Rosewater festivals attract holidaymakers from home and abroad

April 30, 2019

TEHRAN – Every year, by late April, thousands of holidaymakers start to visit Kashan or its neighboring villages, where many local rosewater festivals take center stage in the central Iranian region.

The distillation ceremonies, which are commonly known as “Golab-giri”, are usually running through to mid-June. Visitors may revel in lush flower gardens or witness how rosewater is made indigenously from harvesting to steaming damask rose petals.

Qamsar, Niasar, and Barzok are amongst popular destinations where every corner is teemed with the dance of colors and delicate fragrance of roses.

Golab or rosewater is a fragrant distillate of the roses which is used nationwide in diverse traditional dishes to flavor them or consumed as a religious perfume as well.

Many believe traditionally distilled rosewater is of higher quality from that of produced in factories probably due to shorter time interval between the harvest and distillation practices.

Distillation of flowers and herbs has a deep history in the country.

Harvesting and distillation

Rosewater is obtained from a very sweet smelling kind of the flowers, best known as Mohammadi roses in the country. Rosewater and rose oil are major products of the damask rose.

Harvesting damask rose flowers is somewhat an intensive work. It is mostly performed from dawn through morning.  Delay in harvesting or transport to distillery results in decreased essential oil quantity and quality.  

To extract the 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 Kg 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.  

Therapeutic effects

Narratives say that rose oil and rosewater have many therapeutic benefits. Rose oil soothes the mind and heals depression, grief, nervous stress and tension.  It  aids  in  problems  with  the  digestive  system,  healing  colds, and  skin  health.

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.

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/MG

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