Kashmiris celebrate warm pheran to beat freezing 40 days of Chillai Kalan


Tourists take selfies near the Dal Lake as the 40-day harshest winter period Chillai Kalan begins in Srinagar on December 21, 2022.
| Photo Credit: PTI

In a first, the beginning of the 40-day harshest spell of winter, locally called ‘ Chillai Kalan’, was celebrated as ‘Pheran Day’ in the Kashmir Valley, to popularise the loose-and-long woollen gown worn to fight the biting cold as the minimum temperature hovers below sub-zero in Srinagar.

Scores of youths wearing pherans cat-walked near the Ghanta Ghar in Srinagar’s main commercial centre Lal Chowk “to promote wearing of pherans”. “The event is an attempt to showcase our culture. We wanted to convey that the pheran is our identity. We should wear it with pride,” one of the organisers of the event said.

A special ramp show, where scores of youths, including women, participated in the ‘ Pheran Day’, was organised at Srinagar’s Sher-i-Kashmir International Convention Centre by the Army. “This event will send across a message of harmony and peace from J&K,” Nasir Khan, a local, said. 

Hundreds of locals also changed their display pictures on social media platforms to showcase the pheran. Worn for centuries in the Kashmir Valley, the garment easily accommodates a kangri, a fire pot used to keep the body warm.

A cold wave gripped the Valley on the first day of ‘ Chillai Kalan’. According to the India Meteorological Department, the minimum temperature in Srinagar was minus 4.2 degrees Celsius. The tourist favourite of Pahalgam recorded minus 6.2 degree Celsius, while the minimum temperature in Gulmarg was minus 4.6 degree Celsius. 

A dry spell is also adding to the cold wave. Locals are hoping for early snowfall to end the cold spell. Unlike in the past, there has been no spell of snowfall in plains of the Kashmir Valley so far.



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