(Persia Digest) – The festive season for “Bill Gardani” – literally turning the shovels around – is an ancient celebration performed by heroes in the Nimvar region of Mahallat, in the central Iranian province of Arak. It has been celebrated here for 2000 years at the start of the growing season by farmers who begin to dredge the main river of Nimvar. The festivities in fact display the never ending human battle with nature, which is closely onnected with farming and watering time in this region.

“Bill Gardani” celebrates water and irrigation, rooted in the man-nature battle, and takes place in Iran due to the importance of irrigation here. To uphold this ancient spiritual tradition, the farmers get together on the last day of spring and tie seven shovels together in two bundles of threes and fours and turn them around their heads masterfully, crosswise. “Bill Gardani” is an ancient custom performed by heroes; it was registered as an intangible national heritage in 2010. According to ancient beliefs, the seven shovels represent the celestial rotation leading to rain and is in fact an ad petendam pluviam.


Photos: Ali Karimi/IRNA News Agency

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