Nowruz Festival in Gulghundi of Parwan Province: Taliban Virtue Promoters Instruct the Visitors for Islamic Celebration of the Festival

Afghanistan is a country with tremendous sightseeing places. One of them is Gulghundi Hill, which is one of the spring promenades in Afghanistan, located in Charikar city, the capital of Parwan province. Gulghundi Hill is also known as Purple Hill which used to host thousands of visitors from various provinces on Nowruz in previous years, but this year compared to other years, the Hill is almost empty. A number of citizens from neighboring Parwan provinces visited the sight on the first day of Nowruz. They consider economic challenges as one of the main reasons behind low visitors to the sight.

“In contrast to other years that women used to co-celebrate the event; this year, the Taliban have defined specific areas for women and they are restricted to those pre-designated places to roam. In addition, Taliban Ministry of Virtue Workers is roaming around and closely monitoring the visitors and instructing them to celebrate the festival in accordance with Islamic values and morals.” Two visitors, Nader Shah and Esmatullah from Kabul expressed their experience of visiting the hill this year.

In addition, the low number of visitors has negatively affected the flow of businesses around the sight. Abdul Jamil Amini, a local shopkeeper in Gulghundi, expresses as being unsatisfied with the market and sales this year in comparison to previous years.

Gulghundi Hill is one of the scenic and recreational sights that is full of flowers during the spring season. National Purple Flower Festival is one of the traditional festivals that people celebrate there. The festival used to be celebrated with the participation of government officials, poets, writers, and visiting guests from across the country.

This year with the emergence of Taliban rebels, Nowruz festival celebrations have lost color as a result of the restrictions imposed by Taliban. Though Taliban in Parwan has ensured preparation for the celebration of the festival, which is supposed to be celebrated next week, no one is sure if that really is going to happen.