Iran Traditional ceremonies

There are many cultural and Iran Traditional ceremonies in Iran. These attractions absorb a lot of fans in Iran every year. But unfortunately due to the lack of information, these cultural and traditional ceremonies could not have been well-introduced to the foreign tourists. In this article we try to provide information about some of the best types these attraction to the enthusiasts.

Panjeh; A ceremony from ancient times

Iran traditional ceremonies

Panjeh; A ceremony from ancient times

This ceremony that is held in the last five days of the year (Panjeh) is held in the Zoroastrian village of Kalantar that is located in Yazd Province.

The Zoroastrian people of Yazd in Kalarehr Village have informative ideas about the history of this ritual:

In the not-so-distant years, all people were celebrating and were happy in all the Zoroastrian villages of Yazd and they performed this ceremony for five days and nights. After that because of an old tradition, they set fires on their roofs in the morning of the fifth day and performed the morning rituals with each other.

During these five days, they used special food to honor the dead people that included seven types of dried fruit (Lerk) and beverages, juice and halva, sugar and rice, and greenery from seven different seeds and other appliances.

The existential philosophy of these five days is based on the fact that Iranians had selected different names for all thirty days of the month in the old days, and as a result, the days of the month were divided into thirty days with different names. If we multiply 12 months in this thirty days, we get 360, which is five days less than the number of days in one year. That’s why these five days have been called the Last Days of the year.

After the defeat of the Sasanians, the Zoroastrians lost their Panjeh and Norouz was transmitted to the summer, which is still traditionally held between the summer and the last days of July. During this day, and according to the Zoroastrian ritual, there will be ceremonies to honor dead people. On the last day of the ceremony, the clergyman raises a green plant to honor dead people and also prays for their happiness. during this time attendants accompany the clergy man by raising their right hand finger. In addition, the clergyman bring the participants to the ceremony by turning the fire. Zoroastrians cover their heads at religious ceremonies to prevent hair loss.

At the end of the ceremony, at dawn on July 28, the fire on the roof lights up and it create a special atmosphere for the people existing there. That’s one of the most important Iran Traditional ceremonies.

After the dawn, the villagers will move the fire from the roofs to the fire temple of the village.

Farvardingan: In the morning of Farvardin (in April) to wish the happiness for the dead people

Iran Traditional ceremonies

Farvardingan ceremony

Farvardingan’s tradition is held in Farvardin is one of the Iran traditional ceremonies (April) with many Zoroastrians supporters present in the Zoroastrian tomb of Yazd. This ceremony will be held on the month of Farvardin for the happiness and joy of the deceased.

In this ritual, the Zoroastrians visit the graves of their dead relatives, and light candles there. After reading the Avesta, they distribute Flower, Plant, Fruit, and Dried fruits, including pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, Peach leaves, anise, raisins, dried figs, dates, and berries to the people there.

Families who have lost members since last year, spread a tablecloth and read Avesta on that person’s tomb.

With initiative of members of the Religious Association, Farvardingan Celebration is hold in Yazd’s Tomb since 1985 every year. It is held publicly on the eve of the 19th of Farvardin.

According to The Zoroastrianism, the nineteenth day of every month is called Farvardin.  Meaning “Forohar” and the month of Farvardin is the month of Forohar.

Qali Shoyan (Rug Washing ceremony) in Mashhad Ardehal

Iran traditional ceremonies

Rug Washing ceremony

42 km from Kashan and on the second Friday of October, Mashhad Ardehal hosts the only religious ceremony based on the solar calendar. The ritual of Qali Shoyan (Rug Washing) is a ceremony in honor of Sultan Ali (Imam Zadeh Ali ibn Muhammad Baqir). A person who is a sacred person to the people of Kashan and Finn. Traditions say that when Sultan Ali was martyred the Finns, while covering his body in a carpet, brought him to Tehran to wash and eventually bury.

This religion ceremony was registered by the UNESCO World Heritage Organization in 2012 as the intangible heritage of Iran. Today this ritual contains a kind of libertarian message that has been tied to the religious beliefs of the people of this region and has increased the spiritual burden of the ceremony.

