Nowruz Celebration in Gilgit Baltistan
The countries heavily influenced by Iranian culture and civilization celebrates Nowruz festival every year on March 21st. The regions those belongs to shai faith celebrate it as a start of new year on 21st of March every year. Nowruz Celebrations in Gilgit Baltistan are different in each districts of Gilgit Baltistan. Following are few practices on Nowroz in Hunza and Chitral.
Nowruz in Chitral:
Chitrali communities cleaned their houses inside out on 20th March, After cleaning they sprinkle a pinch of wheat flour on the door ways and windows. They make a special dish on March 21st and they call it shoshp . Shoshp is local name for sprouted wheat flour bread in the local language of Chitral, known as Khawar. They prepare Shoshp in two ways
- They make powder of organic walnuts with stone mortar & pestle and add it to the sprouted wheat flour to prepare Shopshp.
- The other method of making shosph which is known as dirum fiti in Hunza is made with simply sprouted wheat flour. This type of dirum fiti is served either with desi ghee, milk, apricot oil or walnut oil.
The Shoshp is shared among neighbors. Families gather to have lunch or dinner together on this occasion.
Nowruz in lower Hunza and Upper Hunza:
Cleaning up of the houses is part of the ritual and celebration on a day before 21 March is a must in Hunza followed by thomal. People gather for special morning prayers. Every house makes one of special traditional breakfast item on this day. Community gathering are held for an event called DADA. Chee- oyanas is another name for DADA. It’s a practice where the oldest male member of the community carries a baby and walks around for a minute. The families who have infants in their home for chee-oyonas event bring along a big platter of dry roasted grains, dried fruits, bukak, sheshar and small size wheat grain fitti (Hunza bread).
In upper Hunza they make special dish the sprouted wheat bread locally called diram. Unlike in Chitral we serve it with homemade organic butter, apricot or walnut oil. Unlike Chitrali community we don’t serve it with milk.
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