The Winter Solstice Festival of the Kalasha of Birir: some comparative suggestions
From: Acta Orientalia(Vol. 69.)
Publisher: Aakar Books International
Document Type: Article
Length: 14,691 words
The Chaumos Winter Solstice Festival is the fulcrum of the ritual system of the Kalasha, the last polytheists of the Hindu Kush. The Chaumos of the Birir valley was documented for the first time in 2006 by the author. The article investigates the structure and the meanings of this complex ritual event and sketches a comparison with a better known, and rather different, version of the same festival celebrated in the other Kalasha communities, highlighting connections with the Vedic pantheon. Key words: anthropology, Hindu Kush, India, Indo-European, Kafir, Kalasha, New Year festival, Pakistan, polytheism, religion, Vedas.