(Persia Digest) - “Pir Shaliar” celebrations begin today in Huraman, Kurdistan Province. This is an ancient celebration which goes back a thousand years. It is said to have begun as a “Sadeh” mid-winter celebration in Iran; but, it was combined with mystic and religious rituals with the passage of time in the Kurdistan area and came to be known as “Pir Shaliar”.

Pir (saint/magi) Shaliyar (vizier), is believed to have cured a princess and married her, the ceremony marks their marriage. Pir is the highest rank in Mithraism and Zoroastrianism. His tomb is located in Kurdistan province of Iran [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pir_Shalyar]. The wedding ritual has been celebrated in Huraman ever since. It will take place as per tradition this year by the people of Huraman who will be joined by visitors from around Iran and tourists. Celebrations begin today and will last until Friday 2 February.

The “Sadeh” mid-winter celebrations take place around Iran under different names and slightly different rituals. One of these is the Pir Shaliar Wedding feast, or Pir Shahriar, celebrated in the Kurdistan seat of Uraman on the last Wednesday of January and continues for three days.

In ancient Persian belief, Pir or Magi, had the duty of guiding people. These people shouldered their social and religious duties, especially in western Iran, since the first century HS (7th century CE). They are known as the 99 Pir of Shahu who have carried the title forward. It is said to celebrate the wedding of Pir Shaliar with the daughter of the ruler of Bokhara, Bahar Khatun. Although, evidence shows that it is very similar to Sadeh mid-winter celebrations.

The celebrations take place twice a year in Huraman (Uraman) village, in mid-spring and mid-winter over three days. The mausoleum of Pir Shaliar is at the end of the Uraman asphalted road. The feast includes performances by daf players, sheep sacrifices, dancing, eating, reciting poetry, and praying.

The ceremony will begin today, Wednesday, with Zikr by dervishes and continues with sheep sacrifices and the eating of blessed foods. This is a vegetable and legume soup called “Ash-e Jo” or “Holoshineh Tashi” made with barley. It is the same food which was cooked 950 years ago at the Pir’s wedding. The feast ends on Friday with Sama and whirling dervishes.

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