Iranian village to mark its ‘thanksgiving’ as COVID restrictions ease 

May 27, 2022 - 21:0

TEHRAN –After two years of limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional thanksgiving ceremony of the northeastern village of Namanlu in North Khorasan province will be held this summer, the provincial tourism chief has said. 

The ritual, which has been registered on Iran’s national list of intangible cultural heritage, has been passed down for generations, Ali Mostofian explained on Friday. 

After harvesting the crops and orchards, the villagers participate in this ceremony, which is based on the beliefs of the locals and their ancestors, the official added. 

The ceremony usually takes place in late July or early August at a place called Mount Zakaria, located next to the tomb of Zakaria Nabi, which is about 13 kilometers northeast of the village, he noted. 

Villagers estimate that the celebration is several hundred years old and that the elderly remember it from up to four generations ago, he mentioned. 

Rituals like this bring participants together and in a way, cause their social cohesion and because they are accompanied by passion and determination, it strengthens their spirituality, he explained. 

Though North Khorasan province may not be the first choice of travelers, its tourism is getting momentum.

According to Lonely Planet, most foreign tourists pass straight through North Khorasan in transit between Mashhad and Gorgan, but if you have time to explore, it's worth diverting south from the capital, Bojnurd, towards Esfarayen, famed for its wrestling tournaments, the remarkable citadel of Belqays and the partly preserved stepped village of Roein some 20km north. Although a lot of new buildings spoil the effect in parts of the village, Roein is considered Khorasan’s answer to the well-known Masuleh and is a possible starting point for hikes to little-visited mountain villages.


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