Tag Archives: Winter

Photo series: Winter in Iran – Snow sliding

Iranians enjoying winter in Alborz, Markazi, Hamedan and other provinces.

Sources: Mehr News Agency (MNA) 1, MNA 2, MNA 3, MNA 4, ISNA 1, ISNA 2

Photo series: Winter in Iran – First spring signs

Nowruz, the Iranian New Year celebrated on the day of the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, has almost arrived and with it we can enjoy the first blossoms across the country: From Rumeshgan in Lorestan, Estur in Kerman, Khaledah and Shiraz in Fars to the gardens of Qazvin.

Sources: Mehr News Agency (MNA) 1, MNA 2, MNA 3, MNA 4, Tasnim News Agency, ISNA, IRNA, Jamejam Online

Photo series: Winter in Iran – Youth Alpine Ski Championship in Tehran

Tochal Ski complex hosted a competition attended by more than eighty young athletes.

Other winter photo galleries: The other Iran | Winter

Sources: Borna News Agency, Sport Tehran

Photo series: Winter in Iran – Savadkuh County, Mazandaran

The Veresk Bridge and the Three Golden Lines, a railway spiral passing three times by the same area at different heights are located in Savadkuh County, Mazandaran Province. They are part of the Trans-Iranian Railway, a major railway building project that started in 1927 and completed in 1938. It links the capital Tehran with the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea.

The Danish firm Kampsax began constructing Veresk Bridge in 1934. The structure stands at 110m height and has a 66m long arch. It connects two mountains in the Abbas Abad region.

The construction of this bridge included craftsmen of many nationalities. The name of the bridge is derived from the name of a Czechoslovakian technician whose name was hard to pronounce for Iranians. Near the bridge is a memorial for the workers who lost their life while building the bridge and its nearby tunnels. The Chief Engineer, Austrian Walter Aigner, following his wishes, is buried in the local cemetery of Veresk.

During World War II, it was known as the Pol-e-Piroozi, or the bridge of victory. During the course of the war, Reza Shah was asked by Hitler to blow up all tunnels and bridges, including the Veresk Bridge, on Iran’s railway lines in order to delay the transfer of goods and reinforcement troops to the north for the Russians. He furthermore promised to replace and reconstruct all of such demolished structures following the Germans’ victory in the war. Reza Shah rejected the request. Today trains connecting Tehran to Gorgan or Sari pass over this bridge an average of four times a day.

Sources: Wikipedia | Veresk Bridge, Borna News, highestbridges.com, fouman.com, Wikipedia | Trans-Iranian-Railway

Photo series: Winter in Iran – Enjoying the snow in Sepidan, Fars Province

Sepidan, which means “The Whiteland” in Persian, is a County located in the Zagros Mountains, in Iran’s Fars Province.

The beauty of the region – Sheshpir Lake, vineyards, forests and rivers – coupled with the mild climate in the summer makes Sepidan a popular destination for ecotourism. Roanj and Barmefirooz, 3.720 and 3.706 meters above sea level, are the highest peaks of the county and are covered with snow throughout the year. Margoon Waterfall, Beheshte Gomshodeh (Lost Paradise) and Pooladkaf, one of the best ski resorts in south Iran are at the foothills of these peaks.

Though Sepidan is visited mostly for its nature and landscapes, it can be a destination for historical and archeological tourists. Anshan, which is considered the Cradle of the Achaemenid Empire and Golbahar Tower, built by the Safavids are located also in this county.

Sources: Borna News, ISNA 1, Wikipedia | Sepidan (in French), Wiki Voyage | Sepidan

Photo series: Winter in Iran – Dizin Ski resort

Dizin is one of the larger Iranian ski resorts in the Alborz mountain range, near Tehran (43 miles north of the capital city) and also near the city of Karaj. It was established in 1969.

The ski season in Dizin lasts longer than in European ski resorts, from December to May, because of the resort’s high altitude. The highest ski lift reaches 3,600 m (11,800 ft), making it one of the 40 highest ski resorts in the world.

The lowest point of the region is 2650m, while its highest point is 3600m, (which equates to 11,811 feet above the sea level). The snow quality at Dizin is fantastic powder and rivals that of many European and Rocky Mountain snow areas.

The Dizin ski complex is the first ski and winter sport resort in Iran which has been officially recognized and granted the title by the International Ski Federation (FIS) for its capability in administrating official and international competitions. At the present, the Dizin ski region is administered by Iran Ski Federation. The FIS Grass Skiing World Cup is also organized in Dizin since 2012.

Sources: Wikipedia | Dizin, Mehr News Agency | Photos 1, Mehr News Agency | Photos 2

More info on: TripAdvisor | Attraction Review | Dizin

Photo gallery: Ski season started at Tochal Ski Resort in Tehran, Iran

Tochal ski resort officially started this year’s autumn-winter season.

