There is still the misconception that Iran is far from being an advanced country: most imagine it as a rather unfriendly place of strict religious beliefs and traditions. Just one day in Iran will allow dispelling these unreasonable myths. Modern Iran is fundamentally different from the country that tourists imagine while taking off the plane.
Of course, Iran is a country with peculiar traditions but the tourists feel here quite comfortable. Compared to other Islamic states, Iran is not focused on religion: the younger generation is free -spirited and open-minded with an active lifestyle.
The cultural life here is rather rich and various. Getting acquainted with it you will get completely new impressions and emotions. Today we decided to open up a window into the Iranian culture and tell you about the most interesting places and events:
Cultural Life in Iran: Theaters
Cultural life in Iran is divided into pre-revolutionary and post-revolutionary periods, and modern Iran is fundamentally different from the pre-revolutionary period. Young writers and playwrights began to present their performances on the stage and their bold beginnings were accepted by the audience with great enthusiasm. However, Islamic norms in the country affected the cultural life as well and many performances are now forbidden in the country.
Tehran City Theater
Start your acquaintance with the Iranian culture with Tehran City Theater that was opened in 1972. The theater is located in Daneshdzhu park, at the intersection of Valiasr and Enghelab streets. The building attracts the attention with its unique style and the decorated facade. All major events and theatrical performances are held in Tehran City Theater. The large hall can accommodate about 500 visitors.
Ayatollah Burkhan Taleghani
Zurhane (“the house of power”) is a kind of traditional urban arena very common in Iran. The first mention of this kind of institution in the country dateс back to the XVII century. Here is practiced an ancient form of zurhane sports in which only men participate. This martial art is a popular national form of performing art. During the performance men in uniform do strength exercises on stage. The active drum beats and traditional music sounds accompany the whole performance. In Tehran, Ayatollah Burkhan Taleghani is considered the most popular one that attracts a huge number of tourists.
Cinematography, as well as the theatrical life of Iran is divided into pre-revolutionary and post-revolutionary periods. After the revolution, Iranian cinematography slowly but clearly began to take shape and today Iran’s cinematography represents serious works at international film festivals such as the Film Festival Palme d’Or in Cannes. Iranian movie represents the traditions and life of the Iranian people in the best way. The most popular examples of Iranian cinematography are “Where a friend’s house?” by Abbas Kiarostami, “Time for Drunken Horses” by Bahman Ghobadi and “Kandahar” bybMohsen Makhmalbaf.
International Film Festival Fajr («Sunrise»)
International Film Festival is traditionally held in late April. The film festival was founded by the Ministry of Culture and is supported by the state and the Iranian Cinema Foundation Farabi. As part of the festival new films on various topics from more than 80 countries are presented. The award of the Film Festival is Crystal Simurg (Simurg is a airy tale character).
Cinema Pardis Mellat Gallery
Pardis Mellat Gallery is one of the most popular cinemas in Tehran that was opened in 2008. It is located on the territory of Mellat Park. Cinema has a huge popularity among the locals, so if you decide to visit the cinema, you’d better book a ticket in advance.
Cultural Life in Iran: Festival of roses
Every year the traditional festival of roses is held in Kashan. Kashan is the birthplace of damask roses; it is about 700 years the town is engaged in the cultivation of roses. The festival takes place in late May: Kashan at this time becomes the center of the country; hundreds of thousands of locals and tourists visit Kashan to take part in the festival.
During the festival, the traditional process of the harvesting and the production of rose water is held. The ceremony is quite fascinating. Sweet species of roses are collected in special pots and boiled with essence. Rose water is used in sweets, traditional Iranian dishes, and perfume.