Nowruz (literally translated New Day) is one of the oldest celebrations in ancient Persia, which is held vigorously in the first day of spring marking the beginning of the Iranian calendar (21 March). Nowruz festivities celebrate the beginning of rebirth of nature and lasts for 13 consecutive days. Celebrated by millions of people in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikstan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Turkey, Nowruz is inscribed on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List. The first universal festival of Nowruz was held in 2010 (March 27), in Tehran and the city introduced as the "Nowruz Secretariat". Nowruz includes the official holidays in some countries and in Iran the first four days are considered the official holidays but it continues to the 13th day in some organizations. Nowruz is celebrated practicing certain rituals such as spring cleaning, sprouting wheat or mung beans, buying new clothes, cooking local foods and baking sweets. Families usually gather around the Haft-Seen table to celebrate the precise moment the Earth finished its annual journey around the Sun to celebrate the first day of spring. The Haft-Seen table contains seven edible items that their names begin with a letter in the Persian alphabet which is equivalent to “S” in English. It usually includes Seeb (apple), Sabze (green sprouts), Serke (vinegar), Samanoo (a delicacy made from wheat sprouts), Senjed (the dried fruit of the oleaster tree), Sumac, and Seer (garlic). You may see a holy book, mirror (sign of sincerity), gold fish (sign of livelihood), candles (sign of light and bright), decorated eggs (sign of rebirth), and Divan-e Hafez on the table. Sabzi Polo with fried fish is served as the main course of most of Iranian families on Nowruz day.
Milions of Iranian spend outdoors on the final day of celebrations for the New Year holidays. The term Sizdah Bedar literally means “out with the thirteenth”. To Iranians, the number “13” symbolizes evil and bad luck. The annual “Sizdah Bedar” picnic is based on an ancient Iranian tradition that encourages people to avoid any ill omens at home by going outdoors on the 13th day of the new year. This day inaugurates a happy New Year. In Iranian tradition, the first 12 days of the new year symbolize order in the world and in people’s lives. The 13th day marks the return to ordinary daily life. In one of the traditions, young ladies tie together blades of grass in hope of finding their ideal husbands. The gesture represents the bond between a man and a woman.
On the eve of the last Wednesday of the preceding year, as a prelude to Newruz, the ancient festival of Char-Shanbeh Souri celebrates Atesh (fire) by performing rituals such as jumping over bonfires and lighting off firecrackers and fireworks. The Nowruz celebrations last by the end of the 13th day of the Iranian year (Farvardin 13, usually coincided with April 1 or 2), celebrating the festival of Sizdah-bedar, during which the people traditionally go outdoors to picnic. The Festival of Fire sees bonfires sprouting up in various public areas and parks. People jump over the burning cinders and shout, “Give me your red color and take back sickly pallor” which is a purification ritual. Many Iranians believe their ancestors spirits visit during the last few days of the year.
Yalda, another nationally celebrated ancient tradition, commemorates the ancient goddess Mithra and marks the longest night of the year on the eve of the winter solstice (December 20 or 21), during which families gather together to recite poetry and eat fruits particularly the red fruits watermelon and pomegranate, as well as mixed nuts.
This feast would be celebrated for 6 days, starting on the 16th of Month Mehr. The oldest historical record about Mehregan goes back to the Achaemenian times. The Historian, Strabon (66-24 BC) has mentioned that the Armenian Satrap (governor) presented the Achaemenian king with 20000 horses at the Mehregan celebrations. The festival prayers are performed by the Mo’bads (priests) and gifts such as pure oil for the sanctuary lamps, candles and incense are presented to the local shrines. Esphand local popular incense is burnt and sweet smelling flowers and herbs are dedicated to the temples. Contrary to the ancient times, there is no rigidly prescribed pattern of behavior for approaching the shrines, but many still touch the doorsill before entering in a graceful gesture of obeisance, while uttering prayers and invocations. Iranian Muslims still follow the same procedure once approaching a mosque. For the ancient Iranians Mehr symbolized truthfulness, bravery and courage. These attributes were re-enforced and venerated through prayers, rituals, feasts, celebrations and acts of charity. Though most modern Iranian have heard about Mehregan, but unlike Nowrouz it is not celebrated by all and is mainly regarded as a Zoroastrain festival. In the recent years there has been a revival of this joyful and merry occasion both in Iran and outside and more Iranians are participating in this festival. Also since, school year starts on 1st of the Persian month Mehr, on about 23 September, in Iran, Mehregan is celebrated as a time to rejoice learning and knowledge to make the festival more acceptable with the Islamic authorities.
Sadeh meaning hundred, is a mid-winter festival in Iran. It is a festivity to honot fire and to defeat the forces of darkness, frost and cold. It is celebration marked the hundred day and nights (50 days and 50 nights) before the Nowrouz and the hundredth day after the summer. This day coincides with 10th of Bahman in present calendar. The ceremony starts with huge bon fires. People would dance around die fires. The most elaborate report of the celebration comes from the 10th century during the reign of Mardavij Zeyari, the ruler of Isfahan. From Iranian origin the Zeyari family did their best to keep the old traditions alive. Huge bon fires were set up on both sides of the Zayandeh Roud, the main river dividing the city. The fires were contained in specially build metal holders to maintain control. Hundreds of birds were released while carrying little fireballs to light the sky. There were fireworks, clowns, dance and music with lavish feasts of roasted lamb, beef chicken and other delicacies. Today, Sadeh is mainly celebrated on 10th of Rahman.
