Gilgit-Baltistan: Week Long Traditional Ginani Festival Ends

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GILGIT (dawn): The traditional “Ginani” festival celebrations concluded in Hunza-Nagar district on Friday with thousands of people, including foreign and local tourists, participating in the weeklong festivities, happening simultaneously in different parts of the district.

Performance of cultural rituals, folk dances and music, holding of a polo match, and display of handicrafts and traditionally made pottery enthralled the visitors. Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah, information minister Sadia Danish and finance minister Mohammad Ali Akhtar attended the concluding ceremonies held in Chalt and Karimabad areas. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Shah said that the region had unique culture and its promotion was the duty of every citizen. “We can attract more foreign tourists to the region by arranging such events frequently,” he added.

The main attraction of the festival was a musical concert held in Karimabad on Friday. A large number of youth and elders clad in traditional dressing performed dance on folk music, enthusing the audience.Safdar Hussain Barcha, a local, said that people waited for the whole year to celebrate the festival, marking start of harvesting season. “Since teenage I have been participating the ‘Ginani’ festival celebrations,” he added.

Mueez Karim, another participant, said that the festival had been celebrated in Hunza Nagar since ages to mark the mark the beginning of the harvesting season and wishing good luck to the coming year. He explained that head of each household visited the field and brought with him wheat plants symbolising the beginning harvesting season. He said people offered special prayers and sacrificed animals for better yield and prosperity of the region. Mueez Karim said that before 1974 the emperor of the Hunza Nagar state used to arrange the ‘Ginani’ celebrations in his court.

Karim Madad, one of the organisers of the event, said that ‘Taj Poshi’, polo matches, tug of war, musical shows and distribution of food featured the festival. He said that civil society organisations also played their part in organising the event to preserve tradition and culture of the region.

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