Chillia-Kalan reignined in Kashmir, 40-day frosty inclemency- stretch is about 1000 years old

wilayattimes (Jammu and Kashmir)

Chillia-Kalan dates back the history of one thousand years when Kashmir traditionally welcomed it and used to say inside their homes during the stretch of 40 days .

Kashmir is known as the Iran-E-Sageer as the valley has worthiest and wealthiest cultural legacy of Iran in juxtaposition of Islamic gnosticism political sagas . In Iranian tradition, the night of December 21, the shortest day of the year , is celebrated as Shab-e-Yalda which means the night when Chillia-Kalan is born”

By Aga Syed Amin Mousvi

“The winter solstice today, one of the harshest winter periods of 40 days, called Chillia Kalan, begins in Kashmir. Chillia Kalan is a Persian term which means ‘major cold’. The ongoing cold wave is said to reach its peak with Kashmir’s mountains covered in snow for weeks, and the famous Dal Lake also reaching freezing point until the fag end of January.

According to the valley’s prominent poet and historian Zareef Ahmad Zareef , in the days people would prepared at the earliest to attune at it’s arrival.

Chillia-Kalan dates back the history of one thousand years when Kashmir traditionally welcomed it and used to say inside their homes during the stretch of 40 days .

Iranian cultural impacts on Kashmir are always seen at the index of history Chillia-Kalan has its ancestral legacy from Iran .

Muslim preachers from Iran coined the term Chillia-Kalan which was earlier called Sishashar -Mass by Buddhists living in Kashmir that time .

In Iran the day of 21st December is widely celebrated with the traditional grace to welcome the night called Shab-e-Yalda this is the night when all are waiting for the arrival of Chilia-Kalan

In Kashmir the same night has the same appealing appreciates , here too a 40 days period arrives to mark Chillia-Kalan

Although , now people are much advanced and exposed for the diverse aspects of modern technology solutions to combat against the teeth-rattling and bone-chilling cold but in the ancestral days people were in advance prepared for the harsh winter it is said that they were drying many eatables in the late summers according to Zareef Ahmad Zareef people had an alluring way of drying eatables in a very special space called Wagga in which people dried vegetable , fruits flowers and fishes to be eaten in the harsh 40-days of Chillia-Kalan when the everything comes under bumper snowfall.

People would celebrate this season as they were mostly self-sufficient and were not dependent on anyone like the present society. There were fewer infections, diseases as people would often eat as per the weather conditions Urban people mainly in Srinagar would often visit Harissa shops, Hamams and during nights poets would often narrate their poems in closed rooms. Tea and Kehwa were served in these small parties.

Some rare shops of making palatable Harsisa were famous in the same urban vicinity such as in Aali Kadal , Saraf Kadal, Fateh Kadal the unforgettable aroma still persists in the nature of memories with the green gusto and relish.

Zareef’s nostalgia about the snow in Kashmir flushes back to days when Kashmir remained under snow for couple of months together , according to him snow would accumulate up to two storeys. People from Dal interiors would come and remove snow from rooftops

Zareef said the architecture of houses back then was much more suitable to face the harsh winter period. “Kangri ( firepot) and Hamaams were the main sources of warmth during the winters. People in the upper reaches would burn the firewood in their mud huts,” he said.

“Now the situation has changed and modern gadgets have replaced traditional Kangri and other heating systems. History of Chillai Kalan has now remained a folk tale for our new generation,” he added.

The 40-day ‘Chillai Kalan’ is followed by 20-day-long ‘Chillai Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai Bacha’ (baby cold) which witnessed rise in day temperatures.

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