The day of Ashura is marked by Muslims as a whole, but lor Shia Muslims it is a major religious commemoration of the martyrdom at Karbala of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. It falls on the 10th of Muharnim. the first month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is marked by Muslims with a voluntary day of fasting which commemorates the day Noah lei) the Ark. and the day that Moses was saved from the Egyptians by God. For Shia Muslims, Ashura is a solemn day of mourning the martyrdom of Hussein in 680 A at Karbala in modern-day Iraq. It is marked with mourning rituals and passion plays re-enacting the martyrdom. Shia men and women dressed in black also parade through the streets slapping their chests and chan
To commemorate the martyrdom of one the descendants of the 5th Imam of Shiite Twelvers, people around Ardehal and Kashan perform a special ceremony once a year. It includes washing the carpet of his mausoleum in the spring nearby to commemorate the event during which the dead body was wrapped in a carpet and later the carpet was washed there. During the ceremony, people also damn his enemies who murdered him and wave clubs up in the air to show their feeling of hatred toward his enemies. The feast includes going on picnic, shopping, etc. But it is a very unique feast because of its peculiar ceremonies.
Iran is an Islamic country owes its Islamic dimensions to the great revolution, known as the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1977 (1357 SH), which done by huge crowd participation of the public, Islamic characters, clerics, students, merchants, opposing political parties, intellectuals and etc., who expressed their dissatisfaction with the situation of the Imperial regime in many different ways as clashes, general strikes, street demonstrations and protests, from a long time ago. The main root of Islamic Republic of Iran can be found in the 1953 coup (known in Iran as 28 Mordad coup) and its concurrent events; the cause of developing the Islamic movement can be counted as follows: absolute attachment to the West, specially to US, kings not authorized to make important decisions, corrupt and irreligious kings who tried to deceive the young, ignorance of the people's vote, confrontation with liberalism, pervasiveness of oppression and injustice supported by the government, scientific, industrial undeveloped and the lack of amenities. Following this anti-royal revolution on February 11th (22nd of Bahman), the struggle of the Muslim people finally worked to the fore and the kingdom of Iran was overthrown and the setting for the coming of the Islamic Republic under the leadership of the Shiite cleric, Seyyed Rouhollah Khomeini, was provided.The 10 days between February 1st (Bahman 12th) and February 11th (Bahman 22nd) of 1977 (1357) are called Fajr Decade
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (sawm) to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. For Muslims, Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in the hadiths.
Bara'a Night or Mid-Sha'ban is a holiday observed by Muslim communities on the night between 14 and 15 Sha'ban. It is regarded as a night when the fortunes of individuals for the coming year are decided and when Allah may forgive sinners. In many regions, this is also a night when prayers are arranged for forgiveness from Allah for one's deceased ancestors. Additionally, Twelver Shia Muslims commemorate the birthday of Muhammad al-Mahdi on this date. Salafi streams oppose the recognition of Mid-Sha'ban as exceptional for prayer.
Uraman Takht had been a rural region, in the past, with an extraordinary and astonishing nature along with a particular architectural style in which a house's roof is the other house's courtyard. Holding many various rituals in this region led Uraman Takht to be considered a main part of Ancient Iranian culture which has been inscribed as one of the main tourism poles of Iran. The old ceremony of Pir-e Shaliyar, known also as "Pir-e Shaliyar Wedding" among locals, is a spiritual event of several thousand years history which is held two times in a year during three consecutive days. The Urami Pir-e Shaliyar (OR Pir-e Shahriar), the saint of Sufis, is a highly respectable character among the Naqshbandy darvishes. According to a native legend, he was a physician with supernatural wonders (keramat) who cured the Bokhara King's daughter, Shah Bahaar Khatoon, and they got married after her healing. With this regard, the 45th day of spring, in the first half of the Ordibehesht, is celebrated with some special rituals on the occasion of Pir-e Shaliyar and the Princess wedding anniversary. The 45th day of the winter, i.e., the close Wednesday to the half of Bahman) is also celebrated for their son's birthday. The proper day for holding the event is determined by its certain trustee. The ceremony begins in Tuesday with distribution of walnuts of waqf trees by children among Uraman locals and surrounding villages and then receiving some fruits and sweets instead of the given walnuts, all of which are known to be the "Kelav Rochneh" rite, the ceremony may continue to the next morning after the Adan. The participants' duty is in the Wednesday morning to sacrifice animals like cow, sheep and goat. The victim meats are distributed among locals and they cook a symbolic food named "vloshin". Darvishes and men dressed in their local cloths start to dance in a circle in front of the Shaliyar house; some plays daf and some others sing the traditional Kurdish songs and the group repeats some certain spiritual hymns. The number of dancers is continuously increased in each turn. When excitement reached its peak, darvishes are separated from the main group, start their own particular faster dance, i.e., Sama', at the center of the main circle and their faces are obviously recognizable by their long hairs. The ceremony continues in Thursday morning in the form of a more private rite than in the previous days in which darvishes gather around the Pir-e Shalyar tomb and they perform dance, Sama', and play daf; the event will be more public in the afternoon after the beginning of dance.
A musical festival held before Nowruz for 6 days in some alleys in Bushehr, Iran. There are different regional music performing in the festival including Bushehri, Khozestani, Azarbaijani, Afghani, Lori, Arabi, and etc. The purpose of the festival is the be a part of people everyday life by performing unique and simple musical pieces to separate people’s mind from routine everyday sounds.