photography and multimedia journalism association

Pir Shaliar

Deep in the valleys of Iran's Kurdistan province, a stone's throw away from Iraq, the small village of Howraman Takht celebrates the ancient Zoroastrian festival of Pir Shaliar.

Every winter for more than 1,000 years Kurds from nearby villages, valleys and both sides of the border gather for three weeks of events which serve as visible proof of Kurdish unity.

It is a unique mixture of rituals, dances and traditional dressed based on strong Kurdish roots and filled with ancient pre-Islamic spirit. The following is a portrayal of the events of "Aroosi Pir Shahriar" which is part of the winter celebrations. Participants play a traditional drum, daf, and dance the dances of Sunni Dervishes. The rituals have transformed and gathered some Islamic elements but remain Zoroastrian at the core.


Maciej Moskwa