Rosewater festivals draw visitors to central Iran

May 3, 2018

TEHRAN – At this time each year, many rosewater distillation ceremonies are being commenced in central Iran, drawing thousands of visitors to Kashan and nearby cities and villages.

People come to enjoy the sprite of full-bloom flower farms, to socialize with the locals, to visit abundant historical sites and see how rosewater is traditionally made from harvesting stage to steaming damask rose petals either at homes or gardens.

Qamsar, Niasar, and Barzak are amongst other destinations. Every corner of the region is teemed with the dance of colors and delicate fragrance of roses from early May to mid-June.

Distillation of flowers and herbs has a deep history in Iran. Many believe traditionally-distilled rosewater is of higher quality than that produced in factories probably due to shorter time interval between the harvest and distillation practices.

Golab or rosewater is in fact fragrant distillate of Mohammadi roses, which is used in dishes to flavor them or being consumed as a religious perfume as well.

Rosewater is produced from a very sweet smelling kind of flowers, best known as Mohammadi roses in the country.

Flower harvesting is somewhat an intensive work. It is mostly done from dawn through morning. 

It is said that delay in harvesting or transport to distillery results in decreased essential oil quantity and quality.

Foreign travelers visit a rose garden near Kashan, central Iran.

Before extracting rosewater, people first amass their petals to put them into the massive copper pots. Then the pots are put on traditional ovens made from bricks, stones and mud.

Almost every 30 kilogram of rose petals plus 80 liters of water are poured into each pot that is connected to metal pipes for the steam moving through to obtain the hydrosol. The waste of distillation is used for feeding livestock or composting.

Sets of traditional distillation apparatus are seen in house yard in Kashan.

Locals believe that rose oil and rosewater have many therapeutic benefits, saying rose oil soothes the mind and heals depression, grief, stress and tension. 

Such products are deemed to alleviate problems with the digestive system, healing colds, and skin health as well.

Kashan embraces abundant scenic landscape, historical sites and monuments such as UNESCO-registered Fin Garden with its Safavid and Qajar era edifices, Tabatabaei House, Boroujerdi House, Ameri House, a traditional bazaar, and Jame Mosque of Kashan just to name a few.

AFM/MQ

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