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Persian Customs in Meybod Iran

Meybod Customs

Iranian Customs in Meybod Iran

Top 13 Iranian Customs and Traditions in Meybod Iran

The native culture of the people of Meybod, like other regions of Iran, includes ceremonies and beliefs that have continued from the past to the present, passed down from generation to generation, and have beautiful and interesting aspects. The people of Meybod are mostly Muslim with a Zoroastrian minority, and their native customs include both Muslim and Zoroastrian ceremonies. Many travelers visit Meybod during the time of Ashura to witness the recitation of elegies, chest-beating, and mourning ceremonies of the local people. "Tazieh" is one of the most serious performances of the people of Meybod during the month of Muharram. In some parts of Meybod county, such as Hasanabad and the village of Mazrae Kalaantar, Zoroastrian compatriots live. They also have their own special ceremonies on different days of the year, the most important of which are the Sadeh festival, Mehregan festival, and Panjah ceremony.

Persian Customs in Meybod Iran | Sadeh Festival

Persian Culture- Sadeh Festival

Sadeh Festival

On the hundredth day of winter, Iranians celebrate Sadeh. In ancient Iran, the seasons were divided into two periods of seven and five months. The first seven months were summer, and the second five months were winter, starting from the first day of Aban month. From the beginning of Aban month to the tenth of Bahman, one hundred days are passed. On the tenth of Bahman, as the weather gradually becomes warmer, Sadeh celebration is held. Sadeh is accompanied by a fire festival. According to ancient Iranian beliefs, fire is the strongest physical sign of the presence of Ahura Mazda, the one God. Therefore, ancient Iranians held a high position for fire. Near sunset, two young men holding white robes, which are the formal clothing of Zoroastrian priests, whisper and approach the Sadeh fire pit from the right side three times. Then, they ignite the firewood with the flame of the torches, which is brought from the fire temple. The flames of the fire are drawn up to the sky, and the excitement and happiness of the people fill the atmosphere.

Dancing and jumping over the flames in front of the fire

Dancing and jumping over the flames in front of the fire

For Zoroastrians, fire is sacred, and they believe that polluted breaths of humans should not reach the sacred space of fire. Therefore, you will see the priests with masks that they have put on. After hours when the flames die down, people, especially the youth, jump over the flames. It is customary for farmers to take some Sadehashes to their fields as a sign of the end of winter and sprinkle it for good luck and prosperity. Lighting the fire is accompanied by special ceremonies performed by the priests, traditional dances near the fire, group chanting of hymns and prayers to Ahura Mazda, storytelling, and recitation of the Shahnameh, the Persian epic. Sadeh celebration is held annually in Yazd province, in the villages of Mazrae Kalantar, Meybod, and the pilgrimage site of Chak Chak Ardakan.

Persian Customs in Meybod Iran | Mehragan Celebration

Persian Culture- Mehragan Celebration

Mehragan Celebration

Mehragan Celebration, which is the second most ancient celebration of Iranians after Norouz, starts on the 10th of Mehr (the seventh month of the Iranian calendar) and lasts for six days. Ancient Iranians believed that on this day, Kaveh the blacksmith rebelled against the tyrant Zahhak, and with the help of Fereydun, he overthrew him. Since the second millennium BC, the Iranian people have celebrated this day. Zoroastrians in Meybod hold the Mehragan ceremony in the village of Mazrae Kalantar or Chak Chak. During the Mehragan celebration, they spread out a Mehragan table. The table, which is purple, is spread on a fire pit, and various fruits, sweets, and foods are placed on it. They also prepare a special mix of seven kinds of dried nuts, including walnuts, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, chickpeas, dried mulberries, and figs. Another food item on the table is a dish called "Seven-Grain", which is a combination of wheat, rice, barley, chickpeas, lentils, mung beans, and raisins. They also put a bowl of rosewater, water, vinegar, rosemary leaves, purple flowers, and basil leaves on the table.