Tochal Complex, located on the northernmost part of Tehran, has been open to the public since 1978. The gondola lift, used for accessing ski resorts and other recreational centres on the mountain, has a length of 7500m. It starts at the Velenjak valley at an altitude of 1900m and ends at Station 7, at an altitude of 3740m, near the main ridge of Mount Tochal. The main ski slopes are located in Station 7 and due to its height they are covered with snow for more than 8 months of the year.

Tochal Mountain offers an unexpected array of outdoors activities –from hiking to skiing and is seen as one of the perfect places to escape the commotion of the city that lies below it; Tehran. There are various mountaineering routes across the rugged landscape, which cater to different levels of ability (and enthusiasm).

Sources: IRNA, ISNA, BORNA, Mehr News, Fars News, Young Journalists Club, Tehran Times (PDF), Wikipedia | Tochal Complex

Photo series: Winter in Iran – Snow in Bisutun, Kermanshah Province

Please also check out the amazing story and photos of the Bisutun Inscription – the Iranian Rosetta Stone, that was vandalized by Allied soldiers during the Anglo-Russian invasion of Iran.

Sources: Tasnim News | Photos, The other Iran

Photo series: Winter in Iran – Snowfall in Tabriz

Iran, Tabriz MapTabriz is one of the historical capitals of Iran, and the present capital of East Azerbaijan Province. Tabriz is located at an elevation of 1,350 meters above sea level in the Quru River valley between the long ridge of the volcanic cone of Sahand and Eynali mountain. The valley opens up into a plain that gently slopes down to the eastern shores of Lake Urmia, 60 kilometres (37 miles) to the west. With cold winters and temperate summers, the city is considered a summer resort.

The city has a long and turbulent history with its oldest civilization sites dated back to 1,500 B.C. It contains many historical monuments representing the transition of Iranian architecture in its long historical timelines.

The predominant language spoken in Tabriz is Azerbaijani language. The language has a strong Iranian substrata since it has for many centuries been in close contact with Persian. Like every other part of Iran the lingua franca is Persian. For the first time, an academic program on Azeri opened in Tabriz University in 1999.

Tabriz was a house for numerous Iranian writers, poets, and illumination movements. In old times the city notables, supported poets and writers by organizing periodical meetings. Within its long history it was a residence for many well known Iranian writers and poets. The list can start from the old time Rumi, Qatran, Khaqani to recent years Samad Behrangi, Gholam-Hossein Sa’edi, Parvin E’tesami.

Sources: Mehr News Agency | Photos, ISNA | Photos, Wikipedia | Tabriz

Photo series: Winter in Iran – Snowfall in Kerman

Kerman is the capital city of Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2011 census, its population was 821,374, making it the 10th most populous city of Iran.

Iran, Kerman mapIt is one of the largest cities of Iran in terms of area. Kerman is famous for its long history and strong cultural heritage. The city is home to many historic mosques and Zoroastrian fire temples. Kerman is also on the list of the recent world’s 1000 cleanest cities. Kerman is also a former capital of Iran, a position that it held during several periods. It is located on a large, flat plain, 1,036 km (643 mi) south of Tehran, the capital of Iran.

Sources: ISNA | PhotosWikipedia | Kerman

Photo series: Winter in Iran – Snow sliding in Mahnan near Bojnord

North Khorasan, Iran – Mahnan (Mehnan) MapMehnan (also Mahnan and in Persian: مهنان‎) is a village in Aladagh Rural District, in the Central District of Bojnord County, North Khorasan Province, Iran. Its populations (2006) was 1.341 inhabitants.

Bojnord is the capital city of North Khorasan province, Iran. It is about 701km (436mi) from Tehran.

The city is quite famous for its multicultural background. Many people speak at least 2 different languages including Persian, Tati, Khorasani Turkic, Kurmanci Kurdish, and Turkmen. Intermarriage between said ethnic groups is common.

Sources: Mehr News Agency | Photos, Wikipedia | Bojnord, Wikipedia | Mehnan

Photo series: Winter in Iran – Snowball fighting in Kerman City

Kerman is the capital city of Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2011 census, its population was 821,374, making it the 10th most populous city of Iran.

Iran, Kerman mapIt is one of the largest cities of Iran in terms of area. Kerman is famous for its long history and strong cultural heritage. The city is home to many historic mosques and Zoroastrian fire temples. Kerman is also on the list of the recent world’s 1000 cleanest cities. Kerman is also a former capital of Iran, a position that it held during several periods. It is located on a large, flat plain, 1,036 km (643 mi) south of Tehran, the capital of Iran.

Climate
The city’s many districts are surrounded by mountains which bring variety to Kerman’s year round weather pattern, thus the northern part of the city is located in an arid desert area, while the highland of the southern part of the city enjoys a more moderate climate. The mean elevation of the city is about 1755 m above sea level.

