Memos from Asia

A Pakistani Festival At The Roof Of The World

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Shandur Lake on the top of Shandur Pass in northern Pakistan

Cultural diversity makes Pakistan a country that is rich in its traditions and customs. People in different parts of the country have different cultures.

These cultures, with the historical background, are remembered by people through several local festivals.

A bit about the Shandur festival.

Shandur festival is celebrated in the Northern areas of Pakistan for more than 80 years.

It takes place at Shandur national park, rightly described in this Instagram post as the roof of the world.

People from all over the world join the local people in their celebration at the height of 13,000 from sea level.

In recent times, the Government of Pakistan has also taken a keen interest in promoting the festival that attracts a lot of tourists from different parts of the world.

Where is Shandur and when the festival takes place?

Shandur is situated on the border of Chitral, district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Ghizer, district of Gilgit Baltistan, in the north region of Pakistan.

Farhan, in his tweet, tries to convince the journalists to attend the event and have a closer look at the culture that promotes peace and diversity.

Since 1936, the Shandur festival is organized every year in the first or second week of July. Weather in Northern areas of Pakistan is perfect at this time of the year.

The following Instagram post is one of the many images of the colorful opening ceremony of the festival.

Polo, the sport that is loved by local people.

Polo games between the regional teams of Chitral and Gilgit Baltistan are the main events of the festival.

People eagerly wait for the festival to enjoy the local rivalry as Polo is the most popular game in the region.

Here is a look of the ground where players are practicing just before the game.

Shandur polo ground is the highest polo field in the world. It is all set to start a polo game between two teams in this image.

This is the picture of a polo match during the festival. Believe me, watching it live is a next-level experience altogether.

Not to miss the local dance and folk music.

Yes, Polo games are the heart of the festival, but it doesn’t mean you will not have a chance to listen to folk music and enjoy the local dance.

Close observation of the historical culture of the region in a short time is another opportunity that comes with the Shandur festival.

This short video is a glimpse of Chitral dance, Gilgit Dance, and Kalash dance with local music in the background.

Camp village is a special thing about this festival. To facilitate tourists from different parts of the world, the camp village is established by the organizers every year.

Here is the view of the camp village at night that is set up to accommodate people attending the three-day festival in Shandur a few years back.

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