Among the Iranians: A Guide to Irans Culture and Customs

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In the following, we will explain some parts of Iranian culture and customs:. The most important thing in communicating Iranian people is to be familiar with Taarof. If you want them to accept it, you have to insist. In fact, Taarof is a way of greeting and salutation for the respected guests. Iranian people also greatly respect their elders. You can show respect to them by greeting them first.

There are many other communication rules in Iran such as respecting guests and elder people, chatting about general things while greeting, no handshakes or touches with people who have opposite gender, kiss on cheeks as a greeting with people who have the same gender, etc. Of course, you learn many parts of Iranian culture during your journey to Iran. Iran has an ancient history which provides many Iranian culture and customs.

In fact, the new year starts at the beginning of spring in Iran and the solar calendar. Nowruz is a day-period of time in which Iranians celebrate the new year and the nature being reborn. They visit all their relatives and friends and take their time to reunite with people. In fact, people try to get away from their daily routines and bond with each other in these 13 days.

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Nowruz starts in an accurate time on the first day of spring which is different every year. Right after this time, people start visiting each other with visiting elders at first. All Iranians arrange a table for Nowruz on which they put seven things. Every one of these things is a symbol related to happiness, well-being, nature, etc. At the end of Nowruz on the 13th day, people have a ceremony named Sizdah be dar.

Sizdah is the Persian name for 13 and Sizdah be dar means keeping the bad luck of 13 away. In Iranian culture, the number 13 is a negative number with bad luck. Iranians go to a natural place such as a park, jungle, and mountain to keep bad luck away from their homes.

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The young people especially girls tie grasses and wish to get married in the following year, and the elder people take their time to talk and barbecue. Visiting Iran at this time of year gives you the chance to experience these customs and ceremonies in person. Most Iranian people are Muslims.

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Therefore, many Iranian culture and customs are Islamic ones. The most specific religious custom in Iran is the mourning of Muharram. Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar in which the battle of Karbala took place.

In this battle, the forces of the second Ummayad caliph killed Imam Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. Muslims believe that Imam Hussein fought for justice and the caliph killed him brutally, so they mourn for Imam Hussein every year at the time that battle of Karbala happened. There are many different rituals in the Islamic countries for this mourning. If you are interested in experiencing new spiritual rites and intend to visit Iran, consider planning your trip in Muharram.

The most common rite in Muharram is Rawsa or Rowzeh. Rowzeh is a ritual in which people listen to Noha and beat their chests to display their grief for Imam Hussein.

Iranian Customs

Noha is a poem and story about the events in the battle of Karbala and the death of Imam Hussein which a person reads in a plaintive voice. While listening to Noha Shia people weep for Imam Hussein as much as they can to offer their condolences to his family. One other rite which people perform in many different ways in different cities and regions is Taziya. Taziya is a theatrical re-enactment of the battle of Karbala. In the eleventh century it was conquered by the Turks and then later, Persia was overrun by the Mongols in However, this dynasty was short-lived and in , his successor, Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, was overthrown and sent into exile after a successful revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeni.

Iranians have many beautiful customs and traditions. They are close to extended family members, and they have great respect for the elderly and are very hospitable to foreigners. These traits remain highly visible parts of Iranian etiquette. The most important things in Iranian culture are: Loving God. The core concept in Persian culture is called Tarof or taarof. It is based upon acknowledgement of other people.


It shows humbleness and respectfulness. Another situation in which you can come across this phenomenon is while paying at a restaurant. Everyone in the group will offer to pay the bill. Most likely they will insist a second time and that time you should act humbly and accept their offering. People will dress in a much more casual way and speak less formally — Iranians can feel free to be themselves. Women are required to wear head scarves as stated in the Quran; this is to demonstrate modesty. Clothing should be loose, up to knee length, with full sleeves, however three-quarter length sleeves are also acceptable.

Men can dress in western attire, but it is advised not to wear short shorts or shirts with sleeves that are too short. In Iran, business attire for men does not usually include a tie. When greeting people, the universal Islamic salaam should be used. Az didan-e shoma khoshbakhtam!

Nice to meet you! In formal situations, only shake hands with people of the same gender, whereas informally Iranians kiss three times on each cheek. After shaking hands, put your right hand on your chest to show respect. Any physical contact with the opposite gender is forbidden. A downward gaze is seen as a sign of respect and not a sign of lack of confidence or disinterest.

Guide to Iran | Iranian Etiquette, Customs & Culture | Kwintessential

Personal space in Iran is determined by the context, however a good distance between people of the same gender is about one meter, and a good distance between people of the opposite gender should be at least 3 meters. Sweets and flowers are popular gift choices and always apologise for the inadequacy of the gift taarof.

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Talking up your own gift could cause it to be declined; you must also be careful about praising any possession if you interact with an Iranian or visit their home. If you praise something, the owner may try to offer it to you as a present. Another lesser known fact is that when entering a room, it is customary to clear your throat or say any phrase to announce your arrival. This is particularly important if there are women in the house. For instance, if he leaves his shoes outside the door when entering a room, remove yours at the door as well.

Iranians take their dinner very seriously and have many customs to go along with it. They take pride in their food and usually prepare much more than necessary to help demonstrate their wealth. If you are an important guest, you are most likely to be situated at the head of the table and served first when the food comes out.

5 Persian Customs to Know Before Visiting Iran

When eating, to show respect, make sure you finish your food. Lastly, if you are a vegetarian, Iranian food is probably not for you. Meat is in almost every dish, so it could be a little difficult not to offend your hosts.

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