Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Closing Ceremony Friday Mar. 13th 2011 at 19 in the Vahdat Hall

Christmas in Iran
Christmas for the Armenians in Iran starts later than other Christians abroad, in fact ten days later. While most Christians in the world (followers of the catholic, protestant and some orthodox faiths alike) consider 25th of December as the birthday of Jesus Christ, the followers of the independent Armenian Church celebrate Christmas on January 6th.
Nonetheless despite this difference, the Christian New year start on January 1st amidst its own special celebrations. The Armenian Iranians, who compose the main Christian group in Iran, are quite busy these days ahead of their festivities. The “Armenian 10-Meter Alley” located at the Khajeh Nezam Street, where the perfume of freshly roasted coffee invigorates the senses, becomes animated with passersby greeting and shopping in their own language.
On New Year Eve, the church Bells herald the advent of the New Year exactly at midnight. The Armenian families flock inside the Church. They have eaten their “Kookoo Polo” and clad in their warm clothes, start greeting any familiar face they meet. Girls, boys and children in play together in separate groups. But at midnight, when the Church bells resound in the city, all becomes suddenly quiet. People raise their eyes towards the sky. The time to pray has come. The Church hall is crowded. In front of the pulpit, the preachers and their young assistants perform the religious rites. Candle burn, incenses smoke and the followers of the Lord’s Lamb kneel and shed tears.
“Hark, Mary sings the Lullaby: “My body adores the Lord, My soul in my Lord Savior, delights, since He hath blessed his unworthy servant/ thereafter all generations shall know me by my bliss.”
Look! Christ still sleeps on the golden cross. See the barbed crown they put on his head and his wounds, which are still bleeding.
And the other words, the words of Christ: “At first there was word the word was with the Lord, the word was the Lord. All things were created by him and nothing was created without him. Life sprang forth from him and that life was the light of humans. Light shines in darkness, and darkness has never overcome it…”

Bam earthquake
A tremor shook the ancient city of Bam in the southeast of the country and to the southeast of Kerman at 05:26:26 on 26th December 2003 (Figure 1). This earthquake happened on early morning when most residents were asleep, and this is the main reason for the high casualty toll of the event. The officials have quoted the death toll as 35,000 and the casualties as 50,000, while over 100,000 lost their homes. Based on the data recorded from the main tremor and the aftershocks by seismographs established in Bam, the earthquake's epicenter was within the Bam's city limits. Furthermore, based on studies, a part of the Bam Fault, which passes near the city, had become active.

The city of Bam is located in the Province of Kerman, one of the largest provinces in the country extending over an area of 186,422 km2. At the time of the event, Bam had an estimated population of 100,000. With its citadel, the city of Bam is generally recognized to date back to over 3000 years. The Bam Citadel is the world's largest complex (Figure 2). This historical monument is located on a sandstone hill along the Silk Road. The citadel extends over an area of 6 km2. There is no precise information about the Citadel's origins, but historical documents estimate it to date back to over 3000 years. Although this monument has undergone minor repairs during its history, this was the first time that it sustained such heavy damages after an earthquake. This Citadel was inhabited until about 150 years ago.

Photo by: Ahmad Neshan
Photo by: Ahmad Neshan Photo by: Ahmad Neshan Photo by: Ahmad Neshan

The Yalda night (winter Solstice) is the longest night of the year, the last night of autumn, the end of Sagittarius and the beginning of Capricorn. Yalda is an ancient word meaning birth and referring to the birth of the sun.

Yalda’s rites
Each celebration has its own special rites and the festivities of the Yalda night is among the ancient Iranian traditions, which were established thousands of years ago as Aryan celebrations and which still hold a special place among the people. The rites that were held nationwide until not so distant a past and survive in most rural regions are:

Family gathering: the rites and the celebrations of Yalda or the winter solstice, which are observed by all in the ancient land of Iran, are in fact an occasion for family gathering and a family tradition, limited to close relatives and friends.

Pine tree decoration: Celebrations are usually accompanied by a symbol. The ancient Iranians chose the pine tree, on which cold and darkness had no dominion, as the symbol of resistance against the cold, and used to decorate a pine tree on Yalda night with a silver and a gold ribbon.

Poem recital and storytelling: Gatherings at eras, when the only media was “word”, made storytelling and reciting poems inevitable. Therefore the storytelling around a warm fire by the family elders, particularly the grandparents obeys a centuries-old tradition, and given the development of poetry during the Islamic period, Shahnameh reading, Hafiz reading and reciting the poems of other equally eloquent poets whose compositions were tainted with moral and epic flavors, were added to other Yalda traditions.

