“Mayfung” festival of lights and fire is underway across Baltistan

The people of Baltistan division begin celebrating the Mayfung festival (in Balti language Mayfung means festivity of waving fire and light at night) on the night of Dec 21, to mark the end of the longest night of the year.
People holding torches made of wood dance on traditional music, lit bonfires and distribute traditional dishes among participants of the event.
The Jashn-i-Mafung events are being organised in Shigar, Ghanche and Kharmang districts of Baltistan. The main event of the festival was held at Yadgar-i-Shuhda in Skardu on Saturday.
Candles were also lighted at rooftops of houses in nearby areas.There are various interpretations and views surrounding the festival.
According to one myth, the festival is held to celebrate the death of a cannibal king.
The festival had been celebrated in the area since decades. According to his elders, he said the festival dated back to pre-Islamic history, and its basic aim was to celebrate the end of the longest night of winter and welcome the New Year. He said there was a conception that the event helped locals avoid misfortunes.
People in the Baltistan region celebrate the event amid harsh weather with temperatures plunging to as low as minuses 15 degree Celsius.
The Skardu city was lighted with candles and bonfires and people also waved torches in their hands

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