Iran, the land of ancient traditions

Iran is a land with ancient history and many traditions, which are rooted in ancient Iranian culture and are full of signs and symbols, each worthy of study and research. Study of Iranian traditions is a way to make us more familiar with the culture of our land.

Tradition refers to ways, customs and social norms. Traditions are born from celebrations and mourning and turn into social norms. And, the people of a country (or nation) show their commitment towards these traditions. However, over the centuries, Traditions are either forgotten or changed (appropriate to the times). On the other hand traditions preserve the ancient culture and historical signs and many times keep the beliefs that have lost their social use, in a symbolic manner. Traditions may be universal (such as the Nowruz celebration), and their performance crosses territorial borders and grow many roots; it is also possible that it is performed in a small area and among one tribe but the same tradition does not have the right meaning among other tribes.

Traditions have deep historical foundations. It is by putting together the signs of traditions that one can understand the depth of these structures and recognize the culture and beliefs of a nation. Therefore, maintaining the traditions and studying them is a necessity that will lead to the stability of the culture of a country and nation. On the other hand, the mysteries in traditions are sometimes so thought-provoking that encourage researchers to study and decipher them. For example, the celebration of Nowruz and its associated Traditions in every corner of the current extent of Iran and the borders outside of Iran (which make up the area of cultural Iran) contain living and symbolic elements that their secrets and meanings should be studied and brought to light.

We mentioned that Traditions have a symbolic nature. In other words, they are not just what they seem. Instead, their hidden and underlying layers contain archetypes that create and shape a nation’s roots and cultural foundations. Therefore, even if Traditions have lost their social functions, they can still be effective in the sustainability of culture and unite a nation with the help of its historical and cultural roots.

Our ancestral land, Iran, has many traditions because of its very long history. The critical point is that many ancient Iranian traditions are still alive and live among this region’s people. Sometimes they can be found in a village, in a distant area, and sometimes among a small group. The same traditions can be found, with some changes, among other tribes and groups.

Indeed, it is difficult to enumerate all the ancient Iranian traditions (which are still alive) because their number is, fortunately, many. Due to the vastness of our land, they cover many areas. But to get some examples, we will mention some of them in the series of articles under the name “Iranian native traditions”. For example, the ceremony of playing with the shovel in Nimvar, Mahalat; milking ceremony in Damghan; covering of newborn infant with flower petals; Kormanji daveta in Khorasan, sprinkling of water in Farahan; a tradition in Ardebil specially among women; calling for rain, in north Khorasan; the tradition of hot blade in Kerman, farmers’ Kooseh Barneshin ceremony; Chamar religion in Lorestan; Damghan’s Nowruz Khani and many others.

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September 26, 2023