Neyshabur rendezvous for Khayyam lovers on May 18

May 17, 2023 - 18:15

TEHRAN – The northeastern Iranian city of Neyshabur, home to the tomb of Omar Khayyam, will be a rendezvous for the lovers of the Persian mathematician, astronomer and poet on May 18, his birthday that is celebrated as Khayyam Day.

People from across the country will flock to the city to attend a variety of programs arranged by cultural officials of the city, which is also Khayyam’s hometown. 

As a symbolic act entitled “The Morning Sun of Neyshabur”, the bell at Khayyam High School was rung on Wednesday at 7:30 am in memory of the Persian poet to announce the beginning of the celebration.  

The University of Neyshbur also launched a two-day seminar to discuss the latest studies on Khayyam.

Kamalolmolk Gallery opened an exhibition displaying verses on Khayyam poetry inscribed by a group of renowned calligraphers.

Young Persian literature aficionados attended the Chelleh Charaneh Literary Contest held in the evening at the tomb of Khayyam, reciting quatrains from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the magnum opus of the great poet.

A group of experts also came together at the Khayyam Planetarium and Museum Complex in a meeting entitled “The Ordibehesht of Khayyam” to discuss Khayyam’s achievements in astronomy.

On Thursday, municipal and cultural officials will join people to lay wreaths at the tomb of Khayyam, where several musical and theatrical performances will take place.   

Winners of several mathematics competitions will be honored during a ceremony, and tours of the Complex of Khayyam Planetarium and Museum will be held.

Literati have also been invited to hold a poetry night, which will begin at 7:30 pm at the tomb of Khayyam.

“This is a great honor for the people of Neyshabur to host the Khayyam devotees on this day,” Neyshabur governor Abutaleb Javan said last week.

“It is essential to acquaint ourselves with cultural and historical luminaries of Iran in order to help improve our national identity and self-awareness,” he added.

“This is something our society and the younger generation, in particular, need more than ever,” noted Javan who is also the director of this year’s commemoration for Khayyam Day.   

Born on May 18, 1048, in Neyshabur, Khayyam, whose full name is Ghiyath ad-Din Abu al-Fath Umar ibn Ibrahim al-Nishaburi al-Khayyami, is chiefly known to English-speaking readers through the translation of a collection of his rubaiyat (“quatrains”) in The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1859), by the English writer Edward FitzGerald.

His name Khayyam (“Tentmaker”) may have been derived from his father’s trade. He received a good education in the sciences and philosophy in his native Neyshabur before traveling to Samarkand (now in Uzbekistan), where he completed the algebra treatise, Risalah fi’l-barahin ala masa’il al-jabr wa’l-muqabalah (“Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra”), on which his mathematical reputation principally rests.

Photo: Tomb of Khayyam, Neyshabur.


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