Kordestan awakes to sound of drums in Ramadan

September 22, 2007

TEHRAN -- The inhabitants of Kordestan Province still wake to the sound of the drum for sahari (the meal eaten before dawn) in the holy month of Ramadan.

Although drums are still beaten to awaken the people of Kordestan early in the morning, unfortunately many of the other regional Ramadan customs have been abandoned or are gradually dying out.
In the days when there were few tall buildings in the city, the people of Sanandaj used to ascend to the rooftops to observe the crescent moon and announce the arrival of the beginning of the month of Ramadan to the religious figures of the region.
Several famous regional drummers would go to the main square of the city beating their drums to announce the arrival of the holy month.
There used to be a cannon on one of the city’s hills, which was fired once to signal the beginning of Ramadan, but the tradition gradually died out after World War II.
In former times the muezzin used to sing from the rooftop of the mosque to welcome in and praise the month of fasting.
Housewives, on hearing the news of the beginning of Ramadan, would begin to prepare a meal for sahari, which in this region of Iran is called pashio.
In the days before refrigerators had been invented, each family would kill a sheep and its meat would be salted and preserved in special earthenware containers for use during the month.
Most of the ancient traditions that were once practiced in Kordestan during Ramadan have been gradually set aside. However, many people think that they should be revived in order to preserve the richness of Iran’s culture.