The insignificance of Islamic holdays compared to Norooz in Shiite Iran


In Iranian culture – religious and non-religious Shiite one – ‘Eid Al-Fitr (and Al-Adha) are of no real significance compared to the (Zorastrian rooted) festival of Nowrooz. This is not an exaggeration on our side, but rather the very truth and reality of Iranian Shiite culture, even during the last 35 years of an alleged “Islamic” Republic. Here are some interesting points:

1. ‘Eid Al-Fitr is an acknowledged ‘Eid and public holiday in Iran, however within the Shiite population it is of no great significance, neither custom nor traditional wise. It is merely a one-day off (compared to two weeks off for Nowrooz!) even in the Shiite Republic, hence very few really consider it a major holiday.

2. There are no ‘Eid customs amongst Iranian Shias for the festival of ‘Eid Al-Fitr and Al-Adha such as:

  • Praying the ‘Eid prayer in public place
  • Putting on the best cloth (the Majority of Shias in Iran do not wear any long traditional garments like most Muslim nations. Modern day Iranian Shias (except some nomads) are in fact one of the very few Muslim nations that are deprived of a national dress, commonly worn by most or at least a large portion of the population, like in Afghanista, Arabia and even Sunni Iranian areas such as Balochestan etc.)
  • Buying clothes for the kids etc.
  • Puttin on parfume
  • Saying the Takbirat on the streets, market and Mosques
  • Visiting relatives

As for Sunni Iranians (including ethnic Persians), then all the beautiful customs as can be found in the rest of the Islamic world can be found in their areas too, wal-hamdulillah.

3. The real ‘Eid for Iranian Shias – religious and non-religious alike – is the ‘Eid of Nowrooz  (the only Sunnis in Iran who care about Nowrooz are secularists amongst the Kurds. Nowrooz is almost completely absent in Baloch, Arab, and even the Sunni Persian culture. One needs to only check any official calender of the “Islamic Republic of Iran” or visit Iran itself to realise how significant Nowrooz is among Shiite Iranians, to an extent that the Iranian regime itself is supporting this pagan rooted festival by giving officially two weeks off for Nowrooz and only one day for ‘Id Al-Fitr.