Chineer is a harvesting festival usually celebrated on the first week of July in Upper Hunza, when barley crop is ripened.
In the mountainous region there is only one season for crops and that is stored for the rest of the year that is why this festival is celebrated with joy.
Early in the morning head of the family along with the family members move towards the barley field carrying a special traditional food. Flour is sprinkled on the bunch of barley and then it is uprooted. Grains are extracted from the bunch and then roasted which is served with yogurt. The whole family has to taste from that yogurt. After that the whole family greets each other saying “Chineer Mubarak”. At day all the villagers gather at a common place and local dishes are served. At last they all pray for better crops and thanks Allah for the blessings.
The ancient Silk Route was one of the ancient trade routes of the world that was used for the promotion of trade between several nations. Also famous as “cultural route,” it acted as a bridge between different cultures and people of diverse backgrounds.
Silk Route is the greatest route in the history of mankind. The southern route (modern route) touches different cultures stretched from the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan to China. Geographically Gilgit-Baltistan is located very uniquely because it borders China, Afghanistan, Kashmir and the area was influenced by the neighboring countries culturally.
The Silk Route festival Gulmit, a branded festival celebrated each year in Gilgit-Baltistan from the last several years, awaits tourists and visitors this year. The festival will see artisans from diverse backgrounds perform their artworks. Folk singers and folk dancers will perform their skills that are worth seeing and the visitors will definitely enjoy the show.
Local handicrafts will also be displayed in form of a craft bazaar where all kinds of crafts will be displayed. Food and fruit stalls will offer tourists the opportunity to taste traditional and local dishes.
Sports events will also arranged where tourists can enjoy the local games, especially polo that is specially arranged for the foreign tourists. For nature lovers, the scenic beauty of the valleys in Gilgit-Baltistan will offer a memorable opportunity. Tourists will be able to enjoy camping and open air restaurants.
Silk Route festival Gulmit usually takes place in Gulmit Gojal Hunza, where it has been celebrated with zest and zeal over the years. The local community plays a vital role in organizing the event with hundreds of volunteers working round the clock to make the event more colorful, successful and memorable one for tourists. Hunza Marcopolo Inn staff welcomes you to the lifestyle you deserve; join us this year to enjoy the festival and hopefully you will take pleasant memories.
This year’s Silk Route festival Gulmit is expected this fall. Bookings will be open and you can know about the package by visiting on the facebook page link. We will keep posting updates about the 2014 Silk Route Festival Gulmit.
Kithdith is celebrated in mid of February to welcome the spring season and say goodbye to the winter season. As in Upper Hunza the long winter season is very harsh and spring season brings joy to the mountain community so they could cultivate crops, roam around easily and enjoy. In winter season there are no activities in the mountains and people are just confined to their homes due to the frosty weather.
On this day a special broom is placed on the roof of the house where the elder of the house symbolically draws the coldness out of the house by cleaning the house with that special broom and later on the women in the house cleans the entire house. When it is all cleaned up then the head of the house sprinkles flour on the walls of the house and this process is a tradition here in Hunza and almost flour is sprinkled in every event. The reason is that this would bring blessing to the family in form of peace, harmony, happiness. The flour is also sprinkled on the right shoulder of the male family members.
The whole village gathers in a common place called ‘’Jamat kahana’’, where cuisines are served. A special traditional food is served called “Khista’’ in the Kithdith festival that is thick bread topped with butter and milk cream. This gathering depicts harmony among the people of the mountain community.
During the day time the youth gathers at an open place and play a traditional game called Tuksuri, normally they can’t play this game in winters because of the frosty weather. The traditional games are gradually vanishing form our society and we have to promote these games otherwise the future generations won’t play these games anymore. you can visit to see the Kithdith event it can make your day memorable.
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.