Abyaneh is a village looking like a living museum, preserving culture and history. It is located one hour away from Kashan in the Southern direction. At an elevation of 2200 meters it concentrates a history of 2500 years and has a population of 301 people only.
Abyaneh has its own dialect, traditional ceremonies and costumes and they are all registered as intangible cultural heritage.
The red hue of the clay houses built on top of each other makes the place picturesque and a dream for the ones eager to explore.
The Palahamoona or Takht-e Haman is a fort built 200 years ago for defense purposes and offers a great panoramic view of the multi-story structures of the village.
Women generally like me no matter where I go. In Abyaneh, though, it really impressed me. So kind and nice.
I’m wearing a traditional black dress with applied red roses and green leaves on one side, my green turban, both from Doha and a head jewelry I got from Mutrah Souq in Muscat.
The Great Mosque was built in early Islamic ages during the Seljuk era showing that the locals embraced Islam, however Zoroastrians still exist in the village. The wooden carvings painted in bright colors are particular beautiful, making it one of the most impressive mosques of the early Islamic ages.
People seem poor, but apparently the people here own land and sheep and orchards and are actually rich, sending their children abroad for studies (a clear indication of wealth in Iran).
The Harpak Fire Temple is one of the highlights and it tells the history of preservation of faith and traditions of the community, as Abyaneh still keeps its historical faith although it was converted to Islam. The Temple was built during the Achaemenid era.
The ancient village reminds us of ancient Persia and although nowadays the descendants of the village study and live abroad, when they return, they wear the traditional clothes and keep the traditions such as Tasu’a (September 19th in 2018) and Ashura.
Tasu’a is the day before Ashura and holds more historical and religious commemorations.
Ashura is the Day of Remembrance. For Shi’s Muslims it marks the martyrdom of Hossein ibn Ali (625-680), grandson of Prophet Muhammad, who refused to pledge allegiance to the Umayyad Caliph. For Sunni Muslims it represents the day Moses fasted to manifest gratitude for the liberation of the Israelites from the Pharaoh.
In Iran 90-95% of the population are Shi’a. Ashura is marked by religious manifestations and the commemoration of the martyrdom of the imam who died in Kerbala through self-flagellation with the purpose of shedding blood, which is rather scary. Hit Google if you are curious.
On the same subject it is worth mentioning that in Lebanon, where there is also significant Shi’a population that practices blood shedding (tatbir) on the occasion of Ashura, religious and political leaders invited believers to donate the blood instead of shedding it. Also, one of the sustainers of stopping these bloody ceremonies is Hezbollah.