Mehregan Table

Mehregan Table

They decorate the Mehragan table with a bowl of vinegar, a mirror, esfand (a type of herb), and oud (a type of incense), as well as a blooming flower, which is decorated with branches of cypress or boxthorn. In Meybod, locals have their own customs and traditions for the Mehragan celebration. At the entrance of the fire temple, they welcome the participants with a tray of sweets and a mirror, which is a part of the ancient Iranian rituals. They pour rosewater into their palms, look into the mirror, and then take some sweets and enter the fire temple. Mobeds (Zoroastrian priests) sit next to the Mehregan table and along with the participants, they offer prayers to Ahura Mazda and speak about the greatness of "Eyzad Mehr" and his position among the Zoroastrians. They also recite poems, perform traditional songs, and act out the story of Kaveh the blacksmith from the Shahnameh. At the end of the Mehragan celebration, the guests are served with various foods and sweets, such as nuts, fruits, ash (a type of soup), and Sirok (a type of Zoroastrian bread), all of which have been blessed during the prayer.

Persian Customs in Meybod Iran | Panjeh Ceremony

Persian Culture- Panjeh Ceremony

Panjeh Ceremony

The five-day end-of-year ceremony, known as "Panjeh," is held in the last days of the Iranian month of Tir in the Zarathushti village of Mazrae Kalaantar. In the ancient Iranian calendar, instead of every four years, a "Kabiseh" was added every 120 years, and one month was added to the end of the year. After the fall of the Sassanid Empire, the Zoroastrians lost the Kabiseh, and their New Year's celebration was moved to mid-summer. During the five days of the end-of-year ceremony, Zoroastrian Gahanbars are held to celebrate the departed souls. On the final day of Panjeh, fires are lit on rooftops for joy and announcement. During the Gahanbar ceremony, participants raise green branches to ask for forgiveness for the departed souls, led by a Zoroastrian priest. Participants accompany the priest by raising their right index finger. In addition, the priests lead participants by spinning fire and burning Espand seeds. Collecting thorns and firewood for lighting the rooftop fires is another part of this ceremony to inform people about the start of the new year. After the fires are lit, villagers transfer them to the village's fire temple. This ceremony is still held at the end of the month of Tir.

Persian Customs in Meybod Iran | Annual Zoroastrian Pilgrimage

Persian Culture- Annual Zoroastrian Pilgrimage

Annual Zoroastrian Pilgrimage

Zoroastrians travel from all corners of Iran and even from outside the country to the pilgrimage site of Chak Chak in the days of 24 to 28 Khordad, to perform special ceremonies and engage in prayers. These ceremonies include collective prayer, bringing or baking siruk bread, distributing it among the pilgrims, reciting Avesta, praying to Ahura Mazda, lighting candles, incense and fires, wearing white clothes, singing joyful hymns, cooking sacrificial food, and performing Gahanbar. This magnificent ceremony is known as the Zoroastrian pilgrimage. Zoroastrians gather at this site to honor their departed ancestors and commemorate the good deeds of their predecessors. The Mobed, dressed in white, recites the holy book of the Zoroastrians, the Avesta, with a melodious voice. In their prayers, they remember individuals who stood up for their dignity and honor against their enemies and sought refuge with the help of Ahura Mazda in the mountains.

Persian Customs in Meybod Iran | Nakhl Decoration Ceremony

Persian Culture- Nakhl Decoration Ceremony

Nakhl Decoration Ceremony

The Nakhl is a wooden structure made of a wooden skeleton. Four pieces of wood are used as vertical supports on all four sides, and several pieces of wood are used horizontally to lift it up. Each element used in the Nakhl represents an event related to a person in the event of Karbala. The wooden structure of the Nakhl represents the body of Imam Hussein, and the black cloth covering it represents the black shroud on his body. The swords and spears represent the arrows and spears that were struck into Imam Hussein's body, and the palm tree represents the height of Ali Akbar. The mirror represents the blessed light of Imam Hussein's existence, and the flags that are tied to the Nakhl represent the flag bearer of Imam Hussein. The decorative cloths that are tied to the Nakhl represent the shroud of Hazrat Qasim. The bells that were tied to it in the past represent the caravan bells of Imam Hussein, and the mourners who hold the Nakhl represent the funeral procession. The Nakhl decoration ceremony is held in all Hussainiyas and Tekiyas a few days before the first day of Muharram every year. Nowadays, the decorations that are tied to the Nakhl include wooden swords, shields, mirrors, and wooden palm trees, surrounded by wooden daggers. The tradition of the Nakhl ceremony dates back to the Safavid era in Yazd.

