Jashn-e-Chitral is a week long festival, celebrated in mid September each year. This festival features cultural activities and traditional sports of the mountain communities of the Hindukush & Karakorum region.
According to records in DC office Chitral, the festival was first celebrated during the reign of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto possibly in 1974. Jashn e Chitral was part of Chitral district office calendar till the reign of General Zia ul Haq. After rigorous pressure from religious political parties the festival was stopped but later on during the tenure of General Pervaiz Musharaf the festival was resumed and since then it has been held regularly.
This festival also aims to revive the traditional sports. The Chitrali elders and youth play an important role as the festival involves organizing the event through community participation and volunteers taken from different sections of society.
The winning teams in all events are honoured with rewards. The festival also provides communities from different valleys an opportunity to interact and mingle each other.
Each year the following events are scheduled.
- Traditional dancing & singing
- Archery contest between Nuristani tribes
- Swimming across torrential rivers
- Rock climbing at ShaSha cliffs
- Rafting down Chitral river
- Wild mountain polo , horse races and Buz Kashi
- Traditional wrestling and tug of war, shot puts
- Wrestling on wooden logs placed high over water
- Sitar music, Mushaira and local Drama
- Traditional handicrafts on display
- Kalash festival events in Birir
There are various groups from different regions of Chitral who perform sitar, music & dance. Teams from Northern areas also participate in some of the events.
This event attracts enthusiastic local and international tourists. Different tourism companies in Chitral run regular trips to these festivals with best facilities.