a view of Sheikh Fazlollah Mosque in Isfahan in night

How Many Public Holidays Do You Find in Iran?

Time to read: 7 Mins | Published on September 5, 2020
With 26 public holidays in Iran, it stands in the second rank of having the most days off in the world. Why are there these many holidays?

From the man with painted face in his red costume dancing among the hordes of laughing people for the New Year tradition to the gatherings of grief and mourning people in black outfits from head to toe during Muharram festival, you will see many surreal and unique sceneries of prominent public holidays in Iran.

All the Calendars of Iran

That’s not strange if you wonder why there are a lot of holidays in Iran and what Iranians do during all these public holidays.

In Iran, we use three calendars for our different purposes: the official one is our old and solar Iranian calendar. Also, since we live in an Islamic country, there is a semi-official calendar that is based on our religious chronological calendar. It is lunar. Many religious ceremonies and festivals that are also public holidays in Iran are held based on this calendar. The third calendar is Gregorian. Since it is not an official one, we don’t benefit from important international holidays like Christmas. Yet, some people themselves celebrate famous Christian or western events.

a calender

In Iran, we use three calendars for our different purposes

Using these two official references as Iranian calendars means commemorating many days based on Iranian traditions and religious events. Thus, we have 26 Iran holidays. Now you can see why there are a lot of public holidays in Iran. However, a lot of Iranian holidays don’t affect your journey or the vibes of the cities so much. But, in this article, we are going to discuss those holidays in Iran that do make an impact on your trip.

The Most Important Holidays in Iran

The public holidays in Iran are both national and religious events. Some of them are also important great festivals in Iran. Among the Iran national holidays, the new year holidays are the peak of our vacations. It’s about two weeks off!

Festivals In Iran

We have given you a comprehensive description of some of the most important festivals in Iran on this page.

Also, we have the Muharram festival. It’s actually two days out of all the 26 public holidays in Iran, but the festival and its related ceremonies are about ten days.

Traditional Holidays According to the Iranian Calendar

The burning piles of wood are everywhere on the streets in the final days of winter. Yet, it should not worry you. There is no street fight or a military coup.

Every year we are looking forward to celebrating the Iranian new year during these days. On the last Wednesday eve, we get ready to embrace the upcoming year as well as spring by lighting up fires. This is our ancient festival, Chaharshanbe Suri. Then, the longest Iran’s holiday starts from the last day of winter and lasts for 14 days.

A group of people wearing Chador while taking Chaharshanbesuri sweets from a kid

There are many historical rituals celebrated during Chaharshanbesuri.

The Iranian public holiday of the new year is in the spring. It is the best season to visit Iran. Because you can see all the beauties of spring here.

Nowruz Holidays

Spring in Iran starts on the 21st of March. Also, it is the first day of Iranian New Year and the most extended public holiday in Iran. It is when many Iranians hit the road to spend their new year in different regions. At this time, everywhere in Iran has got ready to welcome visitors from all over the world.

sofreh haft sin for nowruz

New Year and the most extended public holiday in Iran.

If you travel to Iran during these favorite public holidays of Iranians, you can see our ancient cultural celebrations. With a large number of domestic trips, you will explore Iran together with many people here and there.

Also, if you would like to get familiar with Nowruz traditions, you could book customized Nowruz tours from among various tour packages of Iran. That can take you deep into the cultural rituals of Iran during this occasion.

But, in case you prefer being in a calmer atmosphere, you can arrange your trip for after the end of the Nowruz holidays in early April. The weather is getting warmer; the lands are greener, and orchards are full of colorful fresh blossoms.

It depends on you and what kind of vibes and moments connect to you during your trip to Iran. If you’d like to experience more interactions with locals while wandering in the beautiful nature of Iran during spring, Iran’s public holidays are the right time for you to take a trip to this land. However, if you don’t enjoy the crowd so much or have other plans for your spring break, fall is always a great option as well. Many colors paint Iran in the Fall, and the cities are less crowded.

Religious Holidays and Festivals

Religious ceremonies and festivals have an important place in Iran. Many Iranian perform their rituals on these festivals related holidays. Depending on being a ‌celebration or mourning occasion, there are different styles of ceremonies all over Iran. These public holidays in Iran are based on the religious lunar calendar. So, you should check your travel timing to see if it coincides with any of these ceremonies.

Two examples of this kind of Iran’s holidays are Muharram festivals and the ceremonies in the month of Ramadan. In Muharram festival, the Iranians commemorate the tragic loss of their religious symbol for justice and righteousness. And in Ramadan, they fast a whole month, which helps them maintain their physical and mental health. It also creates a sense of compassion for less privileged people who do not have the ability to feed themselves every day.

Read More: Iran Religion

Traveling During Ramadan

Life in the holy month of Ramadan in Iran starts from the night. It would be quite an experience for a non-Muslim visitor to visit Iran during Ramadan. You might not be able to eat as many traditional dishes during the day, but the nightlife is more alive than any other month. Even though you have to experience the hardship of not eating in public during the long days of May, you’ll get to see Iran in spring, which is a great time to travel to all different regions. Besides, there are some exceptions for the travelers that you can get to know about on our website.

 

Traveling During Muharram Festival

If it happens that you visit Iran during the Muharram festival, you’ll see unique ceremonies of religious rituals in different regions.

Since it’s based on the lunar calendar, there is no fixed date regarding the Gregorian calendar. Muharram festival in 2020 is in late August. It is in the last month of Summer in Iran. By traveling Iran during these days, you have both worlds. Visiting the main tour route of Iran as well as watching the unique Muharram festival. Many visitors were astonished by the great and harmonic crowds of mourners doing their rituals.

If you are not interested in crowded places or cultural events, you can postpone your trip for a month. It’s the beginning of fall when the weather is cooler and as pleasant as spring.

People are holding Ashura ceremonies

in Muharram you’ll see unique ceremonies of religious rituals in different regions.

Iran Holidays in 2020

Jan 06: Funeral of General Qasem Soleimani

Jan 29: Martyrdom of Lady Fatimah

Feb 11: Islamic Revolution Day

Mar 08: Imam Ali’s Birthday

Mar 19: Oil Nationalization Day

Mar 20: Nowruz

Mar 21: Nowruz Holiday

Mar 22: Nowruz Holiday

Mar 22: The Prophet Muhammad’s Ascension

Mar 23: Nowruz Holiday

Mar 31: Islamic Republic Day

Apr 01: Nature Day

Apr 09: Imam Mahdi’s Birthday

May 14: Martyrdom of Imam Ali

May 24: Eid e-Fitr

May 25: The Day after Eid-e-Fitr

Jun 03: Demise of Imam Khomeini

Jun 04: Khordad National Uprising

Jun 17: Martyrdom of Imam Sadeq

Jul 31: Eid alAdha

Aug 08: Eid-e-Ghadir

Aug 28: Tasoua Hosseini

Aug 29: Ashoura

Oct 08: Arbaeen

Oct 16: Death of Prophet Muhammed/ Martyrdom of Imam Hassan

Oct 17: Martyrdom of Imam Reza

Oct 26: Martyrdom of Imam Hassan Askari

Oct 29: Birthday of Prophet Muhammad and Imam Sadeq

The Best of Iran

You are always welcomed to Iran in any season and occasion. All the things we said about the public holidays in Iran and Iranian traditions are just some hints to help you organize a better and more convenient plan for your trip so that you can enjoy the best of your time to visit Iran.

In the end, if you still have any questions about the Iranian holidays, please feel free to reach out to us, and we’ll put an end to those question marks.

How Many Public Holidays Do You Find in Iran?

Atieh Ayyar

Author

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