Kashmir is in a deep freeze as the 40-day harshest spell of winter, locally called ‘chillai kalan’, started on December 21, 2021, with the minimum temperature already sub-zero in the entire Valley.
- Chillai Kalan or Chillia Kalan is a Persian word which literally means forty days of intense cold.
- It is the local name given to 40 day period of harsh winter in Kashmir.
- It is the coldest part of winter, starting from 21 December to January 29 every year.
- Chillai-Kalan is followed by 20-day long Chillai Khurd (small cold) that occurs between January 30 and February 18 and a 10-days long Chillai Bachha (baby cold) which is from February 19 to February 28.
- Impact of Chillai Kalan on daily life of Kashmiris: Use of Pheran (Kashmiri dress) and a traditional firing pot called Kanger increases.
- Due to subzero temperature, tap water pipelines freeze partially during this period and world-famous Dal Lake also freezes.