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Local legend has it that the King of Bukhara had a deaf and mute daughter. The king had vowed to let anyone who could cure his daughter to marry her. Upon hearing about the miracles of Pir-e Shaliar, the king is said to have brought his daughter to visit the Pir in hopes that he could restore her speech and hearing. When the king’s entourage neared the village, his daughter’s hearing was restored and when they reached the Pir’s house she was able to talk again. The king kept his promise and married his daughter to the Pir. The Pir-e Shaliar festival held today is the wedding anniversary of the princess of Bukhara to the Pir.

In preparation for the ceremony, villagers gather and dry walnuts during the summer. Just before the festival children are sent to knock on the doors of homes to gather flour and the other ingredients needed to make the traditional Ash (soup) and bread served during the event. Women are tasked with mixing the donated walnut and flour to bake the bread and men are tasked with making the Ash.

In this festival, which takes places twice a year once in the middle of spring and once in the middle of winter, every family in the village does exactly what their ancestors did when the festival originated. During the festival, animals are sacrificed and the meat is used to cook the Ash, Daf is played and locals perform folk dances.

On the last day of the festival, villagers gather in the Pir-e Shaliar house, to say prayers at his grave, to see the pair of shoes and string of prayer beads, which belonged to the Pir and are kept in a wooden chest, and to listen to the preaching of the local cleric.

Villagers each have a designated place in the mausoleum and they are only allowed to sit in the place their ancestors originally sat 950 years ago when the festival originated.  The end of the festival is marked by eating a meal of bread and yogurt which locals believe cures ailments.

Pir-e Shalyar’s Ceremony

  • Type

    Traditional Ceremony

  • Address

    Uramantakht Village, Kurdistan province.