Nowruz is a festival celebrated in the countries heavily influenced by Iranian culture and civilization and particularly those belongs to shai faith as a start of new year on 21st of March every year. Nowruz Celebration in Gilgit Baltistan are different in each districts of Gilgit Baltistan. Following are few practices on Nowroz in Hunza and Chitral.
Nowruz in Chitral:
Day before 21st March is set especially to clean the house inside out and when the cleaning is done a pinch of wheat flour is sprinkled on the door ways and windows. On March 21st special dish is prepared known as shoshp. Shoshp is local name for sprouted wheat flour bread in the local language of Chitral, known as Khawar. Shoshp is made in two ways
- Walnuts are crushed in mortar and pestle to make a powder are than added to the sprouted wheat flour and then Shopshp is prepared.
- 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:
Especial cleaning of house a day before 21 March is a must in Hunza Homes followed by doing thomal. People gather for special morning prayers. Every house makes one of special traditional breakfast item on this day and people have community gathering for an event known as DADA. Chee- oyanas is another name for DADA. DADA is a practice where infants are put on the back of the oldest male member of the community and then he walks for a minute holding the infant on his back. 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 called diram. It is same dish as simple shoshp made in Chitral, but it is served with homemade organic butter, apricot or walnut oil. Hunza people don’t serve it with milk at all unlike it is done in Chitral.