Pir-e Shaliar Ritual, Kurdestan
The ancient ritual of Pir-e Shaliar is held annually at Uramantakht Village, Kurdestan province, during Jan. 21-Feb. 19.
Despite the passage of many decades, a large number of people are participating in the ceremony. The region’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 in the previous year.Some historians believe this ritual dates back to 1,000 years and others believe it has a higher historical precedence.The Pir-e Shaliar ritual marks the wedding anniversary of a mythical old man (Pir) called Shaliar, which is rooted in mythology and ancient ceremonies of the villagers.
The ritual starts on Tuesday night with the distribution of walnuts from Pir-e Shaliar Garden among the villagers. Then cow, sheep and goat are sacrificed and slaughtered to cook special food. The villagers play the tambourine, perform mystic dances, recite prayers, pass the leather shoes of Pir-e Shaliar to each other and cook a special bread called ‘Kalireh Mozhgeh’ (made of flour, walnuts and onions) for three days.Children shoulder the task of dividing the walnuts among people. On Wednesday morning, before sunrise, children are divided into groups of three or four. They knock on people’s doors and say the word ‘Kalavrocheneh’. The owner of the house comes out and gives the children sweets and something to eat in return for a few walnuts.
The ritual continues until Friday and before Friday prayers. On Friday morning, people gather in Pir-e Shaliar Mausoleum and after reciting group prayers, go to the mosque.