For the Iranian audience, this ceremony may be very similar to the Ashura Husseini, but there are points that can be added to its value. On the morning of the ceremony, the people are present at the tomb, and they will splash rose water on the rug. After finishing the ceremony, they will deliver it to the Fin residents who are waiting outside the tomb. The people of Fin wash the carpet in the water and move with wickets that are elegantly cut and decorated. Then the carpet is returned to the tomb. Observing this ceremony undoubtedly can create unforgettable memories and a sensual sense of pleasure in the audience. That’s one of the religious Iran traditional ceremonies.

Nakhl Gardani

Iran traditional ceremonies

Nakhl Gardani

“Nakhl Gardani” is one of the mourning ceremonies in Iran, which is being implemented in large parts of this country and influenced by the cultural and climatic conditions of those regions. This tradition is celebrated on the day of Ashura with the concept of the funeral of Seyyed Al-Shohada (Imam Hussein).

The Shiites of the world, in particular the Shiites of Iran, during the religious mourning ceremonies design boxes, and devices in the form of a coffin,  gravestone,  palm, etc. and circulate them around the city as the martyrs’ coffin.

Circulating the coffins in any form around the city is a symbol of mourning and a way to respect the holy shrine of Ahl Al-Bayt and deceased people. That’s one of the religious Iran traditional ceremonies.

Yalda night

Yalda Celebration or Chelleh Celebration is celebrated in the very last night of autumn (December 21st), which is the longest night of the year with great enthusiasm.

Yalda’s celebration is rooted in an ancient times and has been long celebrated in Iran, then held in many Asian and European countries. Happiness, family gathering and eating fruits such as watermelon, pomegranate and dried fruits are among the special ceremonies of Yalda night.

In the past millennia, people who lived in nature regulated their day-to-day activities on the basis of these natural phenomena and their transformations, and benefited from them abundantly. They observed these phenomenon by looking at the sun and the moon and stars, and experiencing the natural changes of the seasons and the abundance of day and night. Hence, the vitality of these natural phenomena was praised and they considered them the manifestation of the existence of God. That’s one of the national Iran traditional ceremonies.

Bil Gardani (shovel circulating) ceremony

Iran traditional ceremonies

shovel circulating ceremony

Bil Gardani ceremony that is hold in Nimvar district of Mahallat is a celebration of ancient time which is closely linked to agriculture and the irrigation time of the farms in this fertile region, and is considered as a sign of human containment of nature. The establishment of the city of Nimvar dates back to the Sassanid and Ashkanians time. With an ancient history, this city has interesting and spectacular customs that are held throughout the year; among them are the customs of the Dredging Ghamrud River and Bil Gardani ceremony.

The harvesting date is at the beginning of the farming time in the spring, and a group of farmer men are engaged in the dredging of the Ghamrud Creek. This dredging operation lasts up to a month, and when the creek water reaches its first branch that is called Vargo among the local people, they hold a traditional celebration that is a relic of the heroic traditions. This ceremony, which is called Bil Gardani is in the main square of Nimvar and is registered in 2007 as the spiritual heritage of the country.

This ritual, which is nearly 2000 years old, is a symbol of thanks to Anahita, the goddess of water that has survived since Zoroastrian times. In addition to its relation to water and irrigation, it also signified the power of Iranian heroes to the enemies. People of Nimvar believe that this ritual will help the irrigation and harvesting. That’s one of the national Iran traditional ceremonies.

Coffee ceremony: a ceremony for welcoming guests in southern Iran

Iran traditional ceremonies

ceremony for welcoming guests in southern Iran

This ceremony is from the attractions of Arab population in southern parts of Iran. It is a symbol of hospitality of people of Khuzestan, where you can avoid the busy life of the city and enjoy the warm and simple Arabian life of the South, and also taste the special coffee of south at their ancient ceremony. These ceremonies are held in special guesthouses that are called Mazif. You can find one of the Mazif in Shadghan that was built by the municipality. Due to the lack of care, this place needs renovation again. These guesthouses have a special respect for the Arab people of Iran. For this reason, these hosts are very concerned about the customs and their traditions including the unique coffee specialties.

