The Return of SEMN and Thagam Festival

Thagam in Passu

Gulmit, March 7: Tomorrow evening when the sun light climbs the Mount “Chitrooy” two wooden pieces, arrow-like, called “Sutors” will be kept close to the roof window (Risn), by an unmarried young guy  in Gulmit and some other villages of Gojal Valley. These pieces of wood are one of the symbols of an agricultual festival known as “Thagam” – derived from the Persian word “Tukhum”, meaning seed. Thagam is an important agricultural festival which marks the arrival of farming season. Farmers will, now, start watering their fields, a phenomenon called “Wuruwn” in the local Wakhi language.

DurukshThis festival is celebrated over a two days period. The first event of this festival is called “Pirkiten”. During “Pirkitn” the delicious cultural dish SEMN is prepared. “Mul” is another speical dish prepared for this festival. During Pirkitn the “Sutors” are also made from a plant that is locally called “Pishpishunuk”.

The next day “Thumang” is performed by members of the Shogun Putuk tribe, in a very old house, in the vicinity of Mir’s Summer Palace, at the northern end of Gulmit Polo Ground. Thumang is perfomed by putting a plant locally called “Yarz” on fire. The direction of smoke, in the ancient times, was used to point towards parts of the village where high crop yield could be expected. After Thumang all the villagers gather in a field Prayersand a man dressed as a Bull (Duruksh) entertains the audience by playing tricks with them.

All villagers eat Semn, Semn Bread, Mul and other modern dishes collectively, symbolizing fraternity, cooperation and good will for one another. Prayers are offered for good, healthy crops, global peace, harmony and love at the end of the ceremony. This festival will be celebrated in other villages of Gojal, as the temperature rises and the earth softens, getting prepared for farming activities.

Pamir News offers a very happy “Shogun Bohor Muborak” to all its readers and prays for collective prosperity, peace, love and harmony.

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  1. Hope all will celebrate with zeal and enthusiasm and its part of our culture to be protected.

  2. lopyor it is a verry good that we can not forget our culture that is good our young generation THANKSSS

  3. Thagam Mubarak to all the readers.

    in order to understand the theme behind this colourful festival. I will appreciate if you could share you views on the question that I pose below:

    Would the Festival be viable and relevent in the future? We all know that our dependency on Agrarian economy is decreasing at a very fast pace. This festival was just a means of welcoming the farming season. Shall we celebrate it even if we do not farm our fields?

    Ali Sarwar
    M.A (economics)

  4. TAHGAM MOBORAK to all wakhzz….

    sarwar bhai the answer for ur question is that we should celebrate this festival even if we do not farm our fields. we didnt have to see either we are cultivating our fiels o not. its a major and important part of our culture. So simoly we have to celebrate it and as Zulfiqar bhai said above that we have to give more attention to such Dying Festivals.

    Irfan Ali Shah

  5. Dear readers,

    I would like to say my warmest congratulation for celebrating of THUGHM festival for all the Wakhi people over there, I am proud and remember that I was in Gulmith last year and participated the thughm Festival there, It was really excellent and enjoyed it.
    in our Afghanistan Wakhan is the same culture we celebrate THUGHM and SHAGUN in the same day,

  6. My customs,my people,and my practices!
    I will be faith ful,faithful to the end
    I m so thankful that heaven chose to send you,and this love will last forever,forever I will be true.
    You are my only and only identity you see,there is just none to compare,
    I will always keep you closer to me,closer to my heart beats,closer to each breath of mine
    You are the one which mesmerizes my soul,gives me an emotional touch,gives me a life long memories
    I will be faithful,faithful to the ned,Im so thankful that heaven chose to send you and this love will last forever
    Aslam Ghalib
    Student of Molecular Genetics,Lahore

  7. Qush petr qush stekh-em wozomd
    ‘Ishkoshum-ey barkat-em wozomed, Bakht-e-doulat-em wozemed.
    Pur jow Pur gadum pur ghula’
    Shogun-e-Bahor Mubarak

  8. Dear Asghar Saheeb,

    Thanks for that you mentioned a great expression of our region, here is a small wakhi poetry of my father, I present it to you and others wakhi people as shogun’s gift please accept it

    Waqte bahar ke vetu suprugh qutar vetu
    jant e yar vetu puzov bedar vetu

    Xekun baf baf jawnan xuyut vurot farawan
    zoqi jayak yavur jan kerdegar yav nega ban

    Yum Zu zek e xikwar salam xanmush savur yar
    Wuzm kuxtur sazgar bam e dunya gulazar

    Waqte bahar ke vetu suprugh qutar vetu
    jant e yar vetu puzov bedar vetu

  9. Shogun Taghm Muborak

    Are we going to to be lost in the material world in pursuit of our jobs and professions…..NO, never, we can’t and should never think of letting our ancient festivals die out because maney of us think that we are no more agrarians. I strongly disagree with Sarwar. We should celebrate every folk festivals where ever we are by sharing and congratulating each other, what ever and who ever we are. The centuries old treditions should be kept alive at all costs otherwise we will disappear in the crowded cities and our comming generations will be left to read their traditional festivals in story books only.

    Sher Karim

  10. Shogun-e-bahar mubarak to every one. I wish I was in Pakistan, I could have enjoyed it.

  11. Tagam mubarak to all!!!
    Hope ya all celebrated with great zeal.
    I wanted to add a point related to TAGHAM FESTIVAL not mentioned above and I think we should not forget that. Male children are introduced to their parents KESB, farming. The activity known as SKE SPUNDAR KHAK. I think its important to be rememberd coz when we all talk about keeping alive our culture , values tradition….. and the profession of our parents is also part of our tradation… we need to remember it no matter how much development has occured and whether we are in that profession yet or not…

  12. Mehboob bhai,
    You are talking about if you were in pakistan,You would have really enjoyed but what about all of us who are in Pakistan but having no opportunity to participate in these mutuals which are really rare and cherishable.
    Let’s wait for the time to come,as might get many many opportunities to participate in such gleeful moments and to overcome the thirst that has increased many folds coz of being away from the village for many many years.
    We will not leave even a single stone unturned to keeping alive and preseving the great values and cultural practices of our ancestors.A source of inspiration,a source of great contentment and moreover a source of internal happiness.
    Our culture is the best,our rituals are the best ,our mutuals are the best and at last wish you all the best.
    Ghalib ,Lahore(tem gna bay taba,ta gna bay taba)

  13. that was a nice slap for all of us Nasira! none of us rememberd the most important segment. I think we have really become very ‘highly educated’ and this is one of the indicators; talking too much about culture but actualy forgetting them one by one. thaks for reminding us all.

  14. Thagam is a very beautiful rasam in our rich culture it should solemnize with zeal and zest then we can strengthen and promote it to our young generations .

  15. We ought to preserve our culture at any cost and this is the responsibility of youth to educate others .

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