Iran Local Customs

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    Lemon or strawberry
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    Iranian Cold one
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Iran Local Customs

  • Insights into Life during the Revolution

    A look at a closed and mysterious place, through the eyes of a young woman, living through tumultuous times of war, repression and revolution. Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel memoir invites the reader behind the headlines, to see the humanity of those that our governments have demonised. The story is told in two parts - childhood in Iran, followed...

  • Islamic Beer (!)

    As you will all know, alcohol is not available in the Islamic Republic of Iran. So it was with some incredulity that I discovered that non-alcoholic beerlike drinks ma'osh-sha'ir' are available.As Queen Victoria is said to have observed when confronted with a merkin, 'can such things be....'Whilst the original flavour is of course malt, many others...

  • Ladies and the Hijab

    When planning a journey to Iran, the most notable impediment to getting agreement from my wife Minuk was the problem of the hijab.There is no escaping this. If you are female, and you are planning to visit Iran, then you must wear the hijab. Just a note for the uninformed - this is NOT the all encompassing chador or niqab, but instead a scarf which...

  • Norouz - History (4)

    The details of Norouz celebrations before the Achaemenid era are not known.During Achaemenid, in 487 B.C.E., Darius the Great celebrated the Norouz at his newly built Persepolis.A recent research shows that it was a very special occasion. On that day, the first rays of the rising sun fell on the observatory in the great hall of audience at 06-30...

  • Norouz (1)

    Norouz, (=new day), is the celebration of spring equinox & the traditional Iranian new year holiday.It is the most cherished of all the Iranian festivals and is celebrated by all.It has been observed by all peoples of the Greater Iran for 6 millennia. Norouz commemorates the periodic rebirth and rejuvenation of nature, and has been observed in one...

  • Friendly Pakistani Crew

    Actually it isn’t a local custom Iranian tip - it’s more local custom Pakistani tip (because we flew over Iran by Pakistan International Airlines). As I have already written our company of four Russian men was almost alone in the second economy cabin because the airplane was empty at three quarters. So we attracted special attention of the...

  • Playing cards over Iran

    But there is another Russian local custom about which I want to write on my Iranian page. Only few of you know that when Russians want to pass time away they try to play cards and the most popular cards game is Preferans (another name Pul'ka). And it was that very game which we played being slightly drunken all our flight from Moscow to Dubai and...

  • Russian vodka over Iran

    Actually once again this local custom tip on Iran page isn’t Iranian tip! It’s more local custom Russian tip! You know that all Russians love vodka and this drink is the most beloved drink in Russia (especially for true men, haha!). When you fly by economy class you can’t wait that you will be proposed such a drink. So if you are Russians and you...


    You cannot have a meal in Iran without a box of tissues. Whether it was in the best or simplest restaurant or someone's home, you will always find a box of tissues to go with your meal. I like this custom a lot. It should be adopted by every country in the world. How many times have you ended up with dirty hands and face and either had nothing or...


    The first few times I saw these boxes I understood right away that the slot in the top was to put money in. What I didn’t know was for what. In Tehran (and some other cities) there are hundreds of these metal boxes on the side of roads where cars park. They are strong large steel boxes that are clearly anchored into the pavement. Oddly, they come...

  • Haft Sin - History (1)

    Haft Sin (=seven 'S's) is a major tradition of Norouz.The haft sin table includes seven items specificly starting with the letter Sin (=S). The items symbolically correspond to seven creations and holy immortals protecting them. The Haft Sin has evolved over time, but has kept its symbolism. Norouz was/is most important festival for Aryan people, &...

  • Jashan-e Esfandegan

    Jashan-e Esfandegan or Sepandarmaz is a festivity to honor of Women, Mothers, Love &'s roots back to pre Zoroastrian Iran & female Goddesses.29th day of the Iranian month of Bahman( 8th of Feb), is the day of Esfandgan celebrations.In Zoroastrian religion, the whole month and especially this day marks commemoration of women, the oldest of...


    In Iran they like big money. Outside of some banks you will have to use exchange shops and the bigger the better. A $100 note gets a better rate than a $50 and so on. It’s a sliding scale. So you may want to bring a few big notes.The prefered currencies are (in order):* US Dollars* Euros* British Pounds

  • Can we speak english?

    One of the best things in Iran is how people are curious about foreigners but not boring.If they don't speak English, at least they'll ask:Hello !Which country?Welcome to my country !That's "street talk" and you'll find it amusing while starting basic conversation.Other group is people that speak languages, they'll ask you just to exchange few...


    Iran uses round 2 pin European-type plugs. The electricity is 220 volts with a frequency of 50hz. If you already use European plugs you are in business. UK type plugs need an adapter that is easily available. North Americans need a very GOOD adapter or their electrical items will simply explode. Thanks to Suvanki for the photos!


    A 'Dizzi' is also known as 'Abgousht'. This is a meat (usually beef), bean and potato stew. But it gets more interesting. It’s all cooked in a pot that is brought to your table. The juice is pored out into a separate bowl (pictured) and is like a kind of soup you eat with flat bread. Then the waiter puts a masher into the small pot and sirs around...

