The Most Popular Festival in Iran: Exploring the Vibrant Cultural Celebrations

Choose the festival you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 21, 2024 06:05
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinions matter and your voice is heard! As the land of rich cultural heritage and vibrant traditions, Iran is home to numerous awe-inspiring festivals. It's time for you to help us discover the "Most Popular Festival in Iran!" Dive into the colorful world of Iranian celebrations, from the mesmerizing fire-jumping festivities of Chaharshanbe Suri to the breathtaking beauty of Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Cast your vote for your favorite, or suggest an enchanting festival we may have missed. Join the fun, engage in the conversation, and let's unfold the captivating tapestry of Iran's festive charm together!

What Is the Most Popular Festival in Iran?

  1. 1
    The Persian New Year, celebrated on the first day of spring (usually March 20-21), is the most popular festival in Iran. It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years and is a symbol of renewal and rebirth. People gather with family and friends, exchange gifts, and enjoy traditional foods.
    Nowruz is the most popular festival in Iran and marks the Persian New Year. It is celebrated on the first day of spring, usually on March 21st or the previous/following day. Nowruz has been celebrated for over 3,000 years and holds great cultural and historical significance in Iran and other countries in the region.
    • Duration: Two weeks
    • Preparations: Cleaning homes, buying new clothes, and setting up the Haft Seen
    • Haft Seen: A tabletop arrangement of seven symbolic items starting with the letter 'S'
    • Chaharshanbe Suri: A fire-jumping tradition on the eve of the last Wednesday of the year
    • Visiting family and friends: An important social aspect of Nowruz
  2. 2
    Celebrated on the longest night of the year (usually December 21-22), Yalda Night is a celebration of the winter solstice, and the return of light and warmth. People gather with family and friends, eat watermelon, and read poetry.
    Yalda Night, also known as Shab-e Yalda, is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in Iran. It is observed on the longest night of the year, which usually falls on December 20th or 21st in the Gregorian calendar. Yalda Night has ancient roots and is considered a celebration of the winter solstice.
    • Date: December 20th or 21st
    • Duration: One night
    • Symbolism: Celebration of the winter solstice and victory of light over darkness
    • Traditions: Gathering with family and friends, storytelling, reciting poetry, eating special foods
    • Foods: Pomegranates, watermelon, nuts, and other seasonal fruits
  3. 3
    Eid al-Fitr
    Government of Pakistan · Public domain
    The festival of breaking the fast, Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims. It is a time for family gatherings, feasting, and giving to the poor.
    Eid al-Fitr is one of the most popular festivals in India and is celebrated by the Muslim community. It marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. The festival is a time of joy, gratitude, and feasting, as Muslims break their month-long fast and come together to celebrate the spiritual and physical achievements of Ramadan.
    • Meaning: Eid al-Fitr translates to 'Festival of Breaking the Fast'.
    • Date: The festival is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
    • Feasting: Eid al-Fitr is associated with a grand feast called 'Eid ki Sewaiyan', where delicious sweet vermicelli is prepared and shared with family, friends, and the needy.
    • Prayer: Muslims offer a special congregational prayer called 'Salat al-Eid' at mosques or designated prayer grounds.
    • Charity: Giving to the less fortunate is an important aspect of Eid al-Fitr. Muslims are encouraged to offer 'Zakat al-Fitr', a form of charity.
    Eid al-Fitr in other rankings
  4. 4
    Eid al-Adha
    Chongkian · CC BY-SA 4.0
    The festival of sacrifice, Eid al-Adha is celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael. People gather with family and friends, sacrifice an animal (usually a sheep or goat), and distribute the meat to the poor.
    Eid al-Adha, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, is one of the most important and widely celebrated festivals in Iran. It is an Islamic holiday that commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God's command. Just as Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, God intervened and provided a ram as a substitute. This festival is observed as a testament to Ibrahim's faith and is celebrated with prayers, feasts, and the sacrifice of animals.
    • Date: Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah.
    • Duration: The festival lasts for four days.
    • Religious significance: It marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage and is considered one of the holiest festivals in Islam.
    • Animal sacrifice: During Eid al-Adha, Muslims sacrifice animals, typically sheep, goats, or cows, in remembrance of Ibrahim's sacrifice.
    • Charity: A significant portion of the sacrificed meat is donated to the poor and needy.
    Eid al-Adha in other rankings
  5. 5
    A religious holiday for Shia Muslims, Ashura commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. People gather for processions, mourning rituals, and charity work.
    Ashura is a significant festival observed in Bangladesh, primarily by the Shia Muslim community. It commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, who was killed in the Battle of Karbala. Ashura is a solemn occasion marked by mourning and prayers.
    • Date: The 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram
    • Observance: Shia Muslims engage in various rituals, including processions, self-flagellation, chest-beating, and reenactments of the battle
    • Mourning: Participants wear black attire, recite elegies, and listen to sermons that highlight the sacrifice of Imam Hussain