Kerman city has a moderate climate and the average annual rainfall is 135 mm. Because it is located close to the Kavir-e lut (Lut desert), Kerman has hot summers and in the spring it often has violent sand storms. Otherwise, its climate is relatively cool.

Culture
Kerman has an abundance of architectural relics of antiquity. It is among several cites in Iran with a strong cultural heritage, which is expressed in the local accent, poetry, local music, handicrafts and customs that Kerman has introduced to the world of culture.

The Iran museum of Zoroastrians, which showcases the ancient history of Zoroastrians, is in Kerman’s Fire Temple. The idea of launching the museum along with the library of Kerman’s Zoroastrian Society came to light in 1983, when the head of the society, Parviz Vakhashouri, and the former head of library, Mehran Gheibi, collected cultural heritage artifacts of Kerman’s Zoroastrian community. These two officials added many other objects to this collection.The museum was officially inaugurated during Jashn-e Tirgan in 2005 by Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO).

Jashn-e Tirgan or Tiregan is an ancient Iranian rain festival observed on July 1. The festivity refers to archangel Tir (literally meaning arrow) or Tishtar (lightning) who appear in the sky to generate thunder and lightning for providing the much needed rain.

Sadeh ceremony is celebrated every year in Kerman. Also The archeological ancient area of Jiroft and Tappe Yahya Baft are located south of Kerman. Rayen Castle is also located on Rayen town,south east of Kerman.

Sources: Mehr News Agency, Wikipedia | Kerman

Photo Series: Winter in Iran – Masuleh, Gilan Province

Beautiful pictures of Masuleh covered in snow:

For more detailed information about Masuleh and its unique architecture:
The other Iran | Iran’s Gilan Province: Masuleh Village

Source: Mehr News Agency | Photos

Photo Series: Winter in Iran – Marivan, Kurdistan Province

Snowman Festival in Marivan – With the first snowfall of this year’s winter in Marivan, people gathered to celebrate a snowman festival.

Marivan is a city in Kurdistan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 91,664 inhabitants. The native language of the city is the central dialect of Kurdish (Sorani) with a minority of Hawrami dialect. The religion of the people is Shafi’i Sunni.

The city lies close to the Iraqi border and due to the official border market of Bashmaq which is between the Kurdish region of Iraq and Iran, it serves a destination for shoppers in neighbor provinces. Lake Zarivar lies west of Marivan. With a length of 5km and a maximum width of 1.6km it is a major touristic attraction in the region. The lake’s water is fresh and has a maximum depth of 6m.

Sources: Wikipedia | Marivan, Mehr News Agency | Photos

Photo gallery: Winter in Iran – Chahar Bagh, Golestan

Chahar Bagh is a village in the Central District of Gorgan County, Golestan Province, Iran. Gelestan, located in the north-east of the country south of the Caspian Sea, enjoys a temperate climate most of the year. Geographically, it is divided into two sections: The plains, and the mountains of the Alborz range.

Source: Mehr News Agency | Photos, Wikipedia | Golestan Province

Photo gallery: Winter in Iran – Khalkhal-Asalem region

Khalkhal, with a population of 38,521 (2006), is the capital of Khalkhal County, in Ardabil Province, Iran. Asalem is a city in Talesh County, Gilan Province, Iran. Its population is 3,347 (2006). The road from Asalem to Khalkhal is known for its beautiful landscapes. This region, not far from the Caspian Sea, attracts many visitors every year.

Tasnim News Agency on December 26 dedicated its Iran’s Beauties in Photos section to pictures from winter in the northern part of Iran. Take a look:

Sources: Wikipedia | Asalem, Wikipedia | Khalkhal, Iran Front Page

Iran’s Tehran Province: Tochal Complex (Photos)

Young woman snowboarding in Tochal, Iran

Young woman snowboarding in Tochal, Iran

Tochal Complex is located in Velenjak, North of Tehran, Iran and consists of many recreational and sports facilities.

The Tochal Telecabin Project started in 1974 and has been open to the public since 1978. It starts at the Velenjak valley in north of Tehran at an altitude of 1900m. and ends at the last station at an altitude of 3740m, near the main ridge of Mount Tochal. This 7500m long gondola lift is used for accessing ski resorts and other recreational centres on the mountain to enjoy this area’s beautiful landscape, mountain fresh air and a multitude of fresh water springs.