  • Norouz Visitings

    The first few days are spent on visiting the elders of their family, then the rest of their family and finally their friends in the form of short house visits, which are usually reciprocated.The first house visits are paid to the most senior family members. Typically, the youth will visit the elders first, and the elders return their visit...

  • New Year Dishes

    Traditionally on the night before the New Year, most Iranians will have Sabzi Polo Mahi, a special dish of rice cooked with fresh herbs and served with smoked and freshly fried fish. Koukou Sabzi, a mixture of fresh herbs with eggs fried or baked, is also served. The next day rice and noodles (Reshteh Polo) is served which is said to symbolically...

  • Norouz - Customs (2)

    Family gather & sit around Sofre-ye haft sin, After the Saal Tahvil(=When new year Start) people hug and kiss each other and wish each other a happy new year. Then they give presents to each other (traditionally cash, coins or gold coins), usually older ones to the younger ones. The first few days are spent visiting older members of the family,...

  • Norouz - Tradition (3)

    The Shahnameh, dates Nowruz as far back to the of Jamshid, (15000 years ago) who in Zoroastrian texts saved mankind from a killer winter (Ice Age) that was destined to kill every living creature. The King Jamshid (Yima or Yama of the Indo-Iranian lore) constructed a throne studded with gems. He had demons raise him above the earth into the Sky,...

  • Norouz Greetings

    Norouz Greetings:Norouz Mobarak or Norouz Khojaste or Norouz Shad (Happy Norouz);Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak or Saale no Mobarak (Happy New Year to you);Norouz Pirooz (Wishing you a Prosperous New Year);Sad Saal be in Saal-ha (Wishing you 100 more Happy New Years).

  • Sizdah Bedar, The mass picnic

    Sizdah Bedar (= getting rid of the thirteen), is the festival of "Joy and Solidarity", The festivity of Norouz continues for 12 days, and on the 13th morning, the mass picnic to countryside begins.Cities and villages turn into ghost towns with almost all the inhabitants gone to enjoy the day in woods and mountains along stream and riversides....

  • Sabze Gere Zadan - Sizdah Bedar

    It is also customary for young single women to tie the leaves of the sabzeh before discarding it, so expressing a wish to be married before the next year's Sizdah Bedar.The knotting of the grass represents love and the bond between a man and a woman.girls sing this song while knotting:" Sizdah-Bedar sal-e deegar khooneh shoohar, bacheh baghal"which...

  • Dorugh-e Sizdah - Sizdah Bedar

    Dorugh-e Sizdah is Another tradition of Sizdah Bedar, literally meaning "the lie of the thirteenth", which is the process of lying to someone and making them believe it.It is believed to be the oldest prank-tradition in the world still alive today, which has led many to believe that the origins of the April Fools Day goes back to this tradition...

  • Haft Sin (2)

    Haft Sin (=seven 'S's) is a major tradition of Norouz.Norouz was/is most important festival for Aryan people, & for this important festival they used/use best thing that they had, prepare best foods, wear best cloths, prepare beautiful table, cleaning house & etc.Traditionally, families attempt to set as beautiful a Haft Sin table as they can, as...

  • Haji Firuz, The Herald of Nouroz

    Haji Firuz is the traditional herald of Nouroz, who appears in the streets in the days preceding Nowruz. The Haji Firuz entertains passers-by by singing traditional songs and dancing and playing his tambourine for a few coins.Haji Firuz blackens his face, wears very colorful clothes, usually red, and always a hat that is sometimes long and...

  • Chahar Shanbeh Soori (2)

    The night before the last Wednesday of the year is celebrated as Chahar Shanbeh Soori literally the eve of Red Wednesday, Festival of Fire is a prelude to the ancient Norouz.The Festival has been changed during ages & in recent years it became a dangerous night. the occasion is accompanied by fire works from locally made firecrackers.There are also...

  • Chahar Shanbeh Soori (1) - History

    The night before the last Wednesday of the year is celebrated as Chahar Shanbeh Soori literally the eve of Red Wednesday, Festival of Fire is a prelude to the ancient Norouz.The tradition roots to Zoroastrian dating at least back to 1700 BCE.According to tradition, the living are visited by the Feravahr (=spirit) of their ancestors on the last 5...

  • Khane tekani(spring cleaning)

    Khane tekani(literally means Shaking the house) is a tradition of spring cleaning and part of the Norouz festival. Khane tekani done in month Espand(late of Feb. to 21 Mar.)It usually involves cleaning whole the house:washing carpets, painting the house, and cleaning the yard & cleaning everything in the New year everything must be...

  • Jashan-e Sadeh (Festival of Sadeh) (2)

    Jashan-e Sadeh (Festival of Sadeh) is a festivity to honor of domination of Human on fire & to defeat the forces of darkness, frost & cold. Sade meaning 100 & refers to remaining 50 days & 50 nights to Norouz -1st day of spring (Mar 21)- & 100th day of winter acoording ancient calender.Sade celebrate on 10th Bahman (Jan 29) by Zoroastrians...

