The Kalash Festival is a cultural event that takes place every year in the Kalash Valley, Pakistan. The festival is celebrated by the Kalasha tribe people, who have a unique culture, traditions, and language and follow an ancient form of Hinduism. The festival takes place three times a year, in spring, summer, and winter. The dates for the Kalash Festival in 2024 – 2025 are:
- Chilam Joshi kalash Festival – Jasmine Tours (jasminetours.com).
Chilam Joshi Festival 13 May – 16 May:
The Chilam Joshi Festival is an annual springtime celebration in the Kalash Valley during May. This vibrant festival is a spectacle of colors, music, dance, and cultural traditions, symbolizing the transition from the cold winter months to the warmth of spring. During Chilam Joshi, the Kalash people gather to pray for a bountiful harvest, seek protection for their fields and animals, and partake in the unique tradition of young Kalash individuals choosing their life partners. It’s a time when the valley comes alive with the joy and energy of the Kalash people, creating a rich tapestry of cultural experiences amidst the breathtaking natural beauty of the Kalash Valley.
- Uchal Festival is one of the top cultural festivals of Pakistan. Kalasha tribe celebrates many festivals around the year. Uchal festival celebration is to pay homage to Almighty for blessing them with good food and crops. They prepare corn, buttermilk, and cheese to celebrate the festival and rejoice Uchao.
Kalash Uchal Festival is celebrated in annual harvesting with singing, dancing and paying homage to the nature for blessing them with barley and wheat harvest season every year in August.
In the festival of Uchal they prepare special foods, cheese, buttermilk and cornbread for the event. Women in traditional dresses perform dances. During the festival prayers, a procession is made to a high plateau outside the village in Balangkuru where the long night of dancing begins.
. The women wear traditional attire with lively colors and hairdressers have patterns of flowers on it. They wear beaded necklaces which compliments their dresses and head gears. Men wear traditional Shalwar Kameez with a waistcoat made of wool. They dance together and sing in a circle on drumbeats. Every year this festival brings smile to the bachelors and spinsters of Kalash Valley tribes as it gives them an opportunity to choose their life partners and announce their names on the last day of the festival.
Choimus Festival Kalash 15 December – 22 December:
Celebrated in the Kalash Valley during mid-December, it is a culturally significant event for the Kalash people. This three-day festival is of spiritual importance, marked by rituals like offerings to ancestral spirits, ritual bathing, and celibacy enforcement. Men have a purification ceremony, and special Choimus bread is prepared. Traditional attire, intricate costumes, dances around bonfires, Choimus songs, and face painting are integral parts of the festival. Visitors are welcome to experience the rich cultural heritage of the Kalash community during this festive celebration in the Himalayan region.