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Spring Season In Iran

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Astara in Spring

Astara in Spring

While traveling in a four-season country extends the advantage of new experiences, varied sceneries and different activities associated with each season, yet spring remains the prime time to travel in Iran for many people. The Pleasant climate and the green terrains in the diverse geographical locals of Iran enhance the festive mood of celebrating spring season throughout the country. Spring in Iran offers the most moderate weather with delicate, fresh landscapes complimenting voyage in Iran.

Spring Mood in Tehran

Spring Mood in Tehran

Despite the fact that many people imagine Iran to be a mostly deserted region, the geography of the country is rather uniquely diverse. Mountains bordering large deserts cover half of Iran while the country lies in between two sea-sides, the Caspian Sea up north and the Persian Gulf down south. While the hottest spot on the earth has been identified in Lut desert in the center of Iran, half of the country located in the mountains or the areas nearby can be extremely cold. Iran could be extremely hot or cold in many parts due to the combination of the dry mountain and desert climate. The coastal parts near the Caspian Sea and the Persian Golf are exceptionally humid and could get extremely hot and humid during summer. Spring season in Iran, on the other hand, bestows the most pleasant and moderate weather in all region.

Spring in Iran starts with a festive celebration of Nowruz or New Year on March 21st. Persian calendar just like the western calendar consists of four seasons. Each season has three Months of thirty days each and Farvardin, Ordibehesht and Khordad are consecutively the names of the three months of spring. The Persian New Year commences on the first day of spring. Therefore, Farvardin the 1st, that usually falls on March 21st is the first day of Spring and the new-year. Ordibehesht is the second month of spring that usually begins on April 21st and ends on May 20th. Khordad is the last month of the spring season, which coincides May 21st till June 20th.

Spring starts with two weeks of Nowruz celebration that is the longest holiday in Iran. Nowruz takes place from 1st to 13th of Farvardin (usually coinciding March 21st till April 2nd). People go back to work and school on the 14th day of spring with high spirits to have a fresh start of the year. As the temperature rises people’s mood enhances with the sight of the green landscapes of the mountains, forests, and coast sides.

Imperial Crown Fields

Imperial Crown Fields

Even the plains, deserts and Sahara bloom in spring with fresh vegetation and desert flowers all over. The breathtaking vista of large wild Imperial Crown flower fields of foothills of Zagros mountains and the terrains nearby in Ordibehesht is a must see.


Ordibehesht (April 20th till May 21st) is known to be the month of traveling amongst Iranians as the pleasant air reaches its peak and the fragrance of orange blossoms are scented in many parts of Iran including the Caspian Sea coast and Shiraz. Ordibehesht of Shiraz is famous for the scent of Orange blossoms and has always been an inspiration to the poetic Persian culture. There are numerous poems by the prominent poets of shiraz regarding the spring.

Golabgiri, Kashan

Golabgiri, Kashan

Amongst many festivals that take place in spring, Golabgiri of Kashan, the festival of collecting rose water in Ordibehesht in Kashan stands out. Sizdahbedar in Farvardin is also a widespread, festive tradition of Iranians in Farvardin. Panjah Bedar (50 Bedar) is another tradition of the spring, that takes place on 19th of Ordibehesht, that is the 50th day of the New Year. The tradition of Panjah Bedar is very similar to that of Sizdah Bedar with the exception that it’s no longer as commonly celebrated in many areas except in Ghazvin Province. Panjah Bedar takes place on Ordibehesht 19th that is the 50th day of the New Year. As spring is the most popular season to travel to Iran, it is advisable to book accommodations and flights in advance.



Sizdah Bedar is the thirteenth day of Norooz celebration, which signifies a transition from the holiday to remerge to one’s day-to-day life.  As Charshanbeh Souri marks the beginning of Norooz Holidays, Sizdah Bedar announces its end. Sizdah bedar is a very festive event and is also known as the nature day of Iranians. It is customary for people to leave their homes and to spend the whole day out in nature. People joyously gather with their friends and families in parks, gardens or mountains and spend the whole day celebrating with a picnic, eating the special food, playing lots of different games and performing their special Sizdah Bedar rituals.

