People in Iran is mesmerized by the spirit of Ramadan every year. Different tribes and ethnic groups in the country have special rituals to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan. Ramadan has been a great event for Iranians since the advent of Islam and some customs are still alive in different parts of the country to celebrate the fasting month.
Ramadan is one of five pillars of Islam, alongside the declaration of faith; prayer five times a day; alms-giving; and the pilgrimage to Mecca. It is the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar during which, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, which is an exercise in self-restraint, aimed at making the rich experience the suffering of the less unfortunate.
Here are some of these rituals, which are done by Iranians in different parts of the country to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan:
Welcoming Ramadan in Mazandaran
People in the northern province of Mazandaran welcome the holy month of Ramadan by fasting three days before the beginning of the month. They begin to fast from the last days of Sha’ban – the month before Ramadan – which is one of the meritorious months in Islam.
They also hold Khatm-e An’am, a kind of ceremony during which the attendees read the Surah Al-An’am from the Holy Quran before the Iftar meal – when people end their fast at sunset.
The attendees break their fast with some bread, pinch of salt and some water, which the host put in a large tray by the host.
A bag of blessing in East Azarbaijan
On the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, women and girls of each family in the northwestern province of East Azarbaijan gather together and sew a bag for their family.
They put some money in the bag and keep the bags in a box until the next Ramadan. They called it ‘Barkat Kisasi’ in Azeri dialect, which literally means ‘bag of blessing’, which they believe that protect them from being poor.
Jomeh-Alwedaii in Shiraz
On the last Friday of Ramadan, people in the southern city of Shiraz go to mosques to pray for their wishes to come true.
Known as ‘Jomeh-Alwedaii’, the ceremony is attended by young girls who wish for getting married and infertile couples wish for having a child.
Pregnant women also sew the first cloth of their future child in the mosque on this day believing that it brings happiness and luck for him or her.
Ya Ramadan ritual by Turkmen
Turkmen who live in northeastern parts of the country hold several rituals during the holy month of Ramadan. One of them is called ‘Ya Ramadan’, originally ‘Yari Ramadan’, which literally means ‘half of Ramadan’.
On the 14th and 15th nights of Ramadan, a clergyman or an elderly man accompanied by a group of men walk along alleys and streets of the city or the village and sing a song about the resistance of those who fast during the first two weeks of the month and encourage them to fast for the two coming weeks.
They go door to door and one of them carries a bag in which they collect what the families give them and other people answer ‘Allah Hoo’.
They share the collected items for poor people.
This year Ramadan began on May 27 in Iran.