A Kalashi village with stunning mountain backdrop

Because of the seclusion of their three idyllic valleys (Rumbur, Bumburet and Birir), the Kalashi have lived largely independently for centuries. Even today, most of them are still farmers who live on the milk, cheese and meat of their goats and cows. The valleys are scattered with terraced fields run through by water channels for irrigation. Along the channels you find small mills in which the women grind grain every day to make fresh flatbread.

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The Kalashi Community’s Winter Solstice Festival

Holger Hoffmann | Pakistan

Chaumos, the 14-day Winter Solstice Festival, is the most important event in the year of the Kalashi, an animist minority in northern Pakistan. Purity and purification are the key themes of this spiritual festival. The festival plays an essential role in the cohesion of this community oppressed by Islam.

The Kalashi – separated by gender – undergo various purification rituals. Most rituals – such as remembering those who have died in the past year – take place in the temple or at night, such as torchlight processions and dancing and singing around the fire. But dancing also takes place during the day, especially on the final day. Then the parade of dancers is enormous, in some cases men disguised as women and vice versa, and for the last time people dance until dawn.

Holger Hoffmann is a Swiss travel and documentary photographer. To date, he has traveled to over 100 countries. He is particularly fascinated by the customs and daily life of people who have preserved their traditional culture. He is deeply impressed by how they cope and adapt to the advances and pressures of the modern world. He has published numerous travel and photo reports in various magazines.

Holger Hoffmann

CH-3047   Bremgarten bei Bern

Tel       +41 79 301 88 08        

mail      info@chaostours.ch


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