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The word Sizdah means thirteen and Bedar means getting rid of. The name of this holiday literally means getting rid of 13 that was known as an unlucky number in Persian culture as well as in many other cultures. Even though this is an ancient festival of Iranians, it signifies no religious ties and it is solely a festive celebration in Iranian culture today. In the ancient times, the first 12 days of Norooz were associated with order and the thirteenth day symbolized chaos, which explains why people would leave their homes and spend the day out in the abundant, peaceful nature to avoid the omens. In the ancient culture the 13th day of Norooz was also associated with the deity of water that was depicted by a horse symbol. Therefore, people used to do sports that involved horses and made offerings to water that was an element of rain deity and asked for rain, which was essential for agriculture.


One custom of Sizdah Bedar is that people have to remove Sabzeh from their Haft Sin and throw it out in nature, usually giving it to a running water stream like a river. To grow Sabzeh, that is an integral component of Haft Sin, Iranians soak grains such as wheat and lentils to represent rebirth and growth usually a week before the Norooz. Sabzeh is present on Haft Seen and kept till the Sizdah Bedar while it supposedly absorbs all the pain and illnesses of the coming year. After Sizdah Bedar it is unlucky to keep the Sabzeh in the house, it is also considered unlucky to touch anybody else’s Sabzeh or bring it back home.

Other customs of Sizdah Bedar include eating an Iranian noodle soup called Ash-e-Reshteh accompanied with a variety of food and drinks and knotting blades of grass by unmarried girls to wish marriage the upcoming year.  It is also customary that while socializing and enjoying each other’s company during the picnic, people make a bluff or tell a lie. Much like April Fool’s, one is supposed to make a lasting joke that people would believe.  Once they unveil the truth about the ruse it becomes the joke of Sizdah Bedar or “Doroogh e Sizdah” which literally means the lie of the 13th. The joy, happiness and laughter are known to clean people’s minds to prepare for a fresh start of daily life in New Year. The memorable fun event of Sizdah Bedar is enhanced by joy and laughter with friends and family to welcome the New Year. We wish you all a happy and very jolly Sizdah bedar and a beautiful year to come.


Zoroastrianism and Iranian rituals today



The Proto Indo Iranian people, sometimes called the Arians were a tribe of people who lived together in 3000 BC in Eurasian Steppe in central Asia. Proto Indo Iranian people had formed a distinct culture after so many centuries of living together and had their own legends, myths and believe system long before any historical documentation and prior to them having a written religious book. Many centuries later the tribe split into three groups. One group later settled in the Iranian plateau, one group headed towards India and the other settled somewhere around Jerusalem. Later in about 1200 BC a prophet raised from the Iranian Plateau who organized a religion called Zoroastrianism. Iran today has a modern society with a majority of99.4% Muslim population. However it is astonishing to witness the remnants of Iranian ancestral culture still observed in Iran.

Zoroastrianism is one of the very first formed religions of humanity and in fact the very first organized Monotheistic religion. Therefore it had an enormous impact on the formation of later religions and some consider it to be the mother of all other monotheistic religions. Another significance of Zoroastrianism is also that it pinpoints a religious shift in humanity where polytheism started to give in to monotheism. A key reason that the monotheistic religion of Zoroastrianism was mistaken as a polytheistic one was the element of fire.

Atashkadeh in Yazd

People mistakenly considered Zoroastrians to be fire worshipers since most of their religious rituals evolved around fire. As Zoroaster said in his Gathas or book of poets he preferred the worship of God to take place around fire that is an excellent example of divine’s powerful creation. Fire has a symbolic significance in Zoroastrianism that represents luminosity, warmth and energy, which are attributes of God. Fire also represents wisdom and illuminated mind and spiritual enlightenment.

Once the glorious religion of Islam was brought to Iran, it only took about 200 years for the most of Persian Empire to convert to Islam. While Iranians chose Islam as their faith right away, they preserved many rituals and customs from their ancestral ancient culture. Even though many of these rituals have been fading with the passing of centuries, there are still some that dominantly signify Iranian Culture. The most important elements of Iranians culture that trace back to the ancient times include the Persian Calendar, The New Year or Norooz, Sizadah bedar, Charshanbeh Soori and Yalda.


Zoroastrian Calendar started in 1738 BCE and it consists of twelve months. It starts on the first day of spring that usually falls around march 20th and it is celebrated as Iranian New year or Norooz. Amongst other rituals that Iranians have kept that directly trace back to the Zoroastrian times, Charshanbeh Souri stands out that takes place on the evening of the last Tuesday of the last month of the year and is a part of preparation for Norooz or new-year. Fire is the center of this dynamic festival where people make bonfires up on their roofs, in the backyards or in the street. Jumping over the bonfire they say: “Zardi e Man az to, Sorkhi e to az man”. Basically it means that they give their yellow color as a sign of sickness of the last year to the fire and exchange it for the red color of fire as a signification of health for the New Year to come.

