This year, I was lucky to visit the land of fairy tales, the land of colors and peace - Kalash, a beautiful valley near Chitral. Chitral can be accessed by road or by air from Islamabad, then its a 3 hours adventure drive to this peaceful and scenic valley.
Glaciers start melting in spring, as the temperature rises in the day and provide chilled water to river Chitral and fresh water springs and water falls in the surrounding areas.
The festival of "Chilum Josh" or "Yushi Mubarak" is celebrated in May, to welcome spring and happiness in life. The mourning for the deceased ends and new relations and friendships are found. "Shimmon" or the religious elder leads the rituals. The celebration of spring begins, with vibrant music and songs sung by all locals. Men gather in the middle with traditional drums and women with their hands on each others shoulders hymn, sing and dance around them.
Their multicolor unique dresses, explicit head gears and colorful accessories breathe life into the celebrations. I was so absorbed in witnessing this beautiful and happening event, that sometimes I forgot to take photographs. This ancient tribe is said to be the descendent of Alexander The Great.
Its a festival of color, of laughter, happiness and music :)
The people of this tribe, until quite recently, were very camera shy and felt offended if photographed. Now trends have changed. Its not considered offensive. Some even posed for cameras. Still there were girls who shied away from camera. Trying to be as subtle as possible and without offending anyone, I could capture a few images, not as many as I wanted.
Chilum Josh / Yushi Mubarak Festival
15-16 May 2015
The Children of Kalash are so beautiful... you just can't walk past them without giving them a smile and praising nature who made them so perfect.