(Persia Digest) -  A celebration was held in Tehran to celebrate polo registration by Unesco. Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization Deputy, Mohammad-Hassan Talebian spoke about the game at the ceremony and called the registration an important global event for cultural diplomacy and peace.

He added: “Polo, or Chogan in Persian, was played in Iran from ancient times. Today, it has become a popular sport worldwide.”

Talebian stressed: “Polo is also closely linked with people’s livelihoods by providing jobs for its special outfit makers, and the carpenters who carve the wooden mallets and the balls.”

He continued: “Polo has always been a national sport in Iran from the ancient times of Persian civilization and it has featured in many miniatures and classical Persian literature and poetry.”

He went on to say: “This is a game shared between man and horse, highlighting the extraordinary synergy of two living creatures and symbolizing awareness, masculinity, and creative human art.

Persia Digest reports that at the 12th Unesco Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in December 2017 in South Korea the game was registered as "Polo, a horse riding game, narration and music," together with “The art of making and playing the kamancheh.”

Read more:

► Unesco registers polo and kamancheh

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Polo has a long history in Iranian traditions which can be traced back to the ancient Persian civilization in 600 BCE. During the Achaemenid era, under the reign of Darius the first and his conquests in India, and later in the Sassanid era, it became one of the popular games of the Empire. The sport is famous for its prevalence among the kings and elite of Iran. It is a strategic game that requires the rider and the horse to train together.

Currently, over 77 countries hold special polo games and competitions. Polo was also one of the sports played in the World Olympic Games from 1900 to 1939, and is now recognized as an international sport by the International Olympic Committee.

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