Gilgit Baltistan Festivals is of great importance, especially for the tourist community. It is a way of promoting culture and celebrating their happiness with their own people. The festival greatly promotes social cohesion. Many of these celebrations focus on cultural or ethnic issues and try to promote their traditions to community members. They invite community elders who share stories and experiences to participate; create models to maintain family unity
In addition to magnificent landscapes, picturesque valleys and the unique hospitality of its people, Gilgit Baltistan is also praised for its vibrant and vibrant festivals. The province celebrates several types of regional, cultural and religious festivals every year.
Listed below are the most popular and newest Gilgit Baltistan festivals in the region, an example of Gilgit and Balti culture.
Shandur Polo Festival is one of the most important Gilgit Baltistan festivals in Pakistan. It is held at Shandur Top from July 7th to 9th each year; the plateau located on Shandur Pass is called “the roof of the world” and it connects Gilgit-Barr. Ghizer district in Stan and Chitral district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The teams participating in the Polo Championship come from various regions of Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Shandur’s polo sport was introduced by Skardu’s Balti Raja, Ali Sher Khan Anchan, who also built the Shandur Polo Stadium. Until last year, it was the world’s tallest polo stadium at 12,263 feet. Now, this difference still exists at Babusar, which is about 13,599 feet, and it is still in Pakistan. Since 1936, this festival has been held every year, and tourists from all over the country can enjoy this unique experience. Basically, Shandor Polo has become a legend all over the world, and international tourists come to visit it almost every year. There are also live folk music, dancing and camping.
When the crops planted a few months ago are ready for harvest, a harvest festival is held every year. Locals celebrate the harvest season to thank God for his blessings. With live music playing, the farmers rejoiced in the dance, and everyone shared their happiness with each other through food and prayers.
Another polo festival in the region is the Babusar Polo Championship held in August every year at the highest polo stadium in the world. Teams from different GB regions participated in the competition and provided a beneficial experience for visitors from all over the country. The festival also includes tug-of-war competitions, tent diving, paragliding, photography shows, gem shows, handicraft shows, trekking, horseback riding and bonfire parties.
Navroz, sometimes written as Nawroz, marks the beginning of the Persian New Year. Although Navroz originated in ancient Persia, it is famous all over the world and has a local form. Traditionally, it is celebrated in Gilgit-Baltistan starting on March 21 every year.
The celebration starts early in the morning and includes free polo, traditional dance and music. Traditional cuisine will be served throughout the festival. Exchanging greetings and prayers, everyone complained to each other for words of kindness and luck. In some parts of the UK, literary events have also been organized to commemorate this occasion.
This is another annual crop picking festival, enthusiastically celebrated in Hunza and the Nagar Valley. The date of the film festival is usually the longest day of the year, June 21. The celebration started on the ten days of Ginani. Musicians from Altit Castle played a melody called Hareeps in Burushaski for ten days until Ginani Day. On the day of Al-Janani, people gathered in a place called chataaq. Provide prayers for the well-being of the community, and extract and cook wheat berries from the harvested wheat plants. A special dish called “Dirum Petit” was also prepared to celebrate the occasion.
These are the most vibrant and colourful festival, one witness, when visiting northern Pakistan. Other than these, there are plenty of festivals that are being celebrated by minor communities like Kalash. Have you ever been to any one of these festivals? Share your experiences of the Gilgit Baltistan festivals, we would love to hear your story: