Iran at a Glance

Overview

Known from long ago as Persia, Iran is a country with rich history. The land is a place that played a fundamental role in forming human societies in 10000 years ago. The country is located in the commissure of Asia and Europe continents in which turquoise mosques, glorious palaces and tombs of old poems narrate ancient mysteries. In addition to anthropological aspects, Iran`s nature is also rich in terms of extraordinary geological structures, very old forests, and monument ruins on which plants are regrown.  

Nature of Iran

The rich heritage of Iran's Nature can show us many examples of an extraordinary diversity: from lofty Damavand mount to Lut desert (or Emptiness Plain), from fountains of the Caspian Hyrcanian forests to Urmia salt lake, from Sarein mineral fountains to Sistan mud volcanoes. This amazing diversity is a desire of any tourist who is enthusiastic to see the Natures Mysteries.
Iran is a land that has all weather seasons: Snow-covered mountain villages in the summer and pleasant warmth of southern coasts in the winter solstice. Climate diversity of Iran has caused tourists with different tastes travel to this country from all over the world during the whole year. 
 

History of science and culture in Iran

Iran is the land of history and culture, not only because of its 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites including magnificent ruins of Persepolis as the capital of Achaemenid Empire and the 18th Century Golestan Palace, but also for its thousands years of civilization, numerous historical monuments, and the places that represent valuable intellectual and ritual heritages.   
Iranian literature is one of the richest in human history. Hafez, Saadi, Khayyam, Rumi, and Ferdowsi are of the greatest poets nationwide and worldwide.   
History of Medicine in Iran dates back to many years before BC. The world's first artificial eye that has been excavated from the Burnt City dates back to 3200 BC. Persian physicians such as Avicenna, Farabi, Rasis etc, have had honorable role in founding and promoting medical sciences for delivering health services to humans.   
 

Iranian Architecture

The story of Iranian Architecture starts from 5000 BC. Iranian architects have always had special attitude towards the concept of "space" as well as interior and exterior designs. That is why there are many glorious historical constructions nationwide that are rich in terms of structural diversity and aesthetics. 
Chogha Zanbil (1250 BC), Burnt City (3200 BC), Persepolis palace complex (515 BC), Taq kasra (3rd to 6th Century AD), Chehel Sotoun (1646), Naghsh-e Jahan Square (1629), and Golestan Palace (1865) are some of most famous architectural works in Iran.     
 

Communication and literature

Formal language of Iranians is Persian. But there are also other languages and dialects by which ethnics communicate. For example, in southeast of the country, Arabic is also spoken; or Azerbaijanis (inhabitants in northwest) speak a Turkish dialect called Azeri.
When it comes to hospitality, generosity and kindness, Iranians are in the top ranks. They try wholeheartedly to provide great times for their guests. What they only expect from their guests is to share memories with their friends and family and encourage them to travel to Iran.       
One of the Iranian's distinctive behaviors is Compliment. It might be confusing and seem as an exaggerated way of politeness, respect or hospitality but it gives interesting feeling.    
 

Foods and edibles

Iranian dietary is healthy and is mostly consisted of vegetables and fruits. Meat (usually mutton, chicken, and veal) is also an important part of Iranian foods. In addition, Rice and fresh bread are the main ingredients of most of Iranian foods as sources of starch. The prevalent drink in Iran is Black tea.        
Iranian breakfast is almost a light meal which is consisted of fresh bread, tea, cow's milk, butter, honey, walnut, egg, and cheese.   
Lunch as the Iranians' main meal is served about 1:00 P.M. In Iranian Cuisine, Chelow kabab is the most famous dish. It is boiled rice with grilled meat as well as other ingredients. The grilled meat and some grilled tomatoes are served on the boiled rice which is flavored with local butter and saffron.   
Iranian Pastries are also delicious. Each part of Iran has its own pastries. Domestic tourists usually bring pastries of the destination cities as souvenirs for their family and friends. Isfahan's Gaz (also known as Persian Nougat), yazd's Baklava and Qottab are some famous and most delicious local pastries.
Tea and fresh fruits are usually served before and/or after lunch and dinner. In Iran, Non-alcoholic drinks are officially served while followers of other religions have no restrictions for alcoholic drinks.
 

Sports

Iranians indigenous sports that date back to ancient times are wrestling and horse riding. Polo is also another team sport in which proficiency in horse riding is fundamental. In 2017, this Persian sport was registered in UNESCO World Heritage List. Today, Football, Volleyball, and Wrestling are the most popular sports in Iran.    
The two lofty chains of mountain and their towering peaks that are covered with snow most of the year have made Iran a good destination for skiing fans. Every year, more than 20 ski reports host enthusiasts of this fun and exciting sport.

Handcrafts and souvenirs

 Iranian carpet weaving has been born in Bronze Age. Designs and motifs of these carpets differ from one city to another. The carpets and rugs that are woven in Tabriz (in northwest of Iran) and Isfahan (center of the country) are very famous because of their very technical way of weaving, quality of materials and unique patterns.   
Toreutics which is also called as embossing or engraving is another Iranian Art branches. In this art, some patterns are carved by hammer and engraving chisels to decorate surface of metal objects (especially Gold, Copper, and Silver). This several thousand year old art became prevalent in Achaemenid era. plates, cups, vases, trays and jewelries are decorated by this art. There are different styles of embossing in Shiraz, Tabriz, and Isfahan. 
 Khatam Kari and Mina Kari are of the most beautiful Iranian handcrafts. Picture frames, and jewelry boxes are embellished with Khatam. In this art, pieces of stone, wood, and elephant tusk are used to create geometrical patterns.
Minakari is the art of enameling metals and decorating them by the annealed colorful coatings.  This art that dates back to Achaemenid and Sasanid eras has reached to its peak in Isfahan. 
Iranian Miniatures are complicated and very detailed paintings that contain mystical and spiritual themes. This kind of painting is also used in minakari and khatamkari works. 
Persian calligraphy is a very delicate visual art. Verses of Quran and poetries of eminent Iranian poets are written very beautifully and then illuminated by illumination artists.

Major holidays

The greatest Iranian holiday is Nowruz or the ancient New Year celebration; which coincides with the first day of spring. During this celebration, people go to each other's houses and children receive gifts. Nationalization of the oil industry, Islamic Republic day and the revolution day are other national days in Iran.    
Eid Fitr that is the day after a month of fasting (Ramadan) and Eid al Adha or Festival of sacrifice are also celebrated in Iran.

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