Persian Customs in Meybod Iran | Nakhl Procession Ceremony

Persian Culture- Nakhl Procession Ceremony

Nakhl Procession Ceremony

The Nakhl among the people of Yazd province is a symbol of the coffin of Imam Hussein, and the procession of Nakhl symbolizes the symbolic funeral procession for the martyrs of Karbala. The mourners of Imam Hussein in Yazd have a sincere belief in the practice of Nakhl, to the extent that they make vows to participate in the Nakhl procession and go under the Nakhl, sacrifice their best livestock at the feet of the Nakhl, and some even resort to the Nakhl to fulfill their wishes. When they reach the Nakhl, they greet it and touch their face and body with its branches for blessing. The Nakhl procession is held on the night and afternoon of Ashura, the thirteenth day of Muharram, Arbaeen, and the end of the month of Safar. They rotate the Nakhl around the Hussainiya three or five times, and the sound of drums, tambourines, and trumpet resonates in the Hussainiya. The Nakhl procession ceremony for the Nodoushan and Mehrjerd regions in the Yazd province is registered as an intangible cultural heritage of the country.

Persian Customs in Meybod Iran | Shah Hasan and Shah Hussein Ceremony

Persian Culture- Shah Hasan, Shah Hussein Ceremony

Shah Hasan, Shah Hussein Ceremony

Two days before the beginning of the month of Muharram, a large gathering of men and women clean the alleys leading to the shrine of Seyyed Ghanbar in preparation for the mourning rituals. After the mourners pass through the alleys and gather at the shrine, the men form a circle, holding hands on their waists, and recite the chants of Shah Hasan and Shah Hussein. The Shah Hasan and Shah Hussein ceremony begins simultaneously from the religious groups of different neighborhoods and eventually converge at the shrine of Seyyed Ghanbar. The Shah Hasan ceremony is registered as the most traditional ritual in the first decade of Muharram in the group of customs and social traditions.

Persian Customs in Meybod Iran | Porseh Zani

Persian Culture- Porseh Zani

Porseh Zani

A few days before the month of Muharram, a procession called "Porseh Zani" takes place in some neighborhoods, especially in the Nodushan district. In this event, a group of mourners walk through the alleys and markets, informing people of the upcoming days of Muharram through reciting elegies or group singing and collecting cash donations and vows for holding ceremonies for Imam Hussein (AS). This event is considered as one of the popular local customs, and it is also an opportunity to collect support and donations for Muharram ceremonies and mourning for Imam Hussein (AS). This custom is particularly popular in the Nodushan district, and a large population of mourners participate in this event every year.

Persian Customs in Meybod Iran | Pomegranate Thanksgiving Festival

Persian Culture- Pomegranate Thanksgiving Festival

Pomegranate Thanksgiving Festival

During the pomegranate harvest season in the orchards of Meybod, the Pomegranate Thanksgiving Festival is held in this city. In this festival, a specialized pomegranate workshop is held to familiarize farmers with the latest pomegranate cultivation techniques. Products and derivatives of pomegranate such as pomegranate paste, pomegranate juice, and pomegranate vinegar are offered, and competitions for photography and painting are held. Local folk music is also performed, and rural products and achievements are displayed. On the sidelines of this festival, a handicraft and local souvenir exhibition is held in Meybod.

