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The ancient ‘SHAAP” festival celebrated in Gilgit

“Shaap” – a traditional ritual and a peculiar event of Shina Community, was celebrated in winter after slaughtering Nasalo (Traditional ritual of slaughtering animals to dry meat for the whole winter). The old Gilgit city was comprised of eleven villages that are called Kot, and the eleven Kots were divided into two sectors that was called Phari. Every Kot had its Trangpha, (Namberdar) and Zetú (Helper of Namberdar). People from all Kots celebrated Shaap in their Kot on different nights and finally they celebrated Thal Shaap (Grand Shaap) jointly.

After it they gathered in Kot Mohla Gilgit for Brangsa (Feast). All shaap groups from eleven Kot came there to attend the feast. There was a competition of Phali Gaaye (crambo) held between two sectors, the spectators mentally as well as physically involved in the competition and supported the crambo player of their respective sectors. Unfortunately, many a time the feast would end with a quarrel of the groups of opposite sectors. But those quarrels did not result in killings and murders, because the rivals did not have any concern to decode their symbolic prestige or identity”. Shaap was a great source and space of social interaction among the people of Gilgit city. Many other cultural events were also held which were the sources of social interaction. (Reference: Sectarianism as an Institution in Gilgit-Baltistan, Israruddin Israr, Pamir Times, Jul 29, 2013)

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