National Dances in Iran 19/07/2018

Most of you think about Iran as a strict Muslim country, where locals do nothing but drink tea and pray in the mosque. This is an absolute misconception. Iran has a rich culture and traditions, and national dances are a part of the culture.

The most remarkable thing about national Iranian dances is that almost every province has its own dance style. We are happy to present the most interesting and colorful national dances in Iran.


National Dances in Iran: Qashqai dances

The Kashkais are Turkic tribes in the province of Fars, Isfahan, and Khuzestan. The people have several national dances: raqs-haft dastmal (dance with seven shawls), raqs-e dastmal (dance with shawls), Buir Ahmadi and Ashrafi. spiritual instrument “sorna” (oboe) gives the rhythm of the dance. For the dance women wear bright colored skirts, their heads are covered with a handkerchief, and they hold bright scarves in their hands.

For the dance, the girls stand in a circle and move and jump in small steps from side to side. From the motions, the skirts synchronously fly in the wind. In the dance, the girls wave shawls in different directions.


National Dances in Iran: Kurdish dance

Kurds are considered the third largest ethnic group in Iran. They have their own culture, traditions and, of course, Kurdish dance. In the dance, the participants stand in line and hold on to the little fingers. In the dance, there is a presenter who wags a handkerchief and sets the rhythm. The group follows him with small steps. The musical instruments dozal, tombak, sorna and daf keep the rhythm.

One of the major events of the Kurdish community in Iran is Pir Shalar, that takes place in the settlement of Ourman Uahte, Sarvabad. Thousands of Kurds gather here. During the holiday, they sacrifice animals, prepare a national dish Ash, dance, play on Daf and read poetry.


National Dances in Iran: Dance with swords

Raghs-e shamshir or dance with swords originates from Ancient Persia as early as three thousand years ago. Dance with swords was a traditional entertainment in the province of Baluchistan and Sistan. Two men with swords and shields participate in the dance. Under the rhythm of the drum, dancers demonstrate battle movements, attack and defend themselves and gradually the movements get faster and more furious.

Razif is another kind of sword dance, which was popular among the sailors of the Persian Gulf. They were dancing to relieve tension. Now Razif is a popular dance at weddings.

National Dances in Iran: Dance with sticks

Dance with sticks is called choob bazi or raghs-e choob. This is an aggressive and active sports dance, and only men take part in the dance. This is a kind of duel between two men with sticks. During the dance, one of the dancers attacks, the other one defends. The attacker circles around the opponent during the dance and tries to catch him by surprise and hit his legs. The opponent must fight back with a stick.

Another version of the dance involves a group of men and women dancing in a circle. This type of choob bazi is less aggressive and is a popular entertainment at weddings and national holidays.

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