A summary review of one of our ancestors’ traditions reveals that ancient Iranians profited from every occasion for enjoyment and happy life; and Yalda, which in all appearance signified the cold and the darkness- was also an opportunity for joy. This approach to life and its establishment as a culture, created a tradition, which today after two millennia, adds to the joys of many throughout the world

Photo by: Hadi Akbar Tabrizi Photo by: Ali Najafi Photo by: Sahar Mokhtari Photo by: Amir Rostami

Ashoora refers to the 10th day of the lunar month of Muharram. The importance of this day for the Shiites is due to the events that took place on the 10th of Muharram in the year 61 of lunar Hijjra calendar (about 14 centuries ago). On this day, Hussein Bin Ali (the third Imam of the Shiites) and his companions were martyred at Karbala following a battle with the Yazid’s army. The Shiites celebrate this day by holding mourning ceremonies. This day is a public holiday in the official calendars of Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and India.
During Muharram and particularly on Ashoora, the Shiites mourn the death of Imam Hussein. Although the mourning ceremonies were held also during the succeeding Imams’ times, they were gradually transformed into social traditions, adopting many aspects of Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Indian and even Christian mourning rituals. In the Shiite cities of Iran and from the time of Imam Reza (AS) and Lady Massoumah’s migration, singing elegies in the defense of Alawis became a tradition that was expanded through the support of the Al Buyeh kings and became fully established during the Safavids, thus becoming folklore. Each child who is taken to these events in the arms of others waits for the days to grow older to be able to participate in the children’s events and even beyond when he/she would be able to actively take part in the ceremonies, and that is how one becomes exposed to Ashoora throughout one’s lifetime. Such an impact causes each generation of Iranians to grow up with this significant event and to pass on the tradition to the next. These ceremonies are held with different rituals at various regions. The tradition manifests itself in the forms of sermons, elegies, chest beating, chain beating, raising ensigns, script writing, tile works, painting, calligraphy, passion plays, narrations, embroidery and blowing trumpets.
On this day men and women gather separately in mosques and religious centers to hear sermons, tragic poems and elegies and to cry over the calamities befallen on Imam Hussein and his family. It is also a tradition for Muslims to cook charity meals from the 1st to the 10th of Muharram to be distributed among the people.
Passion plays are also among the rituals of the day. It is a form of street theater in which the actors take on the roles of the characters to recreate the events that took place in Karbala. However, the symbolism of Ahoora in the religious art of Iran is so extensive that one cannot identify and evaluate its cultural impacts and aspects at a single glance.


Bam Citadel/Kerman Vank Church/Isfahan Vakil Bazzar/Shiraz Ovan Lake/Qazvin

With the grace of God Almighty and backed by the experience of the first and the second festivals, the Directorate General of Visual Arts, affiliated to the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance Department of Arts, in association with the Institute of Visual Arts and the Directorate General of Culture and Islamic Guidance in the provinces, plans to hold the 3rd Fadjr International Festival of Visual Arts in the seven practical fields (painting, poster, ceramics, miniature, calligraphy, photography and cartoon); one theoretical field (scientific conference) and two side events (imaginary and new arts) from February 01 to March 03 2011 in collaboration with the Islamic Republic of Iran Academy of Arts, the Visual Arts Center, the Saba Institute of Culture and Art, the Home of Iranian Artists, the Niavaran Cultural Center, the Roodaki Foundation, the Imam Ali Religious Arts Museum and the national associations and institutes active in the field of arts.

An introduction to the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts (one of the Fadjr Festival’s venues)

The architecture of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts (TMOCA) is an art that combines the contemporary Iranian art with a section in the history of the modern art in the world.
The unique design incorporates the traditional Iranian architecture, which is deeply inspired by the eastern philosophy, and mixes the rural roofs and lightings that recall the desert wind towers, with the winding hall inside follows a completely modern pattern.
This method of designing is a tribute to the traditional architecture and at the same time proves the possibility of the successful combination of the traditional and modern principles in architecture. Those familiar with Iran’s geography know that throughout and along the expanse of the desert, there are gardens with soaring trees, housing a building or a monument that delights the senses with the cool breeze blowing through the wind towers, the vestibules, the chambers and the paths. Therefore the special climate and the desert surroundings promote the highest harmony between architecture and the nature.
Thus the museum is a commanding reminder of the Iranian history. It is made out of rocks and concrete extending over a total area of 8500 m2. The total surface of the museum’s walls also amounts to 2500 m2, enclosing 9 small and large fully equipped galleries for artwork display. It is one of the hubs of art and culture in Tehran, which has pleasingly blended in the urban surroundings. The museum was inaugurated on 13th October 1977, and opened up to the public on 20th of the same month. This building is located to the west of Laleh Park on North Kargar Street. The museum possesses an exclusive collection of contemporary visual artworks, created by world famous artists.

For more info visit: www.tmoca.com

News & Events