Panoramic view of Abyaneh from the peaks that I climbed wearing a long dress, sandas and purse, plus camera and phone
Panoramic view of Abyaneh from the peaks that I climbed wearing a long dress, sandals and purse, plus camera and phone

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.

Traditional costumes of Abyaneh are part of the country's intangible cultural heritage since 2013
Traditional costumes of Abyaneh are part of the country’s intangible cultural heritage since 2013

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.

The Palahamoona or Takht-e Haman, a 200 year old fort
The Palahamoona or Takht-e Haman, a 200 year old fort

Women generally like me no matter where I go. In Abyaneh, though, it really impressed me. So kind and nice.

In Abyaneh with Iranian visitors who asked to take a picture of me
In Abyaneh with Iranian visitors who asked to take a picture of me

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 Iranian origin, yet with a very strong British accent, accompanying Asian tourists complimented my outfit and said this is extreme fashion what I’m doing. Thank you!

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.

The Great Mosque in Abyaneh, seen from above
The Great Mosque in Abyaneh, seen from above

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 specific red hue of the village
The specific red hue of the village

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.

Panoramic view of the village from the cliffs protecting the village
Panoramic view of the village from the cliffs protecting the village

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.

Climbing this in sandals and long dress
Climbing this in sandals and long dress

Tasu’a is the day before Ashura and holds more historical and religious commemorations.

...for this picture
…for this picture

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.

Panoramic view of the village from the cliffs protecting the village
Panoramic view of the village from the cliffs protecting the village

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.

Random alley in Abyaneh
Random alley in Abyaneh

Personally, I was in Lebanon, somewhere in the heights of Ghosta, nearby Beirut, a few years for Ashura and I was the one shedding blood due to a paragliding mini-accident.

I called this place El Caminito of Abyaneh
I called this place El Caminito of Abyaneh

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.

Beautiful relief and the red hue of Abyaneh
Beautiful relief and the red hue of Abyaneh
Admiring the uniqueness of the place
Admiring the uniqueness of the place

 

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