  • Jashan-e Sadeh (Festival of Sadeh) (1) -...

    Jashan-e Sadeh (Festival of Sadeh) is a festivity to honor of domination of Human on fire & to defeat the forces of darkness, frost & cold. Sade meaning 100 & refers to remaining 50 days & 50 nights to Norouz -1st day of spring (Mar 21)- & 100th day of winter acoording ancient calender.Sade celebrate on 10th Bahman (Jan 29) by Zoroastrians...

  • Iranian societal customs can...

    Iranian societal customs can be difficult for foreigners to understand. However, most Iranians are very tolerant when an unknowing foreigner violates rules of societal conduct. In addition to my comments in the DANGERS AND WARNING section,some basic 'do's and don'ts' include the following:* Respect the Iranian dress code at all times.Men should...

  • Appropriate Clothing

    As well as the hijab (see my other tip) women and men must be covered up. In the case of women, this means seriously loose trousers or a long skirt, and a loose shirt (full length sleeves). It is possible to buy a montau (the loose light coat worn by many Persian women) once in Iran, and I would certainly do this if I go again. Salwaar kameeze...

  • The Hijab

    Women must have their hair covered at all times. While some Iranian women do the absolute minimum necessary, reports suggest that the law is being enforced more strictly at the moment, and in any case it is both sensible and courteous to make an effort to look appropriate.I used a bonnet cap (bought from with a pashmina and...

  • Noruz

    On Friday, March 21, 2008, the precise moment of the Spring Equinox as it occurs in Tehran will be the moment of Noruz, the beginning of the great New Year holiday celebrated by all people whose history links them back through some three thousand years to the prophet, Zoroaster. Iranians, Uzbeks, Tajeks, Kazakhs, Azeris, Parsis and more all...

  • Bagdirs

    Bagdirs are windtowers and they can be seen all over Yazd and in some other Iranian cities where it can be very hot.You can say that bagdirs are natural air-conditioners. They catch the wind and direct it through a shaft to the rooms below, where there is a pool of cool water, cooling the air. Through a different shaft the hot air in the house is...

  • Dressy clothes for men

    The first thing that I noticed about the flashy men from Tehran were their clothes. If you look closely at the mens clothing you will notice that every man in Iran does not wear a tie to go with his suit. The Iranians see a tie as a sign of Western decadence and so shops will not sell them making for quite a casual yet unique look. If you show up...

  • Gift Etiquette

    Iranians give gifts for all kinds of occasions. They give gifts if someone is returning from a trip or if someone has achieved something great in business or in their personal lives such as graduating from university etc. On birthdays, people bring sweets and cakes to the office but dont expect to receive gifts. If you are lucky enough to be...

  • Imaginative water supply: QANATS

    Most of Iran receives little rainfall year round, yet Iran is a farming country! This is due to an ingenious system for tapping underground water. The system, called qanat (from a Semitic word meaning "to dig"), is still in use after 3,000 years and has continually been expanded. The qanat system consists of underground channels that convey water...

  • Ta'Arof

    The system of formalised politeness may seem confusing but it dominates society and everyone knows their place. Ta'arof gives everyone in society a chance to be on equal terms and it is never abused. A good rule is always decline an offer 3 times because this is considered polite, after 3 times it is ok to accept the gesture of food etc. It also...

  • Internet Resources

    The best way to experience Iran is to education yourself before you go. Here are some useful internet resources to help you get started:Iran Chamber Society ( Easily the best site for history, culture and background information.Net Iran ( is an Iranian Government site with imformation about embassies and custom...

  • Classical music of Iran

    Classical music of Iran has so many characteristics and you could find love in you could find something useful about it:CharacteristicsThe following characteristics are shared between Iranian and other Central Asian music: The music is mainly monophonic, with each instrument in an ensemble following one melodic scheme. The music is based...

  • Hijab

    There are many different styles of clothing in Iran.. As well as the all-enveloping chador, you'll see everything from very elegant but very modest full coats and scarves to outfits that really push the boundaries - bright colours, narrow fitting, showing lots of hair, particularly in Tehran and among the young, and then there are the tribal women...

  • Fesejan

    Iran's main celebratory dish is Fesenjan, a wonderful meat stew flavoured with pomegranate juice and thickened with ground walnuts. No festive dinner is complete without it. The central dish at the great public food servings of Ramadam and Muharram, it is always served with white rice. If you make yourself, always make some extra - it's delicious...

  • Dresscode

    We still remember our panic shopping in Istanbul when we travelled to Iran for the first time 2 years ago. The closer we got to the Iranian border on the train, the more we panicked.Once the train stopped, we dutifully dressed up - to the amuzement of all the Iranian on board. 'We have only reached the Turkish exit border control, no need to cover...


Iran Hotels

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Iran Local Customs

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