Persian Customs in Meybod Iran | Jug Divination

Persian Culture- Jug Divination

Jug Divination

The traditional ceremony of Jug Divination, which used to be an integral part of regular gatherings and national celebrations among women in the past, is still held in some regions of Meybod. A young girl fills a jug with water and turns it among the women, and each of them throws her hair clip or her shoulder into the jug as a symbolic wish. They take the jug to a house that has a myrtle tree and leave it there for a day along with a small piece of green cloth and a small mirror under the tree. The next day, the same girl, dressed in clean and beautiful clothes, picks up the jug from under the tree, and the women gather around the jug in the same house to take turns divining their fortunes. The fortune-telling ceremony is accompanied by reciting poems related to this tradition. Meanwhile, the girl reaches inside the jug and brings out something. With the appearance of each object, its owner should interpret their wish according to the poem being recited. Until the end of the ceremony, all the objects are brought out. If the meaning of the poem is good, it indicates that the owner of the fortune has good intentions and will reach their goal. However, if the meaning of the poem is not appropriate, it indicates bad intentions and failure to reach the goal. This tradition was mostly common among the ancient Iranians.

Zoroastrian Customs in Meybod Iran | Hiromba

Zoroastrian Culture- Hirombā


Hiromba is a ceremony similar to the Sadeh festival that is held annually in the village of Sharifabad in Ardekan. This celebration is held in the last week of Farvardin, regardless of leap years. The Zoroastrians of Sharifabad go to the Pir-e Herisht Fire Temple to prepare for the ceremony and spend the night there. The young people go to gather firewood at dawn, and the women prepare breakfast. Then the wood-cutting ceremony, accompanied by singing and chanting, takes place. In the wood-cutting ceremony, whoever has participated in collecting firewood for the first time or has become a parent in that year, stands up among the crowd and the people joyfully and gently hit the wood against his hands. This ceremony continues until their relatives give candy to the people. Then they prepare a syrup with the donated candy, and everyone drinks it together. At sunset, they bring the firewood to the village and pile it up. At dusk, people gather around the firewood pile, and the mobed (priest) is present there with a fire-filled brazier.

Celebration and stomping after burning the wheat barn

Celebration and stomping after burning the wheat barn

The mobed begins the Hiromba ceremony with a loud voice and asks for forgiveness for the deceaseds. The participants are divided into two groups and stand facing each other in two rows. When the mobed asks for forgiveness for the deceased, one of the groups, while holding hands with each other, loudly says "Hiromba" and they all show reverence to the occasion and then return to their standing position. After that, the other group repeats these actions, and this continues until the end of naming the names of prominent and righteous Zoroastrian individuals. Then the mobed sets fire to the firewood pile, and people gather around it and celebrate. The next morning, the women take out the embers from under the ashes and put them in a fire pot, take them home and keep the fire burning by adding wood to it for one hundred and one nights.

Persian Customs in Meybod Iran | Clod Throwers Ceremony

Persian Culture- Clod Throwers Ceremony

Clod Throwers Ceremony

Clod Throwers Ceremony, which was sometimes accompanied by reciting poems, was performed in the blessed month of Ramadan. It was done in a way that neighbors agreed with each other to wake up early for pre-dawn meal (Sahri) and take turns to wake up each other. Usually, in winter when everyone slept in the same room, it was possible that they wouldn't wake up from knocking sounds, so they threw a clod of earth on the rooftop. In the city of Nodushan, in order to wake up people for morning prayer and the time of the Adhan (call to prayer), they used to shoot arrows in the early morning. Upon hearing the sound of the arrow, people would say, "They shot a bullet, let's eat something."

Persian Customs in Meybod Iran | Stone Hitting Ceremony

Persian Culture- Stone Hitting Ceremony

Stone Hitting Ceremony

In the Stone Hitting Ceremony, one person recites poems with the themes of the Karbala epic, while some people sit on the ground and repeat the recited phrases, and another group stands in a circle next to each other with two polished wooden sticks. They beat the sticks together slowly and rhythmically, and then faster, creating a sound of sticks hitting each other that resembles the scene of Karbala. As the recitation changes, the way they beat the sticks together also changes, from one hit to three hits and four hits. This ceremony has been registered as an intangible national heritage of the country.

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