The Arabic Mazif dates back to the Sumerian times. In the old days, every region had one of these guesthouses that warmly welcomed the arrival of the guest. But over time, the number of these places became less and less. So far, there are only two Mazifs left in the south of Iran. One of them was built in Shadegan by the municipality in one of the city’s parks, but because of its negligence, it lost its unique appearance and another one was built in the village of Bardia. That’s one of the Iran traditional ceremonies.

Nowruz Sayadi (Nowroz Fishing)

Iran traditional ceremonies

Nowruz Fishing

The fishermen of Qeshm Island call last day of July of each year Nowruz, which is the first day of the real heat season. In Nowruz Sayadi, none of the fishermen catches any fish and other aquatic organisms and refuse to eat any kind of sea made food.

The mythologists and scholars believed that the root and origin of this ceremony is related to cultivation and finally to urbanization. This belief, of course, is quite acceptable because human beings have been and will be in need of farming and animal, and throughout history all human behavior has been shaped around these issues. That’s one of the national Iran traditional ceremonies.

Chaharshanbeh Souri celebration

Chaharshanbeh Souri Celebration is one of the ancient and national celebrations of Iran that is held in all corners of this country with special ceremonies. This ceremony that is also known as the last Wednesday of the year has its own rituals and customs, nevertheless there is little difference in the different parts of Iran.

“Sur” in Persian means red, or rosy, it has also a couple of other meanings. But most scholars believe that here it means red. Although we can understand the meaning of the celebration from this word, it can also means setting fire as well. That’s the most important national Iran traditional ceremonies.

Pir Shalyar

Iran traditional ceremonies

Pir Shalyar

The ancient ritual of “Pir Shalyar” is held in the middle of May in the village of Oraman Takht. This ceremony is held in this city every year with a magnificent presence.

The ancient ritual of Pir Shalyar is held every year in the middle of winter and then continues in the mid-spring that coincides with May 18th. This ceremony is the symbol of the active participation of people in various social and cultural events and has a long history in the past.

Nowruz Khani Ceremony

Iran traditional ceremonies

Nowruz Khani Ceremony

“Norouz Khani” is a ceremony that is celebrated 2 or 3 weeks before the Nowruz in the villages and towns of Iran. This celebration provide the good news about the arrival of the spring and the coming of the new year to people.

The “Nooruz Khani” ceremony, which begins on the 1st of March, is being performed in many regions of Iran such as the two sides of the Alborz, Taleghan, Semnan and Mazandaran.

Nowruz Khanan is the group of people that one of them say the poetry, and other one play the music , and the other one sings local songs.

The owner of the house also serves them with donations of money, sweets, walnuts, eggs, peas and raisins. With the arrival of Nowruz Khanan to the villages, local people will accompany them in the alleyways of the streets, and most families will give them money and things.

In addition to the Nowruz Khanan, people who are called Hajifirouz and are wearing a red and black pink cloth and promise the arrival of Nowruz by performing and reading lyrical poems. That’s one of the national Iran traditional ceremonies which is very important.

Kise Dozi (pocket making) Ceremony

Iran traditional ceremonies

pocket making

According to the 500-year-old tradition, Damghan ladies hold the sacred ceremony of Kise Dozi in the central and historic mosque of Damghan. In this ceremony, women sew small colored bags and pockets and put some coins or rice inside them. They hold this bag until 27th of Ramazan months of the next year. Putting money into the bag, they spend the money after the arrival of the next ceremony and they will use money inside it. Ladies who have reached their goals will divide bread and sweet among other women.

Koshti Chuqua (Traditional wrestling)

Chuqua is one of the oldest and most popular local sports in Iran. In addition to maintaining its cultural richness, this kind of wrestling which is rooted back to the northern areas of Khorasan, brings together dozens of audiences and enthusiasts each year. The Chuqua wrestling tournament was held before the mattress was set up in Iran. They usually performed this kind of wrestling at the Khan’s house, at the wedding, on Eid al-Fitr and on the 14th of Farvardin on grass and soft soil. In the past, prizes from the first to third persons were: first person received a horse, second person received a cow or calf, and third person received a goat. That’s one of the national Iran traditional ceremonies.