‘Chillai Kalan’ Begins in Jammu and Kashmir

What Kashmiris do in Chillai Kalan?

Wear Pheran

Kashmiris put on traditional pheran (long woolen gown both for males and females) to protect from cold.

Light Kangri

Kangri is a traditional earthen firepot used to keep warm and ward off the cold. Despite having different avenues of heating, Kangri, in which coal is used, is most reliable. It keeps a person warm for the day. The coal is replaced every morning.

Kangri and Pheran go together. Either of the two is useless without each other.

Eat Dry Vegetable

Dried vegetables are frequently consumed by Kashmiris as most of the time, fresh supplies go scarce due to road blockage from heavy snowfall. The land used for agriculture also remains under snow so Kashmiris stock the vegetables left to dry for months during summers and consume them in the winter.


Celebrating Chillai Kalan with sumptuous Harissa is a quintessential part of Kashmiri tradition.

Harissa is served early in the morning during the winter season in Kashmir. People believe harissa keeps them warm and helps to protect themselves from the spine chilling cold.

(Faisal Malik is an independent journalist based in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir)

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