Uchal Festival: Must-See Cultural Festivals Of Kalash

Uchal Festival: Kalash Celebrates this, for Shepherds and Farmers

Uchal Festival: Kalash Celebrates this for Shepherds and Farmers

The Kalash tribe is one of the tribes with a population of fewer than 3,500 people. They live in the three valleys of Rampur, Bamborit, and Bari. Although over time, they initially spread to the 12 valleys in KPK’s Chitral area, they were pushed into these three valleys.

Their mysterious and fascinating culture attracts people from all over the world to these valleys, which is why there are more police and agencies than police at any Kalash festival.

Many anthropologists and archaeologists believe that they are the ancestors of Alexander the Great, but when Chitral excavated and explored, they knew that they had lived here before Alexander the Great.

Many of its customs and rituals are similar to ancient Hinduism. Some of the goddesses of the Kalash tribe are similar to Hindu gods and are called Mahadev in Hindu worship, that is, the Mahan of the Kalash tribe.


Uchal Festival: Kalash Celebrates this, for Shepherds and Farmers

Girls Dancing in Uchal Festival


Many of their customs are similar to those of the ancient Greek people, and even claim to be descendants of the Greek people, but unfortunately, modern DNA tests failed to connect these people with Greek soldiers. But despite this, the way they prepare wine, architecture, jewelry, and clothes is similar to that of the Greeks, and they even mention many Greek words in their language. Culture, clothing, language, and customs still haunt the world.


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The Kalash clan loves nature, and the festivals they celebrate are related to the seasons. In May, they held the Josh Welcome Spring Festival in the valley. In August, they celebrated summer with shawls and thanked God for the harvest and livestock.

In December, they held a winter festival called Choo-moss.

Before Uchal Festival, the Kalash tribe celebrates Rut-Nut. Rut-Nut Festival lasts for two months and is a dance festival that locks boys and girls from the tribe as interpersonal relationships because it provides opportunities for mutual understanding. His name is Jay Jackalwat, and the time is from August 19th to 20th.

When dancing in Gree or other places, you will find a couple of newcomers. There are no restrictions on choosing a life partner on Eid Kalash. However, in a brief meeting during Christmas, it is difficult to fully understand a girl or boy. Therefore, rotting festivals and other festivals give them a chance to meet. The Kalash community provides equal opportunities for boys and girls in all areas of life, including education, choosing a partner, or other aspects of life, and even women have the free will to marry others after marriage. The marriage expenses of the first husband must be paid. After payment, the first husband left the girl for a second marriage.


Uchal Festival: Kalash Celebrates this, for Shepherds and Farmers

Pleasing moments of the Uchal Festival


After eating nuts the next day, celebrate the “Uchal Festival“. The main theme of the festival is to thank God for providing livestock in the valley to ensure that the livestock is kept safe throughout the season and during the dairy harvest. Second, the farmers held the “Uchal Festival” to thank God for their crops.

The Kalash clan loves nature, and the festivals they celebrate are related to the seasons. In May, they celebrated the Josh Cocktail Party in Spring Valley. In August, they celebrate summer with scarves and thank God for the harvest and livestock.

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Many Kalash residents own livestock. Although the numbers of sheep and goats vary, almost all households own livestock. Therefore, to find food, they had to stay in the open valley for several weeks. One person in each family must raise livestock in the valley for three to four weeks before another person can take their place. Even after Uchal, this cycle continues. This culture is very similar to that of the Cholistan shepherds, who also live their livestock in the open desert for a few weeks before being replaced by their families after two to three weeks.

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Celebrate Uchal, because the shepherds returned with them successfully

A homemade nut necklace was worn by the shepherd after returning home.

When they live in the livestock valley, they must manage everything. They carry vegetables, flour, and other things as needed. They provided temporary shelters for his animals and protected them from animals. Sometimes they form a group with other shepherds to stay, cook and process forage. It can also help them reduce their loneliness. Kalash herders prepare many dairy products while staying in the valley with their livestock. They produce lassi, cheese, yogurt, butter, and other dairy products. Three or four months later, the shepherd returned home with a large number of dairy products.


Uchal Festival: Kalash Celebrates this, for Shepherds and Farmers

A glimpse of Uchal Festival


The “Uchal Festival” is celebrated to enable the shepherds to return the livestock and harvest successfully. Organized an exciting party for customers. Several family members from each village/host family, along the way, wear a homemade necklace to show respect and blessings. This necklace is made of apricots, grapes, dried walnuts, etc. Shepherds are popular among the tribe. They thanked God for safety and protection in the valley. They also thank God for the dairy products they collected during their stay.

First, they went to Maloosh (a place of worship) with all the villagers and thanked God for everything. Only the family meet here.


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Qazi (spiritual leader) led the people’s march. They pray for protection, prosperity, and a new season. If the judge indicated that only prayer, they sacrificed a goat. After prayers, they distributed dairy products among all the tribes. Some of them eat dairy products there and distribute dairy products to women who stay at home. They distribute dairy products to neighbours, especially those who do not have their livestock. At this time, the men in the tribe danced happily in the circle.

They also prepared small crepes for this holiday, and these young women put butter in the graves of the dead. This practice is like Hindus placing them in Kriakarm small flat pancakes for birds and animals to please the gods. All tribes also visit Mahandeo for worship and prayer. After that, they arrived at Gree (where to dance). They dance and sing traditional songs to thank God for the harvest, the safety of the family and livestock, and everything they have done in the new summer of this festival.

Final Thoughts 

Kalash boys and girls enter heaven in colourful dresses and beautiful jewellery. Hundreds of cameras can take the best photos. Seeing these alluring fairies in colourful dresses and charming jewellery will increase the curiosity of locals and international tourists.

The sound of the soft and trembling piano body beating drums conveys the message of summer. Sometimes there is a serpentine dance in the zaftig style, and sometimes the fairies dancing in the choir look happy and charming in the summer. There are also lovely young people, tribal children, and elders dancing in this activity.

This is Kalasha’s way of thanking God. Interestingly, in this dance, many newlyweds decide to start a new life.


Are you curious about seeing this fantastic festival yourself?

Book your Chitral tour package today, as the Uchal Festival is about to begin soon, on 20 August. Book your seat now.

Saba Ghani
Saba Ghani

Since 2017, Saba Ghani has been serving as the talented and dedicated chief content writer for Pakistan Tour and Travel & EMHI Solutions. With her exceptional writing skills and in-depth knowledge of the travel industry, she has been instrumental in crafting engaging and informative content that captivates the audience. You can catch her at [email protected] or Twitter

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