Sunday, January 27, 2008

Trip to Iran – Part II

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At the end of the first week, Nima joined me in Shahi. There were two concurrent celebrations this year in Iran. Ghorban ceremony which is one of the Islamic celebrations common in most Islamic countries and Yalda Night which is one of the loveliest Iranian celebrations.
The main idea of Ghorban celebration is to donate food to the poor. The ceremony is a commemoration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son (Isaac), as commanded by god. Some people buy a sheep and donate its meat to the poor, some people buy chicken, some people just donate money and some just do nothing.:)
My grand father was very serious about these celebrations; I never forget how he used to precisely buy the best male sheep and divide its meat between some of the people he knew were poor and keep the rest of the meat for ours. I remember all of us, my aunts, and uncles used to gather in his place and celebrate the all day by eating delicious kebab. When he died (almost 12 years ago) my father continued this tradition in grandpa’s way. I was telling all this to Nima. We gather in my grandma’s place and ate kebab.
And at night we gathered again to celebrate Yalda night which is the first night of winter and the longest one during a year. Almost most of the Iranians are buying watermelons, nuts and pistachio for this night. Reading Divan of Hafez is also very common.Hafez is one of the most beloved poets of Persian culture. It is true that you can find two books in every Iranian house the Qur'an and the Divan of Hafez.
In our house my father always reads Hafez for us at this night. It’s kind of fun; every one of those who are presented in Yalda party make a wish and then my father open Divan of Hafez randomly and read the poet for that person and we all try to interpret Hafez’s poet in response to that person wish.
After the revolution the government tried to put less and less emphasis on Iranian celebrations and put more on Islamic ones. I don’t understand how they could do this to our culture. Iranians have several lovely festivals. It’s all about showing gratitude toward life, nature, and motherland. These traditions are so old and rich. We should really keep these precious heritages and share them with others.
Fortunately many people stick to their national and Iranian celebrations and keep it alive. I know many Iranian who migrated to other countries but still keep their national celebrations such as Yalda’s night and Norouz. I am defiantly one of those.

P.S. The first photo is my husband enjoying lamb kebab.You can also see a photo of our dinner table for Yalda night. That’s right the other photo is stuffed turkey. YAMMY

1 comment:

BEHI said...

I enjoy the way you explain the things that you went through in your trip to Iran very much :-).
All these meals look so delicious by the way :p.