Haft Seen

As Norooz or the Persian New Year is the most important national holiday of Iran, the preparations and rituals associated with it have also been embedded in Iranian culture for thousands of years. Sofreh Haft Seen, which is an essential part of Norooz celebration, literally means a spread of seven S. A spread gathered from special symbolic items each representing an important aspect of life and seven of them start with the letter S or Seen in Farsi.

Haft Seen Items

Haft Seen Items

Iranians start preparing for their Haft Seen spread with love and excitement a month before the New Year and beautifully assemble and decorate it a few days before. At the count down of the Norooz or the Sal Tahvil moment, families gather and sit together around their Haft Seen spread while quietly contemplating, praying and making resolutions for the New Year to come right before staring the festive celebration of the new year with music, hugs, kisses and gift exchanges.

People Shopping for their Haft seen items at a lively market

People Shopping for their Haft seen items at a lively market

Preparing for their Haft Seen Iranians sprout their Sabzeh. They soak to grow grains like wheat and lentils to represent rebirth and growth. Sabzeh is present on Haft Seen and kept till the 13th day of Norooz. A clove of Garlic or Sir is set on the table to assemble health and medicine. A red apple or Sib sits on the spread to portray health and Beauty. Serkeh or vinegar demonstrates age and patience. Sekkeh or gold coins stand as a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Samanou that is a rich and sweet meal represents affluence and opulence while Sumac romantically depicts the color of sunrise for a new beginning and the light wiping out the evil and darkness. Senjed that is a special berry symbolizes love.

norooz There are some other essential elements placed on the Haft Seen that do not start with the letter S in Farsi. Gold Fish are placed in a fish bowl to represent life and candles are lit to inspire enlightenment. A holly Book, usually Quran or others depending on the family’s faith, is placed on the spread as a sign of God’s presence and protection. Some prefer to replace or complement the holly book with the book of Poetries of Hafez or Shahname. A mirror is placed on the Haft Seen as a symbol of self-reflection and colored eggs symbolize fertility.

Right before the moment of Tahvil all Persians joyously wear their new beautiful clothes, groom themselves to look their best and happily sit around the Haft Seen with their family for a very emotionally charged moment of ending one year and starting a new one.

Zanjan Another Unexplored Jewel

Dome, Gonbad, Soltanieh, World heritage, UNESCO, Zanjan, Mongol, Mongol Architecture, Mausoleum

Gonbad Soltaniye is the oldest double-shell dome in the world and the second largest mausoleum in the Islamic world

The mystical land of Persia is the homeland of so many wonders of the universe. Iran has countless unique natural attractions and a lengthy history dating back to the beginning of the mankind’s civilization. Iran is not a developed tourist destination yet since it has been rather secluded from the rest of the world due to the political and sanction related reasons during the past few decades. Only getting a small fracture of the its tourist potential the spotlight has been solely focused on a few well known cities of Iran, leaving numerous fabulous gems laying unnoticed, scattered all over Iran.

Gonbad Soltaniye Interior

The opulent city of Zanjan is another unexplored jewel of Iran. Located on top of the mountains, this mystical city is formed from numerous wonders of Persia such as amazing natural attractions, significant extensive history dating back to the Ice age, breathtaking ruins and prominent archaeological remains. The nature lovers have so much to explore in Zanjan from the Ferry Chimneys to the Mahnesan Colored Mountains and Sharshar waterfalls to Garmab hot springs to the Katalkhore Cave. There is also a small Ski resort located nearby the city.

Katale Khor Cave

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Jinn Chimneys

Mahneshan village in Zanjan province that is also known as the town of castles has about twenty historical rock castles curved into the mountains dating thousands of years back to the Achemanid era. What makes these castles really exceptional is that they are built into the jinn chimneys or the ferry chimneys of Zanjan, forming masterpieces of nature and human architecture combined together. Mahestan Castle is one the most famous ones amongst these castles that is known for a unique integration of brick and rock architecture. The first building of Mahestan castle was built in Sassanid era and it’s located on the southern banks of the Ghezel Ozan River.

