The Medes had also established a kind of alliance with another Iranian tribal group, the Persians. The Persians had settled in the southern areas of the Zagros, the old homeland of the Elamites, and their rulers styled themselves “kings of Anshan” (a former Elamite stronghold). Presumably to strengthen the bonds between the two people, the […]

The area occupied by the modern country of Iran was home to simple semiagrarian cultures as early as 13,000 b.c. Conditions on the plateau, however, were not well suited for the development of the kind of advanced agricultural societies that appeared in other parts of the Fertile Crescent. Without any great rivers to exploit, that […]

The northernmost part of Iran lies at approximately latitude 40º north, about the same as Philadelphia in the United States, and its southernmost part around latitude 25º north, about as far south as Miami. The diversity of climate between Philadelphia and Miami, however, is not nearly as extreme as that to be found in Iran, […]

The last category of events to be discussed here can well be described as national holidays for several reasons. They are deeply rooted in the history and tradition of the country, unlike the civil holidays tied to recent political events of transitory significance. Although they reflect traces of ancient cults of sun worship and were […]

Muslim religious holidays and festivals have long been an essential component of Iranian cultural life. As one would expect in the Islamic Republic, in contrast to the more secular Pahlavi regime that preceded it, these religious occasions have effectively become important national holidays as well. Even if the non-Muslim minorities do not participate in them, […]

Like all countries, Iran has holidays that commemorate special days in the history of the nation-state. It really cannot be said, however, that these holidays are deeply rooted in the culture. They are political in nature and as such tend to be ephemeral, going in and out of fashion according to the dictates of the […]

Before attempting to review the major holidays and festivals celebrated in Iran, it is necessary to explain some features of the various systems of dating in use there. The Gregorian calendar familiar to Westerners and now used in many countries around the world is known in Iran, but it has no offi – cial standing […]

Iranians tend to be enthusiastic observers of holidays and festivals, and Westerners are likely to be struck by the very large number of occasions they have for celebrating them. Indeed, even some members of the Iranian parliament (Majles) have complained that the country has so many declared holidays (as many as 145 nonworking days in […]

Although Islamic law allows for divorce, social norms neither encourage nor easily accept it. Courts also do not approve requests for divorce without adequate counseling and reconciliation efforts. The current Islamic government has instructed judges to slow the process so that couples may fi nd enough time to overcome the initial disagreements that had led […]

Socialization of children is based on a host of norms and values drawn from Iranian traditions, Islamic morality, and historical communal ethics. Relationships between children and parents are framed within social ethics known as adab o ehterâm (discipline and respect). Although the rules of adab o ehterâm are vague and fl uid and might vary […]


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