Thaghem is a traditional and ancient festival celebrated in Upper Hunza. It is an agricultural event to formally open the farming season. A special date is announced by the elders of the society to celebrate the event. There are different stages of the festival.
Pirkiten is a wakhi word which means stirring. A special cusine which is like a pudding prepared by women of the community that is prepared from sweetened grinded wheat that needs a lot of fuel and it takes around 10 hours to get prepared. The pudding is locally called “Cemen” needs stirring to make it thicker. Special breads are also made from the sweetened flour.This day a special piece of stick is distributed by a family called shogunputuks who normally start cultivation in the village. The piece of stick is called suthors. The man of the house takes the suthors and places it on the roof. A special dish called Mul which is a pudding like cuisine is prepared and then the piece of stick called Suthros is taken inside the house and later on it is dumped in the field. It shows that the piece of stick will grow into a large plant one day.
On this day all the community gathers in a field and welcomes the family of Shogunputuks. The shogunputuks carry sticks in the hands and special protocol is given to them on this occasion. Before that the Shogunputuks perform a special experiment by burning firewood inside an ancient house and check the direction of the smoke. It is believed that the direction of the smoke shows the productivity of wheat in that area where the smoke goes. In this historical house a man is chosen who belongs from the shogunputuk family to act like Duruksh which means an Ox. The man symbolically is dressed like an ox and is carried to the field where people are gathered for the ceremony. The symbolic ox then performs in front of the people acting like an Ox and entertains them. Khalifa , a person who organizes the religious rituals offers special prayers for wheat production, harmony, unity and peace. After the prayers seeds are sprinkled on the ground by an elder of the shogunputuk and he performs traditional ploughing technique. Children of 1 to 5 years are brought there on the field and they place their hand on the ploughing stuffs to symbolically show their respect to the traditions of their forefathers. When the ceremony ends the male members of the family go to their fields with their elders to perform a symbolic start for cultivation by sprinkling seeds on the ground. After that the family gathers and enjoys the local dish Samen.