Hawraman holds Pir Shalyar Festival
Hawraman’s people call this ritual “Wedding of Pir-e Shaliar." The ceremony is indicative of the active participation of people in social and cultural events, and every year it is held more gloriously than before.
Despite the passage of many decades, a large number of people participated in this year’s Pir Shalyar Festival.
Although this ritual is referred to as a wedding, it is in essence a traditional ceremony during which people pray to God.
Hawraman is a mountainous region located within the provinces of the Iraqi Kurdistan and Kermanshah which is situated in western Iran.
The word Hawraman is a compound noun: “Hawra” that means Ahura and “Man” which means the place, home, or land. So, Hawraman means the land of Ahuramazda or the place of Ahuramazda.
Hawraman in the Kurdish language means the land of sun. One of the outstanding features distinguishing this region from other areas is its rocky and mountainous nature with its breathtaking architecture including historical villages, ancient castles and religious temples with different delicate native and local structures.
Pir (saint/magi) Shalyar is one of the historical temples being located among them. According to historians and local residents, Pir Shalyar was Jamasb’s son and Jamasb was one of the Zoroastrian spiritual leaders who lived in Hawraman.
The festival of Pir Shalyar is an old traditional ceremony in Kurdistan. It is held on the 40th day of winter. The celebration is held in three stages, each in a day of three consecutive weeks.
Pir Shalyar is believed to have cured a princess and married her, the ceremony marks their marriage. Pir is the highest rank in Mithraism and Zoroastrianism. His tomb is located in the Kurdistan province of Iran.
In the first week, children inform the people of the approaching of the ceremony by distributing walnuts to every home.
In the second week, on Wednesday night before the sunrise, children climb the roofs of homes, singing the traditional Kurdish songs. Shortly after sunrise cows and sheep are sacrificed. In the evening they play the daf (or daffa), a traditional Kurdish music instrument exactly like tambourine but larger, and sing spiritual hymns.
On the third Friday of the month Rebendan (second month of winter in the Kurdish calendar), golden bread that is made of wheat and walnut in the shape of a sun (disc) is brought to the tomb of Pir. There it is distributed among the participants and enjoyed on the spot.
An annual festival is held in Iranian Kurdistan’s Oraman Takht village to celebrate wedding of priest Pir-e Shalyar more than millennium ago.