Pir Shalyar Ceremony

The festival of Pir Shalyar (also spelled as Shaliyar) is an old traditional ceremony in Kurdistan.

Pir (saint/magi) Shalyar is one of the historical temples being located among the Uraman Takht village. According to historians and local residents, Pir Shalyar was Jamasb’s son and Jamasb was one of the Zoroastrian spiritual leaders who lived in Uraman (Hawraman).

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Uraman village

The strange story, which is actually a miracle, is on the life of Shah Bahar Khatoon, the daughter of Bukhara’s king, who was deaf and dumb. The king had announced whoever treats his daughter he could marry her and it was Pir Shalyar who eventually could heal Shah Bahar Khatoon and they got married.

Upon hearing that Pir Shalyar has cured the prince, people from all walks of life rushed to celebrate the auspicious occasion in Uraman region.

Even today after the lapse more than nine centuries ceremonies are held on the anniversary of their wedding. Ceremonies are celebrated two times in a year: in the middle of spring and winter.

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Pir Shaliyar ceremony

The festival of Pir Shalyar is an old traditional ceremony in Kurdistan. It is held in the 40th day of winter. The celebration is held in three stages, each in a day of three consecutive weeks.

Pir Shalyar, is the highest rank in Mithraism and Zoroastrianism.

In the first week children inform the people coming of the ceremony with distribution of walnuts to every home.

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Pir Shaliyar Ceremony

In the second week, at the Wednesday night before sunrise, children going up to the roof of homes, sing the traditional Kurdish songs. Shortly after sunrise cows and sheep are sacrificed. At the evening they play “Daf” and pray repeating spiritual hymns.

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Pir Shaliyar ceremony

In the third Friday of the month Rebendan (second month of winter in Kurdish calendar), golden breads made of wheat and walnut in the shape of sun (disc) are brought to the shrine of Pir and distributed among participants and eaten.

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