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Mir baha-ol-Bridge on Zanjan River

The archeologists have found traces suggesting the settlements in Zanjan area going back to the Ice-age era. The scattered ruins of the Sassanid Fire Temples around the city suggests that Zanjan was founded by Sassanid king Ardashir I around 180-242 CE. The six mummified salt men of Iran from the Achaemenid (550-330 BC) have also been discovered in salt mines of Zanjan province and five of them are exhibited in the archeological museum of Zanjan in Zolfaghari Mansion and one of them is exhibited in Iran national museum.


Historical Wash-house Museum

Historical Wash-house Museum


While the city has a modern look, Zanjan still beholds some fabulous traditional facades such as brick vaulted bazar built in the Safavid era, many historical mosques, a caravanserai and much more to explore.

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Chalapi Oghli Garden Short-Video Competition


How would you like the world to see Iran? If you were to give the world a tale about your land, what story would you tell? If you were to reveal an unexposed part of the culture, nature or the history of Iran, what would you show? has created a collaborative project inviting all the Iranian creative individuals who are interested in filmmaking to take part and give us a short film about Iran. Please give it your best passionate shot and submit a short film by March 3rd.

This is a competition where the first winner would win one GoPro Hero 4 camera and all the filmmakers would get credit for their clips used on our international website. We’ll announce the winner by March 6th. To obtain further information please visit We are looking forward to see Iran through your eyes and share it with the world.


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Ya Shasin Azerbaijan!

Once again Shahin and I (Amir Sina) hit the road to discover another part of Iran. Our destination was northwestern Iran, where the provinces of East and West Azarbaijan are located at the head of the cat that is Iran on the world map.

Our first stop was Tabriz, the capital of East Azarbaijan. In Iran, Tabriz has a reputation for being home to the most compassionate people in the country and as a place where trends are set. Tabriz is actually where Iran’s first municipality, school for the hearing impaired and chamber of commerce were established. The kind-hearted people of Tabriz have made it a tradition to leave no person in need and as a result this city has no impoverished population.

The road to Sahragheh Village was picturesque with a blue sky, cotton candy clouds and cool fresh air. ( photo/ Amir Sina Rezai)

Even though we arrived in Tabriz late at night, we were still impressed by its many eye-catching squares and network of freeway tunnels. Shahin and I drove around a bit to get a feel of the city. Shahin had visited Tabriz before I joined the team, so he took me to a little place he had discovered before for Tabriz-style Baklava and ice-cream.

Night view of the two-story El-Goli Monument which sits in the middle of the artificial lake  in the famous El-Goli Park in Tabriz. ( photo/ Amir Sina Rezai)

Night view of the two-story El-Goli Monument which sits in the middle of the artificial lake in the famous El-Goli Park in Tabriz. ( photo/ Amir Sina Rezai)

We woke up early in the morning to continue our trip to a border town named Jolfa. Our plan was to see as many of the old churches and monasteries scattered along the way.  I had heard about one particular church named “Mojumbar” that was located on the road to Jolfa and was lesser known. No matter who we asked for directions on the road, no one knew where this church was. I was frustrated. I was upset because I thought I had wasted our time. Suddenly Shahin came across “Sahragheh Church” on the map that was not far from where we were.

Amir Sina and Shahin stop on the road to Sahragheh Village and Church to take photos. ( photo/ Amir Sina Rezai)

Amir Sina and Shahin stop on the road to Sahragheh Village and Church to take photos. ( photo/ Amir Sina Rezai)

I googled the church but there was no information about it. This was exciting! We felt like exploders going on an expedition to discover a place that is virtually unknown.

( photo/ Amir Sina Rezai)

The road to Sahragheh was unbelievably beautiful. Colorful mountains with wheat fields stretched as far as the eyes can see, cattle and sheep grazing together under a blue sky with cotton candy clouds and cool fresh air. I felt like we are in a dream! We pulled over several times to snap pictures. Every time Shahin or I would say ‘we can’t find a better shot than this!,’ the next bend in the road would prove us wrong and present us with another breathtaking view that would force us to pull over for a photo.

Sahragheh Church stands on a hill overlooking the village. ( photo/ Amir Sina Rezai)

Sahragheh Church stands on a hill overlooking the village. ( photo/ Amir Sina Rezai)

We finally arrived at Sahragheh and immediately spotted the church standing atop a hill next to the village. It was an old church that had been recently renovated. It was modest yet beautiful. There was no one there except for me and Shahin. We were enjoying the calm and quiet when one of the villagers came to greet us. We chatted with him and offered him some grapes we had purchased on the way there. We spend a few hours there before it was time to go.