    • Cultural Importance: Ashura strengthens community bonds and keeps alive the memory of Imam Hussain's struggle for justice
    • Public Processions: Massive processions take place in major cities, with mourners walking barefoot while engaging in sorrowful chants and expressions of grief
  6. 6
    Sizdah Bedar
    PersianDutchNetwork · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Celebrated on the 13th day of Nowruz (usually April 1-2), Sizdah Bedar is a day for picnics and outdoor activities. People go to parks and countryside, and it is believed that throwing away the Sabzeh (sprouts) used for the Haft Seen table brings good luck.
    Sizdah Bedar, also known as Nature's Day, is an ancient Iranian festival celebrated on the thirteenth day of the Persian New Year known as Nowruz. It is a joyous occasion where families and friends gather together and spend the day outdoors enjoying nature.
    • Date: Usually falls on April 2nd
    • Duration: One day
    • Traditions: Picnicking, outdoor activities, knotting blades of grass, throwing Sabzeh (sprouted lentil or wheat) into flowing water
    • Significance: Symbolizes getting rid of bad luck and misfortunes, embracing nature and enjoying outdoor activities
    • Customs: Unmarried individuals tie a knot between blades of grass and make a wish for finding a suitable partner
  7. 7
    An ancient Persian festival, Mehregan celebrates the god of love and friendship, Mithra. People gather for feasting, singing, and dancing. It is also a time for forgiveness and reconciling with others.
    Mehregan, also known as the Persian Festival of Autumn, is one of the most popular festivals celebrated in Iran. It is an ancient Persian festival that dates back to pre-Islamic times and is a celebration of friendship, love, and harvest.
    • Date: Mehregan is celebrated on the 16th day of the seventh month in the Persian calendar, which usually falls around late September or early October.
    • Meaning: The word 'Mehregan' is derived from 'Mehr,' which means kindness and love. It is a time to express gratitude and celebrate friendship.
    • Dress: During Mehregan, people often wear traditional clothing, such as colorful dresses and suits.
    • Activities: The festival includes various activities, such as folk dancing, music performances, storytelling, poetry recitation, and traditional games.
    • Food: Special Mehregan dishes like Ash-e Reshteh (noodle soup), Fesenjan (pomegranate and walnut stew), and traditional pastries are prepared and shared during the festival.
  8. 8
    Chaharshanbe Suri
    Philippe Giabbanelli · CC BY 3.0
    Celebrated on the last Wednesday before Nowruz (usually March 16-17), Chaharshanbe Suri is a fire festival. People light bonfires, jump over them, and sing songs. It is believed that the fire cleanses and purifies people of their sins.
    Chaharshanbe Suri, also known as the Festival of Fire, is one of the most popular Iranian festivals that takes place on the eve of the last Wednesday before Nowruz, the Persian New Year. It is a celebration where people gather to welcome spring and ward off evil spirits through various traditional customs and rituals.
    • Date: Last Wednesday before Nowruz
    • Origin: Ancient Zoroastrian tradition
    • Historical Significance: Symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness
    • Customs and Traditions: Jumping over bonfires, fireworks, lighting candles, knocking on doors for treats
    • Symbolic Actions: Cleansing fires, leaping over flames to leave behind the past and welcome a new beginning
  9. 9
    A festival of water and rain, Tirgan is celebrated on July 1-2 in northern Iran. People gather by rivers and lakes, eat traditional foods, and enjoy music and dance. It is believed that Tirgan brings rain and good harvests.
    Tirgan is an ancient Persian festival that celebrates the coming of summer and the abundance of water. It is a nationwide event celebrated by Iranians around the world with great enthusiasm and joy.
    • Origin: Tirgan has its roots in ancient Persian culture, dating back thousands of years.
    • Date: Tirgan is celebrated on the 13th day of the month of Tir in the Iranian calendar, which corresponds to July 2nd or 3rd in the Gregorian calendar.
    • Symbolism: Water, as a symbol of life and fertility, plays a central role in Tirgan celebrations. It represents purification, cleansing, and rejuvenation.
    • Activities: Tirgan festivities include outdoor picnics by rivers or lakes, water games and sports, traditional music and dance performances, storytelling, and art exhibitions.
    • Regional Variations: Different regions of Iran may have their unique traditions and customs associated with Tirgan, adding diversity to the celebration.
  10. 10
    Similar to Yalda Night, Shab-e Yalda is celebrated on the last night of the Persian month of Azar (usually December 20-21). People gather with family and friends, eat pomegranates and other seasonal fruits, and read poetry.
    Shab-e Yalda, also known as Shab-e Chelleh, is a traditional Iranian festival celebrated on the winter solstice. It is one of the oldest and most significant celebrations in Iranian culture, symbolizing the triumph of light and goodness over darkness and evil. During Shab-e Yalda, families and friends gather together to stay up late into the night, engage in cheerful conversations, and enjoy various activities and traditional foods.
    • Date: The festival is celebrated on the night of December 20th
    • Historical Significance: Shab-e Yalda has ancient Zoroastrian roots and marks the last day of autumn and the beginning of winter
    • Symbolism: It symbolizes the victory of light, knowledge, and goodness over darkness, ignorance, and evil
    • Family Gathering: Families come together to celebrate and spend quality time with each other
    • Poetry Reading: Recitation of poetry, especially works by famous Persian poets like Hafez, is an essential part of the celebration

