21 March, the international day of Nowruz is the
name of the New Year in the Solar Hijri calendar. Nowruz is also
referred to as the Iranian or Persian New Year. And to honor the day we
invite you to join us in an electronic tour of Iran with one province
covered specially for you each day for the coming days. [+PHOTOS]
Summary of Iran's Culture and Geography
The Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. The name
"Iran", which in Persian means "Land of the Aryans", has been in native
use since the Sassanid era.
More than half of Iran's international border of 4,430 km is
coastline, including 740 km along the Caspian Sea in the north and 1,700
km along the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea in the south. Bandar-e-Abbas is
the largest harbor in the south of Iran located on the Strait of Hormoz,
the narrow passage separating the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea through
which tens of oil tankers are heading for various destinations in
different corners of the world everyday.
With a long-standing and proud civilization, Persian culture is among
the richest in the world. Two and a half millennia of inspiring
literature, thousands of poets and writers, magnificent and impressive
architecture, live customs dating back to Zoroastrians over 3000 years
ago, and other unique characteristics of the nation are rivaled by only a
Iranian languages form a major subgroup of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European Language family.
It is interesting to note however, that Iranian languages are not
limited to Iran - they are diverse in nature and are spoken by over 70
million people across southern and south western Asia. The reason why
they are called Iranian languages is that they have been spoken across
the Iranian plateau for thousands of years.
The Old Persian of the Achaemenian Empire, preserved in a number of
cuneiform inscriptions, was an Indo-European tongue with close
affinities with Sanskrit and Avestan (the language of the Zoroastrian
sacred texts). After the fall of the Achaemenians the ancient tongue
developed, in the province of Pars, into Middle Persian or Pahlavi (a
name derived from Parthavi - that is, Parthian). Pahlavi was used
throughout the Sassanian period, though little now remains of what must
once have been a considerable literature. About a hundred Pahlavi texts
survive, mostly on religion and all in prose. Pahlavi collections of
romances, however, provided much of the material for Ferdowsi's
Another eminent feature of Persian culture is art. In fact culture and
art are two closely interwoven concepts forming the soul of human
civilizations. Persian exquisite carpets, subtle soulful classic music,
outstanding tile work of unique blue mosques, old influential
architectural style and countless brilliant literary works are famous in
One more art intertwined with Persian culture, worth mentioning, is
the art of cooking. Persian foods, accompanied by herbs and spices are
product of the creativity, skill and patience of many generations of
Throughout Iran's long history, in spite of different devastating
invasions and occupations by Arabs, Turks, Mongols, British, Russians,
and others, the country has always maintained its national identity and
has developed as a distinct political and cultural entity.
Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization has celebrated World Tourism Day on September 27.
The latest figures released by Iran's tourism organization showed that
the number of the foreign tourists arriving in Iran has been on the
increase all throughout the last few years.
Deputy Head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts
Organization, Shahbaz Yazdani, said that the entry of foreign tourists
in the year 1390 (March 2011-2012) rose by 37% compared to its preceding
This official announced that foreign tourists, visiting Iran, increased to three million people in numbers in the year 1390.
He said that cultural tourists consisted the majority of foreign
tourists visiting Iran in the year 1389 (March 2010-2011), which were
mainly from European countries, including Germany and France.