 The brick decorations Sahragheh Church which has been recently renovated. ( photo/ Amir Sina Rezai)

The brick decorations Sahragheh Church which has been recently renovated. ( photo/ Amir Sina Rezai)

Although we had originally set out to find the elusive “Mojumbar Church,” our trip unexpectedly turned into an entirely different adventure. Perhaps this is exactly what life wanted to teach me: don’t lose hope or be disappointed when your plans fall through because if you keep an open mind, you just might stumble upon an unforgettable experience that will make up for everything lost.

Golestan Palace, where traditional Persian arts meet European architecture

We had a group of businessmen who came to Tehran for work. On the last night before their departure, one of them told me (Amirsina) he had extended his trip by one day to have time for a tour of Tehran. He insisted he could not leave until he had at least visited Golestan Palace or the Rose Garden Palace.

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Golestan Palace was once the residence of Safavid, Zand and Qajar kings. ( photo/ web)

We made the trip from north Tehran to the palace compound in downtown Tehran near the Grand Bazaar. Golestan Palace, a UNESCO registered world heritage, is a masterpiece of Qajar era (1785–1925) crafts and architecture and the place where traditional Persian arts meet European architecture. The palace was originally known as the Arg of Tehran and was built in the 16th century during the reign of the founder of the Safavid dynasty, Shah Abbas I (1571-1629). It found importance after Agha Mohammad Khan (1742-1797), the first of the Qajar Kings, chose Tehran as his capital and this palace as his residence.

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Talar-e Salam (Reception Hall) was built by Nasser-al Din Shah Qajar after a trip to Europe. ( photo/Houman Nobakht)

Our guest was very impressed by Talar-e Salam (Reception Hall). This hall was built to resemble a museum by Nasser-al Din Shah (1831-1896) to impress his European visitors upon arrival. The coronation of the two Pahlavi kings (1925-1979) were held here. He could not contain his amazement upon seeing the intricate mirrorwork of Talar-e Aineh (Hall of Mirrors). our next stop was Talar-e Berelian (Brilliant Hall) which has extravagant mirrorwork and chandeliers.

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The UNESCO registered Golestan Palace has 17 different halls each famed for its elaborate decorations. ( photo/ Houman Nobakht)

I took our guest to  Khalvat-e Karim Khani (Karim Khan Veranda) which was built in 1759 by the founder of the Zand dynasty (1750-1794) as part of his residence. This nook has a marble throne and houses the tombstone of Nasser-al Din Shah, which was originally located in Shah-Abdol-Azim Shrine in Rey and was moved and installed here after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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Khalvat-e Karim Khani (Karim Khan Veranda) was built in 1759 by the founder of the Zand Dynasty. ( photo/ web)

Our guest found the marble throne on the terrace in front of the complex that was commissioned by Fath-Ali shah Qajar in 1806 very impressive.  This throne, which has 65 pieces of marble from the mines of Yazd and crafted in Isfahan, is inspired by the story of Solomon whose throne was said to have been carried by fairies and other supernatural beings.

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The Marble Throne was crafted in 1806 and has 65 pieces of marble. ( photo/ web)

On the way to IKIA airport our guest continued asking questions about Golestan Palace. He was sad he did not  have enough time to see more of Tehran. He told me he would be back and asked  me to show him more of Tehran when he returns.

Shiraz, the city of history, love & poetry

Even though I (Saman) come from Rasht, one of the cities in northern Iran, Shiraz has always been one of my favorite places in the country. So when our photographer Houman and Amir Sina from customer service decided to go on a trip to Shiraz, I jumped at the opportunity to accompany them.

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Tomb of Cyrus the Great who decreed the first Human Rights Charter known to man ( photo/ Shahin Kamali)

We spent an unforgettable night at the historical Bekhradi House in Isfahan and early the next day headed towards Pasargadae, the first dynastical capital of the Achaemenid Empire (550-330 BC), which lies on the way to Shiraz. No matter how many times I see the tomb of Cyrus the Great, the monument still leaves me speechless every time.

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The tombs of Daruis I and three other Achaemenid kings are located in Naqsh-e Rostam. ( photo/ Houman Nobakht)

Our next stop was Naqsh-e Rostam, the site which is said to have served as a cemetery for Achaemenid royals. I was excited to see Naqsh-e Rostam as even though I had traveled to Shiraz several times somehow there had never been enough time for the 70-kilometer drive to this site. I stood before the four Achaemenid tombs hewn high above a cliff at Naqsh-e Rostam and could not help but wonder what technology had been employed to create these tombs and their rock carvings in ancient times? The sheer scale of these rock creations left me awestruck!

