a unique involving activity that keeps the residents full of zip. What can be a more blessing then being invited to celebrate the festivals of the Mother Nature. Chitral being situated in north most corner of the country remains cut off from rest of the country in winter season for about 5 months but it does not shake the warmness of the heart of the people. They need no reason to celebrate which can be acknowledged by the different colorful festivals portraying unique culture and way of life of the people of Chitral.
After long severe winters, the arrival of spring is celebrated on 21 March by Ismailis called Nauroze with great enthusiasm and zeal likewise; the three Kalash valleys of Bumburate, Birir and Rumbur celebrate the Joshi festival in mid-May. Joshi is a four day festival and the most unique part of the festival is announcing the chosen life partner. This festival has been a great attraction to tourists around the world. Jashn-E-Qaqlasht is celebrated in mid-April every year with an objective to preserve and promote Chitral’s unique cultural heritage. In all the traditional celebrations, sports and music have always been a major part. No festival is complete without music and sports activity in it. It doesn’t require any age limit to be the part of celebration because people of Chitral are sportsman at heart. Among these one of the most famous events is Shandur polo festival which has gain a tremendous recognition in the world and referred as game of the kings. This adventurous polo match is held in July every year at the highest polo ground of the earth followed by traditional music which adds remarkable credit to the event. This is not the only sport event but Jashn-e-Chitral- a week-long festival celebrated in mid-September every year, and Boroghol Festival in July, also features different events including Swimming across torrential rivers, Rock climbing, Wild mountain polo , horse races and BuzKashi, yak race and yak polo, traditional wrestling and tug of war, shot puts as well as traditional dancing and singing.
People meet at these festivals and renew acquaintances. These festivals are celebrated without any discrimination of the cast, creed or class. All the participants and spectators cheer and celebrate together. Festivals play an important role to keep the traditions intact as they bring together musicians, sportsmen and other ordinary people to represent their culture and exhibit their strong connection with each other.