Amid the nationwide unrest that has been going on for five months, local people started to celebrate the traditional Pir Shaliyar fest last week in the ancient village of Hawraman in Iran’s Kurdistan province.
Kurds from Hawraman, one of the most impressive villages in Iran with its unique ancient architecture built to resemble an endless staircase to the rugged mountains, re-enacted a wedding from 950 years ago on the 40th day of the winter season, which coincides with the beginning of February every year.
According to the belief, the Zoroastrian scholar Pir Shaliyar, who lived in Hawraman in the 11th century, healed the deaf and dumb daughter of the Bukhara king, and the king then decided to marry his daughter to the scholar. However, Pir Shaliyar, who was living a reclusive life, had no property to finance a wedding. As a result, all residents of the Hewramans came together and prepared a legendary wedding for their Pir.
The ritualistic “zikr” of the wedding celebrations which are held in three stages, each in a day of three consecutive weeks, takes place in front of the houses spread out on the slopes of the mountains. The local Hawrami folk music, which stands out with daf or Kurdish frame drum rhythm, plays a major role in the celebrations under the snow.
The crackdown by Iranian security forces to quell the ongoing protests that began after 22-year-old Jina Amini died after being detained by the morality police in September has become especially tense in Kurdish-populated regions in Iran’s west, known as Rojhilat, including the village of Hawraman.