Nir Rosen reports from the front:

In the darkness, we roll into the village of Nughi. We no longer have cellphone reception; the Taliban shut down the phone towers after sunset, when they stop for the night, to prevent U.S. surveillance from pinpointing their position. It is the holiday of Shaab eh Barat, when Muslims believe God determines a person's destiny for the coming year. Young boys from the village gather to swing balls of fire attached to wires. Like orange stars, hundreds of fiery circles glow far into the distance. The practice is haram one of many traditions banned by the Taliban, who consider it forbidden under Islam. The fact that it is being tolerated is the first indication I have that the Taliban are not as doctrinaire as they were during their seven years of rule.

(Hat tip: Danger Room)

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