Kalash Summer Festival Uchal 2024 – Dates, Venue & Activities

Kalash Summer Festival Uchal 2024 - Dates, Venue & Activities

The Kalash culture is rich, vibrant, and unique. They follow an ancient form of Hinduism, and many believe that they are the descendants of Alexander the Great. 

The community is especially known for its grand festivals in Spring and Summer: the Chilam Joshi Festival and the Uchal Summer Festival. 

In this article, we will explore the Kalash Summer Festival, its dates, venue, and popular activities to help you get a better idea of the popular fest. 

Read more: Hunza Tour Packages 2024

The Uchal Summer Festival in Kalash

The Uchal Summer Festival in Kalash

Kalash festival date 2024: 17th August to 2nd September

Uchal, also known as Utchal, is referred to as the “Thanksgiving movement.” It is a prominent summer festival celebrated by the Kalash people to mark the harvest and express gratitude for the blessings of good food and crops. The festival features traditional foods such as corn, buttermilk, and cheese prepared specifically for the celebrations. 

The event includes a procession to a high plateau outside the village of Balangkuru, where prayers are offered (location may vary). This marks the beginning of a long night of dancing that lasts until the early hours of the next morning. The Uchal festival moves through various valley locations and continues for several days, drawing large numbers of visitors from Pakistan and international tourists.

Celebrated annually from August onwards, it marks the harvest and threshing of wheat in the three valleys of Bumburate, Birir, and Rumbur. The Kalasha community, known for their unique traditions, values, and customs, are considered among the happiest people in the world. 

The Kalasha people’s spiritual beliefs emphasize tolerance for others and help maintain community balance. The Kalasha celebrate every event of life, both individually and collectively. Their social structure promotes happiness, love, tolerance, and respect for all living and non-living creatures. Their four landmark festivals are celebrated in May, August, September, and December each year, providing opportunities for others to join. 

Read More: Everything You Need To Know About Swat & Kalam.

Key Highlights:

  • Enjoy Kalasha cuisine
  • Dance to the tunes of Kalasha music
  • Hear captivating stories from the Kalasha community 
  • View hundreds of peaks, including Tirich Mir, Kunar, Dir, and Chitral
  • Traverse Malakand Pass and Lowari Pass or Lowari Tunnel 
  • Explore the valleys of Khyber, including Dir, Chitral, and Kalash
  • Admire the historical forts of Malakand and Nagar and the Shahi Masjid
  • Witness the rivers, including Hunza, Nagar, Gilgit, etc
  • Marvel at the Babusar Pass, Khunjerab Pass, and Attabad Tunnel
  • Discover the valleys of Northern Pakistan, including Hunza, Nagar, and Naltar
  • Visit lakes such as Attabad, Lulusar, Borith, Shandur, Khalti, Phandar, and Batura
  • Explore glaciers, including Bualtar, Passu, Batura, and Hussaini
  • Shop at the bazaars of Karimabad, Aliabad, and Naran
  • Travel along the Karakoram Highway and the Ancient Silk Route
  • Drive through the towns of Haripur, Abbottabad, and Mansehra

History of the Kalash Community 

History of the Kalash Community 

The Kalasha community lives in three specific valleys of Chitral: Bumboret, Birir, and Rumbur. It is estimated that the community has a population of over 3,000, making it the smallest minority group in Pakistan.

A Global Human Rights Defence paper titled, ‘Tribe of Kalash: The last Kafir’ describes the Kalash people as animists and nature worshippers who refuse to convert to Islam and states that their refusal to convert is the ‘root cause of their marginalization in the region.’ The Kalash people, who don’t even makeup one percent of the population in the region, are considered ‘ethnically marginal’ and demographically insignificant.’

The Kalash tribe, with a population of just 3,500, resides in the three valleys of Rumbur, Bumburet, and Birir. Initially scattered across 12 valleys in Chitral, KPK, they now inhabit these three. Their unique culture, which resembles ancient Hinduism and Greek traditions, attracts global attention. 

Kalash festivals are deeply tied to nature and seasons. In May, they celebrate the Joshi Festival to welcome spring. August brings the Uchal Festival, which thank God for the harvest and livestock. December features the Chawmos Festival, a winter celebration. Before Uchal, the Rut-Nut festival, lasting two months, allows young people to form relationships.

The Uchal Festival honors the safe return of shepherds and celebrates the harvest. The festival includes prayers, sacrifices, and dances at Maloosh, expressing gratitude for safety and prosperity. These vibrant celebrations see Kalash youth in colorful attire dancing and forming new couples, symbolizing the joyous spirit of the Kalash people.

Enjoy the Uchal Festival With these Adventure Clubs 

Enjoy the Uchal Festival With these Adventure Clubs 

Below are some popular adventure clubs that can assist you in attending the Kalash Summer Festival (Uchal). 

  1. Hunza Guides Pakistan

It offers both local and international tour services and covers a staggering 10% market share of the Pakistani tourism industry. For the past 25 years, it has been offering tour services throughout the year and is ideal for trips to the beautiful northern regions of Pakistan.

  1. Adventure Pakistan

It is a licensed tour operator registered with the Pakistan Association of Tour Operators Organization (PATO) and the Gilgit Baltistan Tour Operators Association (GBTOA). They provide tours across the country and value comfort and professional services. 

  1. Apricot Tours

Apricot Tours is another licensed tour operator in the country. It offers mountaineering and climbing expeditions, tours and sightseeing, trekking adventures, and more activities. For over a decade, Apricot Tours has been serving international and domestic travelers, including charities, corporate clients, students, families, and solo travelers. 

  1. Chitral Adventure 

Chitral Adventure values the development of tourism at the community level and ensures the involvement of local people in tourism. They believe in the eco-tourism market and offer tour plans for various northern regions. 

The Summer Festival Awaits You!

So that is a wrap on the Summer Kalash Valley festival. We covered the Kalash festival date, venue, activities, and adventure clubs that can assist you in attending the event. 

The Kalasha community is a unique minority group that deserves recognition for its vibrant culture. Over the years, it has preserved its traditions and values, which are praised worldwide. Their festivals are a great way to gain a deeper insight into their lives and fascinating beliefs. 
We encourage our readers to visit the festival and experience the rich heritage of the Kalasha community firsthand. For more content on Travel, Food, Fashion, and News, visit BlogPakistan.

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