PESHAWAR: The annual autumn festival of the Kalash tribe, Pholarh festival, was celebrated with great enthusiasm in Barir valley in Chitral.
The festival is also known “Phool, Pul” [flowers and fruits] is celebrated every year in which walnuts and grapes and other fruits are presented to guests so that it is blessed and they get good harvest next year. In this festival, a hat made of flowers is placed on the heads of ten-years-old-girls. Similarly, ten-year-old children are also included in the tribe by wearing the traditional Kalashi tribe’s attires.
At the Pholarh festival, Kalashi women sing and dance to the beat of drums played by Kalashi men to celebrate the festival of fruit and flowers. Similarly, religious leaders of the Kalash tribe, also called Qazi, sing religious songs and pray for the good fortune of the tribe to protect their crops from natural calamities next year.
Special Assistant to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for Minority Affairs, Zada Kalash and Regional Police Officer Ghafoor Afridi and other members of the Assembly also participated in the colorful festival and assured all possible support from the government. They also distributed cheques of his honor among the religious leaders of the community.
Talking to media, Wazirzada said that the present government is making every effort to promote tourism and provide facilitated at tourists sites such Kalash valley. DIG Malakand Ghafoor Afridi said that the police are always vigilant to provide protection to the people of Kalash tribe so that they can perform their religious rites with utmost satisfaction.
Some domestic and foreign tourists also visited the valley to enjoy the festival. They praised the beauty of Kalash and its colourful religious and cultural celebrations. However, they demanded the government to improve the condition of roads leading to the Kalash Valley so that tourists can easily visit the area.