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. It is celebrated in different ways in different districts of Gilgit Baltistan following are few practices on Nowroz in Hunza and Chitral.
Nowruz in Chitral:
A day before 21st march is set to especially clean the house inside out and a pinch of wheat flour is sprinkled on the door ways and windows when all
cleaning is done. 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, Khawar. The shoshp is made in two ways one with walnuts (walnuts are crushed in mortar and pestle to make a powder form than it is added to the sprouted wheat flour) and other is simply made with sprouted wheat flour. The later 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.
Nowruz lower Hunza and Upper Hunza:
Especial cleaning of house before a day of 21 March is a must followed in Hunza which is the follow by 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 the he walks for a minute that way. 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.