Festivity and Celebration is an inseparable part of every culture. No matter where in the world you live, there are occasions that you and all your country mates celebrate. Naturally, the course of history, the social and political turmoil, and the natural disasters all influence the outcome of these festivities. They change what people mope over, fight over, laugh over, dance over and die over.
The Iranian with their long history are no exception as well. Iran has a recorded history of over 2500 years. With such long history, it is natural for the country to enjoy variety in rites and ritual. Now, a very significant incident in the history of Iran is the conquering of the country by Arab Muslims. With 200 years of silence after the defeat, Iranian formed a new identity that included both the old tradition and the new religion. This new identity is reflected not only in the new tradition but also in the art, architecture, handicrafts, and in general, the culture of Iranian.
The national and religious festivals
Nowadays, Iranian celebration include both religious ones and national ones. The religious celebration stem from Shiite Islam, while the national ones are remnant of pre-Islamic dynasties of Iran. The most famous National festivals are Nowruz, Yalda, Mehrgan and Sadeh. While, the most famous religious festivals are Eids of Qadir, Qorban, Fetr, and the birthday and revelation of the prophet of Islam. Here we will introduce these festivities very shortly.
National festivities and celebrations
As mentioned part of Iranian festivities date back to the pre-Islamic time. In a way, these celebrations were influenced by religion as well, however, a different one. Zoroastrianism was the state religion of Sassanids and we see their influence in the rituals. From the many festivities of the time, Iranian today only celebrate Yalda and Norwuz. There are also Mehrgan and Sadeh that some still celebrate. Here, we will give the general idea of what the mentioned four celebrations are. Mehrgan is at the beginning of fall dedicated to the Mehr or Mithra, the great ancient god. Sadeh is in the mids of winter celebrating fire and its place in the life of Iranian. Yalda is the first day of winter and the longest night of year. It is a reminder that the light and goodness is always victorious. Last but not the list, we have Nowruz, that is the celebration of new year and the beginning of spring.
Religion festivities and celebrations
These festivities are religious based and from the Shiite sect of Islam. The most important ones, as mentioned, are the birthday of Muhammad (the prophet), the Revelation of Muhammad, the Qorban Eid, the Qadir Eid, and the Fetr Eid. There is also the annual event held in memory of martyrdom of Hossein (third Shiite Imam). Since it is a mourning, we will not discuss here.The birthday and revelation of Muhammad, the prophet, are obvious. Then, we have Qorban Eid or the Sacrificing celebration held as part of Haj process. Both Shiites and Sonnis celebrate it. Next, we have Qadir Eid, that is the celebration of Ali (first Shiite Imam) becoming the next leader. Last, we have Fetr Eid that is the last day of Ramadan. The day that Muslims celebrate one month of resistance to the temptations. These are the national and religious celebration of Iranian. Naturally, each have their own philosophy, tradition and norms. We will give more information about them in our future posts.