Special days in the Iranian calendar can be divided into Ancient-Persian, Islamic and National holidays.
Ancient-Persian events and festivals
These events and festivals usually have Zoroastrian roots. Some of the most important ones are:
- Nowruz: Nowruz literally means New Day. It is the beginning of the spring and Iranian new year (21 March).
- Sizdah-Be-Dar: Sizdah-Be-Dar is the Nature Day and is the 13th day of the new year. Iranians would spend this day picnicking in nature (2 April).
- Yalda Night: Yalda Night or Shab-e Chelleh is celebrating the longest and darkest night of the year. In this night friends and families would gather together, eating, drinking and reading poetry (December 20).
- Chaharshanbe Suri: Chaharshanbeh Suri is the Iranian Fire Festival. It will take place in the last tuesday of the year. People would jump over fire, singing “Give me your red color, take the yellow color of mine”. The red color of the fire is the symbol of vivacity and the yellow color is the symbol of sickness (December) .
Islamic events and festivals
These events are based on the Arabic lunar calendar and cycle within the year. Some of these events are:
- Tasua and Ashura : are the 9th and 10th days of Muharram (the first month of the Arabic calendar). Shia muslims mourn in these days to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Islam’s prophet.
- Ramadan: is the 9th month of the Arabic calendar when muslims fast for a whole month.
- Eid-e Fetr: Eid-e Fetr is one of the Eids celebrated by all of the muslims. It’s the first day of the 10th month of the Arabic calendar and is the celebration of ending a whole month of fasting (Ramadan).
- Eid-e Ghadir: Eid-e Ghadir is only celebrated by Shia muslims. It’s referring to when Muhammad the prophet of Islam declared Imam Ali as his successor.
National Events and Festivals
These events and festivals are related to the Iranian revolution
- Victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran: It’s the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of Iran (11 February).
- Islamic Republic day: The anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 (1 April).
- Oil Nationalisation Day: it is the 1951 nationalisation of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (20 March).