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Relief showing the triumph of Shapur I (241-272 CE) over Roman Emperor Valerian (reign 253–260 CE). ( photo/ Houman Nobakht)

I could not get enough of looking at the details of the seven Sassanid rock reliefs depicting scenes from the lives, conquests and ascensions of the ancient rulers of Iran. I noticed an eighth slab which seemed like an empty canvas ready for the chisel of a skilled craftsman. Houman told me that this slab was prepared for another royal scene but was never used.

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The Cube of Zoroaster is a mystery that has never been solved as no one knows what its function was. ( photo/ Houman Nobakht)

Amir Sina pointed out the Cube of Zoroaster to me, the building that has kept scholars and researchers guessing for centuries.  No one knows what this Achaemenid structure was used for. Its walls have inscriptions cataloging Sassanid victories but no mention of the Achaemenids, who created it. Some say it was a royal tomb and others believe it was a depository for objects of dynastic or religious importance.

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Persepolis is the best-known symbol of ancient Persian Civilization. ( photo/ Houman Nobakht)

We had a few more kilometers to go before reaching Persepolis, the ceremonial capital of the Persian Empire which was once known as the richest city under the sun. The scale and skill employed to create Persepolis is mind-blowing.

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Persepolis is a UNESCO registered World Heritage Site and one of the must-see wonders of the world! ( photo/ Houman Nobakht)

Even though a fire destroyed this glorious capital and only its ruins stand today, the surviving remains kick started my overactive imagination and took me back to times when representatives from all nations of the known world would come to seek audience with the reigning Achaemenid king and showered him with presents and paid him their respects.

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Reading poetry at Hafezih at night ( photo/ Amir Sina Rezaei)

We arrived in Shiraz late in the afternoon and checked into Shiraz Grand Hotel. We decided to visit the tomb of Hafez, the poet of love and the bard whose poems are cherished by every Iranian. If you ask the people of Shiraz they will all recommend going to Hafezieh after sunset. This is the time when you will see people reciting Hafez poetry or breaking into song just because they feel inspired to sing. I would also recommend having dinner at the Hafezieh Café and trying the Shirazi Faloudeh – a dessert made with thin vermicelli noodles mixed in a semi-frozen sugar and rosewater syrup served with lime juice.

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Eram Garden is an example of the UNESCO registered Persian Garden. ( photo/ Houman Nobakht)

We spent a comfortable night at the hotel and in the morning decided to visit the famous Eram Garden. The name of this garden ‘Eram’ means Eden in Persian and with its palm trees, flower beds and fountains it could well be what a heavenly garden looks like.

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A Persian garden full of life, intoxicating scent of flowers and color ( photo/ Saman Kazemi)

Beautiful ponds full of little fish, colorful flowers, the smell of orange blossoms and a cup of herbal tea were the perfect start to my day.

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Vakil Bazaar is always full of shoppers from Iran and other parts of the world. ( photo/ Amir Sina Rezaei)

We had lunch and decided to go for a stroll through the inviting vaulted streets and alleys of Vakil Bazaar. I could not stop myself from buying herbal teas and distillates called ‘Araq’ in Persian. On any warm summer day all you need to do to make yourself a refreshing sherbet is to add some aromatic herbal distillate to ice water and stir in some sugar and voila your sherbet is ready to be served!

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Vakil Mosque is a Zand era (1750-1794) monument of great architectural and artistic significance. ( photo/ Houman Nobakht)

When in Shiraz you should not miss the chance to visit Vakil Mosque. This 18th century mosque, which is still used for prayers, is a shining jewel that captures one’s eye with its colorful tile decorations and its unique Shabistan (inner sanctum) that has 48 monolithic marble pillars carved in spirals.

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Inside Vakil Bath ( photo/ Houman Nobakht)

The founder of the Zand Dynasty, Karim Khan (1705–1779), who built Vakil Bazaar and Vakil Mosque, also built a public bathhouse in this neighborhood. The bath is now a wax museum where visitors can learn about the Persian culture, customs and costumes.

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A wax figure in Vakil Bath ( photo/ Saman Kazemi)

Saying goodbye to Shiraz is always hard as this city is an enchantress and my love for it grows with each visit. If you haven’t already been, trust me this city is one for the bucket list.

Want to see more of Shiraz? is at your service!

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