The gondola lift has four stations:
Station 1 is at an elevation of 1900m and located at the beginning of Velenjak valley (end of Velenjak Street). Parking, inns and some other facilities are available.
Station 2 is at 2400m and has very limited facilities.
Station 5 is at 2935 m. There is a restaurant and a rescue centre. This station is also accessible through several climbing paths like Shirpala shelter, Osoon valley and Palang-chal shelter. In order to get to Station 7 you have to change here.
Station 7 is at 3740 m. and very close to the Tochal main ridge. It is the last station of the gondola lift. This station is in the middle of the Tochal ski slope. The Tochal main peak is a 30-minute walk from this point. This station is also reachable from Hezar-cham climbing path from Station 5.

Tochal Skiing Resort is one of the popular recreational places in Tehran. The main ski slopes are located in Station 7:
Peak: This 1200m slope starts from the foot of Tochal (at 3850m) and ends at the hotel (3550m). There is one Doppelmayr chairlift and one teleski for transferring skiers and a half pipe. Because of the height of the ski slope in station 7 (more than 3500m above sea level), similar to the Alvares Ski Resort in Sabalan, Ardabil Province, Iran, these slopes are covered with snow for more than 8 months during the year.
Western Foothill: This slope is located on the western foothill of the Tochal Mountain. The length of the ski slope is 900m, having its peak at 3750m above sea level and its lowest spot at Tochal Hotel (3550m above sea level). A Poma chairlift is built in this slope for skiers.

Sources: Wikipedia | Tochal Complex, Mehr News Agency | Photos, ISNA | Photos, Tasnim News Agency | Photos

Preparations in Iran for Yalda – The Longest Night of the Year (Photos)

Shab-e Chella(-e bozorg) (“night of (the great) forty”‎) or Shab-e Yalda (“Yalda night”‎) is an Iranian festival celebrated on the “longest and darkest night of the year,” that is, in the night of the Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice. Calendarically, it is celebrated in the night between the last day of the ninth month (Azar) and the first day of the tenth month (Dae) of the Iranian civil calendar, which corresponds to the night of December 20 or 21 each year.

The longest and darkest night of the year is a time when friends and family gather together to eat, drink and read poetry (especially Hafez) until well after midnight. Fruits and nuts are eaten and pomegranates and watermelons are particularly significant. The red color in these fruits symbolizes the crimson hues of dawn and glow of life. The poems of Divan-e-Hafez, which can be found in the bookcases of most Iranians families, are intermingled with peoples’ life and are read or recited during various occasions like this festival and at Nowruz.

In the 1st-3rd centuries, significant numbers of Eastern Christians settled in Arsacid and Sassanid territories, where they had received protection from religious persecution. Through them, Western Iranians came in contact with Christian religious observances, including, it seems, Nestorian Christian Yalda, which in Syriac (a Middle Aramaic dialect) literally means “birth” but was also one of the Syriac words for Christmas, which — because it fell nine months after Annunciation — was celebrated on eve of the winter solstice. Although it is not clear when and where the Syriac word was adopted into Persian, gradually ‘Shab-e Yalda’ and ‘Shab-e Cheleh’ became synonymous and the two are used interchangeably.

An association with the 40-day “chella” period is preserved amongst Iranian Azerbaijanis, who call it Chilla Gejasi, which means the beginning of the first 40 days of winter. The Iranian concept also survives in Urdu-speaking Kashmir, India, where Chillai Kalan designates the 40-day harshest winter period.

In pre-Islamic Zoroastrian tradition the longest and darkest night of the year was a particularly inauspicious day, and the practices of what is now known as “Shab-e Chelleh/Yalda” were originally customs intended to protect people from evil (see dews) during that long night. People were advised to stay awake most of the night, lest misfortune should befall them, and people would then gather in the safety of groups of friends and relatives, share the last remaining fruits from the summer, and find ways to pass the long night together in good company. The next day (i.e. the first day of Dae month) was then a day of celebration. Although the religious significance of the long dark night have been lost, the old traditions of staying up late in the company of friends and family have been retained in Iranian culture to the present day.

Food plays a central role in the present-day form of the celebrations. In most parts of Iran the extended family comes together and enjoys a fine dinner. A wide variety of fruits and sweetmeats specifically prepared or kept for this night are served. Foods common to the celebration include watermelon, pomegranate, nuts, and dried fruit. These items and more are commonly placed on a korsi, which people sit around.

After dinner the older individuals entertain the others by telling them tales and anecdotes. Another favourite and prevalent pastime of the night of Chelleh is divination by the Divan of Hafez (fal-e Hafez). It is believed that one should not divine by the Divan of Hafez more than three times, however, or the poet may get angry.

Since the first night of winter ( 21th of December) is the longest night and from that night on the days get longer and the warmth and light of the sun increases, that night was supposed to be the time for the re-birth of sun. The Aryan tribes, in India, Iran and Europe celebrated sun’s birth at the beginning of winter. Yalda is a Syriani word meaning birth. The Roman used the word natalis for birth.

Sources
wikipedia
Tasnim News
ISNA
IRNA