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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- 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”.
- 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.