Local festival in Lut Desert to mark UNESCO-listing anniversary

March 2, 2022 - 20:0

TEHRAN –An online festival of local traditions and rituals is planned to be held in Lut Desert, the heart of the Iranian plateau, on the occasion of the 6th anniversary of the desert’s inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

By holding this festival, the local communities in the UNESCO-registered Lut Desert will be able to demonstrate their cultural values and customs to national audiences, the deputy tourism chief of Sistan-Baluchestan province has said.

Photographs and films depicting a range of local indigenous rituals, ceremonies, games, food, souvenirs, and agricultural products are the focus of the festival, CHTN quoted Mojtaba Mirhosseini as saying on Wednesday.

The festival accepts submissions until June 20, and the selected works will be celebrated on July 18, the official added.

The Lut Desert, widely referred to as Dasht-e Lut (“Emptiness Plain”), is a large salt desert encircled by the provinces of Kerman and Sistan-Baluchestan, and South Khorasan. It is the world’s 27th-largest desert and was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List on July 17, 2016.

The vast desert is teemed with giant dunes, shifting sands, salt plains, and wind-hewn kaluts, offering visitors epic journeys of breathtaking beauty and wilderness. It is a destination for people who are in search of new adventures; outstanding scenery and unparalleled serenity.

It is considered as one of the top areas in the world for finding meteorites, thanks to its unique parameters. In recent years, significant finds have been made, with the efforts of national and international teams of researchers. Seven years of satellite temperature data analyzed by NASA show that the Lut Desert is the hottest place on Earth. Based on the research, it was the hottest during 5 of the 7 years and had the highest temperature overall: 70.7°C in 2005.

The collective province -- Sistan in the north and Baluchestan in the south -- accounts for one of the driest regions of Iran with a slight increase in rainfall from east to west, and an obvious rise in humidity in the coastal regions. In ancient times, the region was a crossword of the Indus Valley and the Babylonian civilizations.

Sistan-Baluchestan possesses special significance because of being located in a strategic and transit location, especially Chabahar which is the only ocean port in Iran and the best and easiest access route of the middle Asian countries to free waters. It is home to several distinctive archaeological sites and natural attractions, including two UNESCO World Heritage sites, namely Shahr-e-Soukhteh (Burnt City) and Lut desert.

ABU/MG

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