Gilgit-Baltistan is a beautiful region located in the northern part of Pakistan, known for its natural beauty, and is a popular destination for tourists. Some of the popular tourist attractions in Gilgit-Baltistan include the Karakoram Highway, which is the highest paved international road in the world, and the Hunza Valley, which is known for its breathtaking views. Other popular tourist attractions include the Naltar Valley, which is home to a ski resort, and the Deosai National Park.
Winter Sports & Festivals 2023
This winter, the Tourism and Culture Department of GB has organized special events and festivals promoting tourism and bringing back the old traditional games played by the locals all over Gilgit-Baltistan. They have also included the adventure sports like ice hockey and ice skating as they attracted a lot of foreign tourists last year.
1. Shyok Winter Festival
The ice hockey championship tournament will be held in Ghanche “City Park Khaplu”, starting from 7th January to 9th January. There will be music, food, Jashn-e-Mafang, and more.
Some interesting traditional festivals and local games are Ko polo, Jashn-e-Mafang, and more.
2. Rgun Festival
Rgun festival is going to take place in the Skardu district. Multiple events and sports have been organized. Here’s the schedule of the events
|2nd Commissioner’s Ice Hockey
|10th - 12th January
|Mayfang, Cultural Night & Exhibition
|12th January (Evening)
|2nd Indus Off-Road Rally
|24th - 25th January
Here’s a little detail about a few events happening.
‘Ko’ in Kopolo is derived from the Balti language ‘Koa’, which means leather, so Ko Polo translates to “game of leather ball”. It is a game similar to hockey, but the rules are not as strict. Along with the hockey stick, you can also use your whole body to get the ball.
Source: Pamir Times
Intriguing, right? You can easily join them, go and book your trip to Gilgit-Baltistan starting from 6th January to 14th January 2023.
Jashn-e-Mayfang is an ancient festival that most likely came from Buddhism or maybe before that. May means ‘fire’ and fang means ‘to throw’, so may fang means “to throw fire”. The history of this festival also goes back to the Tibetan culture when the Buddhists inhabited the whole region of Baltistan. The activities are extremely thrilling and include fire dance, sword dance, singing local & national songs, and launching lanterns in the air.
Jashn-e-Dafang is also an age-old archery festival that is held in Shigar Valley.
Another competition involves riding a "Zakh" across the river Indus, which is known as the Zakh festival. Fun fact; Local boats in the GB are known as "Zach."
Source: Trango Travel
Book your trip to GB and participate in the Mayfang festival and have the time of your life.
You must go and experience these traditions, and cultural festivals, and participate in these adventurous sports. Check out this Tour to Hunza & Skardu which is starting from 13 Jan to 21st January 2023.
3. Sevendays Winter Feast in Hunza
Adventure sports like ice hockey and ice skating are being held in Attabad lake, upper Hunza.
Many activities such as Shaap which is a theatre production honouring the winter solstice. Another interesting feature is the exhibition of the Silk Route Caravan. Furthermore, Trophy Hunting, Cultural shows, and Mayfung are integral activities. Folklores are going to be narrated to children by aged people adding mystery and charm to the night.
Traditional sports include Baasra and Pindoka. Baasra is a game in which players stand on one leg and hit other players with their bodies to tumble them to the ground. Pindok is a game similar to the hacky sack game, involving kicking a soft ball and keeping it off the ground while standing on one leg, and if it drops you are out.
Nowadays GB is filled with music, old festivities & celebrations of their ancient customs, winter & traditional sports, and several enjoyable activities for everyone to participate in and celebrate this winter. So let us go to Gilgit-Baltistan and have a good time!