(Persia Digest) – The Pir Shaliar celebrations take place in Uraman (Huraman) village, Kurdistan Province, in western Iran twice a year, in mid-spring and mid-winter. Pir (saint/magi) Shaliyar (vizier), is believed to have cured a princess and married her, the ceremony marks their marriage [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pir_Shalyar]. The celebrations take place over three days and includes the sacrifice of sheep, singing, dancing, daf playing, praying, and reciting poetry. A special legume and vegetables soup is also made for the evening.
The “Wedding of Pir Shaliar” attracts many visitors and tourists from around the world to this place in the spring and winter. The ceremony takes place 45 days after the start of winter to celebrate the anniversary of the legendary Shaliar.
In ancient Persian belief, a “Pir” is a respected elder and leader. In western Iran, many successive “Pir” shouldered social and religious responsibilities from the first century HS (7th century CE). The Pir of Shaliar is one of these legendary figures that still brings people together in Uraman for celebrations.
Local legends have it that he possessed special abilities that cured the daughter of the King of Bokhara, Princess Shah Bahar Khatun. The story goes that when she became deaf-mute, all physicians were unable to cure her; until one day, the fame of “Pir Shaliar Urami” reaches Bokhara. The King announces that anyone who is able of curing her daughter will marry her. The King’s uncle and his entourage set out for Uraman to take the Princess to the Pir. As they near the village of Uraman, the Princess gets her hearing back and begins to talk as they reach the Pir’s house. Thus, the King gives her hand in marriage to the Pir and a great feast is organized for the wedding.
The celebrations begin by dividing walnuts from the Pir’s orchards between villagers. Cows, sheep, and goats are sacrificed for a special meal, daf is played with the Sama of whirling dervishes, vows are made and distributed among the people together with prayers and Zikr. The evening is celebrated by turning the Pir’s leather shoe around as a sacred object. A special bread is baked called “Kalireh Mojgeh”, made from dough, walnuts, and onions. All of this takes place over three days.
The village is also known for its other attractions which have registered it as a tourism pole of Iran. The style of architecture in Uraman and its pristine nature attract many tourists to this area.
Uraman has a population of 5000. It is in the borough of Sarvabad in Kurdistan Province, at a distance of 160kms from the provincial capital, Sanandaj. The town is known for its ancient city fabric and the rituals of Pir Shaliar. It is as old as history itself. According to documented sources, it dates back to over 2000 years ago. Sarvabad has a population of over 52 thousand people. It is 90kms from Sanandaj and has a 24-km border with Iraq.
Photos: Morteza Dalaei, Ali Dolatabadi