Festivals, Dances, Theatre, Literature, Art in News

Festivals in news: Chillai Kalan


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Chillai Kalan

Mains level : Not Much

People in the Kashmir valley are finding unique ways to celebrate the start of ‘Chillai Kalan’, a local term for the 40-day period of harshest winter that begins annually from December 21.

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Festivals, Dances, Theatre, Literature, Art in News

Chillai Kalan

  • Chillai Kalan is the coldest 40-day period of harsh winter of winter in the Jammu and Kashmir region.
  • It is traditionally defined as a seasonal period of harsh winter accompanied by a change in increase in both frequency and quantity of precipitation usually snow.
  • It begins from December 21 and ends on January 31 next year.
  • It is followed by a 20-day long Chillai-Khurd (small cold) that occurs between January 31 and February 19 and a 10-day long Chillai-Bachha (baby cold).
  • According to Persian tradition, the night of 21st December is celebrated as Shab-e Yalda-“Night of Birth”, or Shab-e Chelleh “Night of Forty”.

Its’ celebration

  • In the Persian tradition, the night of December 21, the longest of the year, is celebrated as Shab-e-Yalda (night of birth) or Shab-e-Chelleh.
  • Dozens of netizens from Kashmir named it the ‘Pheran Day’, after the long woollen gown worn during the winters in Kashmir.
  • Use of a traditional firing pot called Kangri increases.
  • Tap water pipelines partially freeze during this period. The Dal Lake also freezes.
  • The famous tourist resort of Gulmarg receives heavy snow which attracts skier’s from every part of the world.
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