Missing your favorite festival?


Ranking factors for popular festival

  1. Cultural significance
    The cultural importance of the festival is another key factor. A festival that is deeply rooted in the history and traditions of Iran, or carries a significant religious or cultural weight, is likely to be highly popular.
  2. Media coverage
    The level of media attention and coverage a festival receives in Iran can be an indicator of its popularity. Festivals that are widely covered by newspapers, television, and online platforms are likely to be more popular.
  3. Duration
    The duration of the festival can also be an indication of its popularity. Longer festivals that take place over several days or even weeks tend to generate more interest and draw larger crowds.
  4. Activities and events
    Festivals that offer a wide range of events and activities like music, dance, art, food, and sports are likely to be more popular, as they have something for everyone.
  5. Regional and international appeal
    Festivals that are not only popular within Iran but also attract visitors from other countries can be considered more popular due to their broader appeal.
  6. Economic impact
    The success and popularity of a festival can also be gauged by its economic impact on the local community, as popular festivals are likely to attract tourism and generate revenue.
  7. Social media presence and engagement
    The popularity and awareness of a festival can also be influenced by its social media presence and engagement. Festivals with strong online followings and engaging content can generate more interest and attract larger audiences.
  8. Reputation and tradition
    The reputation, history, and tradition of a festival can contribute to its popularity. Festivals with a long-standing history and strong ties to cultural traditions will likely resonate with more people and be considered popular.
  9. Quality of organization and infrastructure
    Lastly, the quality of the festival's organization and its supporting infrastructure is essential. Popular festivals tend to be well-organized, with adequate facilities, amenities, and safety measures in place.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular festival in Iran. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Festival is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 165 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Festival once every 24 hours. The rank of each Festival is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular festival in iran

Iran is a country rich in culture and tradition, and one of the most significant aspects of this is the celebration of festivals. There are numerous festivals that take place throughout the year, each with its unique meaning and significance. One of the most popular festivals in Iran is the Persian New Year, also known as Nowruz. This ancient festival, which dates back over 3,000 years, marks the first day of spring and the beginning of a new year in the Persian calendar. Other popular festivals in Iran include Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, and Eid al-Adha, which commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. These festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm and involve a range of activities such as feasting, gift-giving, and family gatherings. With such a diverse range of festivals, it's no wonder that Iran is known for its vibrant and colorful culture.

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