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Monday, 29 April 2013 11:45

Historical ceremonies of Iran

Since ancient times, Iranians have annually celebrated various occasions with feasts that are not necessarily happy gatherings.

At times, people gather to honor a living or late dignitary or mark an event.

Since ancient times, many feasts are linked to myths or legends as their sources of origin like Norouz, Tirgan, Mehrgan, Yalda and Sadeh, DestinationIran reported.

The most commonly celebrated feasts in Iran are briefly introduced here.


In the evening of the 12th day of the fourth Iranian month (Tir), which coincides with 2nd or 3rd July, people in Mazandaran province celebrate Tirgan.

Tir means arrow and Tirgan refers to the occasion when Arash, the legendary bowman, shot an arrow to indicate the borderline between Iran and Turan.

Arash lost his entire energy and died afterward. The feast includes play performance, poem reading, singing and food preparation.


Pilgrimage to Pir-e Chak-Chak

Pir-e Chak-Chak is a pilgrimage site for Zoroastrians from across the world. They gather at 62 km northeast of Yazd in the heart of a desert once a year on the 21st or 22nd of June.

During their stay there, they go two or three times to the temple with their heads covered. They burn candles, pray, vow, wear special white dresses and bands around their waists. Votive soup and bread are served for everyone in addition to other foodstuff.

It is also a time for renewing ties, entertaining and sprinkling water. Note that water sprinkling is customary in different parts of Iran during Norouz or other feasts.


Pilgrimage to Qara Kelisa

It is a famous ancient church near Makou, West Azerbaijan province, in Iran. Qara Kelisa or Tadeous Church is a pilgrimage site for Armenians who go there in groups or families after mid August each year.

They stay there at least for three days and organize feasting, praying and singing in choir.

The Armenian Christians are a historical ethnic group and Tadeous is said to have been a disciple of Prophet Jesus (PBUH) who was martyred and buried there. Later, this church was built at his burial place.


Carpet Washing in Mashhad-e Ardehal

To commemorate the martyrdom of Sultan Ali, one of the descendants of the 5th Shiite Imam, people around Ardehal and Kashan perform a special ceremony annually.

It includes washing the carpet of his mausoleum in the spring nearby to commemorate the historical event wherein his dead body was wrapped in a carpet and washed there.

During the ceremony, people also condemn his enemies for murdering him and wave clubs up in the air to show their feeling of hatred toward his enemies.

The feast includes serving food to visitors and singing of elegies.

This unique feast, which is attended by thousands of people, is registered on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Heritage in Dec. 2012.

Photo: Carpet Washing in Mashhad-e Ardehal

Source: Iran Daily

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