Interesting Facts About Iran You Need To Know
Unless you are from Iran or know people from this country the chances are that you are missing on a number of interesting facts about this exotic country.
Iran is really a great place, rich in history and culture, with extremely delicious food. Iran is anything but a dull area.
Iran is a place with ancient history and centuries upon centuries of traditions and great customs.
So please, find out for yourself what makes Iran so unique!
1. The Food
That. Iranian. Food. Nothing compares to it. It’s a mix of Indian, Greek, and Middle Eastern cuisine. Furthermore, it’s a perfect mix of everything actually. So, you can have in one meal a lamb, rice, whole grains, and nuts.
Iranians are fans of meat. But they adore eating fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s a food supreme in Iran. Almost every dish will be accompanied by black tea, their favorite drink.
2. Young Forever
Iran is one of the youngest countries in the world. Even 70 percent of the 80-million-person population is under 30 years old. Therefore, Iranian youth is known for being the most active politically compared to Islamic nations. They can vote when they turn 15.
The youth have held power in the politics of the country as well. After the presidential election in 2009, it was the youth who formed a movement called ‘people power’. People power was a movement for democratic change. It’s still active.
3. Land Of The Aryans
When you translate ‘Iran’ into Persian you get ‘Land of the Aryans’. Aryan is a term originally used by Iranian people as an ethnic label. Furthermore, it is used as a linguistic, cultural and religious reference when describing the people of Iran.
Also, the capital, Tehran, means ‘warm slope’. During the hot days, the temperature can go on a daily level above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Mysterious Star Of David
Google Earth blew the 30-years-old-secret that even Iranians had no idea about. Thirty years ago someone tiled a Star of David on the roof of the Tehran International Airport. No one knows who did it.
This symbol stood there in silence, hidden and undiscovered until Google Earth shared it with the world in 2001. The Iranian government ordered its complete removal soon after this discovery.
5. Persian Carpets
Every time someone says Persian carpet they actually mean Iranian carpet. Although they can’t fly, they are close to magic thanks to their design, craftsmanship, and longevity. Iranians have been weaving rugs for more than 2,500 years.
Carpets are the second largest export after oil. Although the carpets seem perfect in design, they aren’t really. Iranians believe that only God can be perfect, so there is always, is every carpet, a single mistake woven into the rug on purpose.
Taarof is a custom that involves a lot of polite behavior toward others. Taarof literally means ‘meeting together’. This practice started as a display of showing someone’s not greedy nature. So, they are offering you something you must refuse twice. If they offer you a third time, you may accept.
Taarof is all about treating guest right. Basically, if you are invited to an Iranian home for a meal, make sure that you refuse it twice even if you are hungry. You need to wait for that third offer so you can accept. What if they don’t offer it? Don’t worry, that won’t happen and you won’t be left to starve.
7. The Persian Cat
You probably knew that Persian Cats are originally from Iran. But did you knew that they lived in the mountains of Iran? That’s the main reason for their long, rich and silky fur. This old breed used their fur to fight against freezing temperatures in the broad Iranian mountains.
Italian traders brought first Persian Cats in the 17th century. They were an instant hit and soon after they become an exotic status symbol. Today, Persian’s are one of the most popular cat breeds worldwide. Beautiful and exotic.
8. Holidays in Iran
Wherever there is a grass you will see Iranians enjoying their picnic. With 25 public holidays, they picnic a lot. Actually, Iran is the country with the most public holidays in the world. They keep on adding new unofficial holidays every year.
However, most of the holidays are of a religious nature. They commemorate the birth or death of several Shi’a Imams. These holidays are kind of a headache for a Muslim cleric, who has to calculate the dates manually. Why is it an issue? Iran uses three official calendar systems (Solar Hijri calendar, Gregorian calendar, and Islamic lunar calendar), but holidays follow the lunar calendar. This complicated locals’ lives because the holidays don’t match the solar calendar.
9. Yogurt: It Goes For Everything
Persian Milk or Yogurt is in Iran used for almost everything. They use it as food, beauty product, and even medicine. Iranians believe that it can even prolong your life and also make you less sleepy.
Iranians believe that yogurt has magical traits and that it can treat ulcers and besides relieve sunburn. It seems that yogurt is a must have in every Iranian home.
10. The World’s Biggest Carpet
A carpet size of a soccer field? Of course, it exists. It was made in Iran. The largest hand-woven carpet in the world was made in Iran. It was made in 2007 by the Iran Carpet Company. The carpet was made for the Abu Dhabi mosque in the United Arab Emirates.
In order to create this carpet, they had to make it from nine different parts and then assemble it in one. It was done inside the mosque. The exact size is 60,600.81 ft² (5,630 m²). Originally, it was even bigger but some parts had to be taken away to fit perfectly onto the floor.
11. From Persia To Iran
Iran was known as Persia for a very long period of time. The year 1935 brought a major shift when the Shah of Iran at the time instructed the people to talk about their country as Iran.
The official name of Iran became the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979. At the time he was overthrown by religious clerics. They maintain their political power during the Iranian Revolution under the rule of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
12. Rich Kids of Tehran
If you tough that rich-kids-life is strictly reserved for Russian rich kids you are about to learn otherwise. The ‘Rich Kids of Tehran’ are kind of a thing nowadays. Besides, living in an ultra-conservative country doesn’t stop them.
These teenagers are in love with diamonds, great cars, and bikinis. They drink and party, although alcohol is illegal. Next, they show it on Instagram constantly. They are just good at using great VPN’S. We guess.
13. Intranet Network
One thing about Iran is for sure, they do love to have certain control. Since 2012 Iran has a very narrow control over their internet. A number of sites are banned and social media is not allowed. However, you can use a private VPN to visit forbidden sites. Also, the government points out that high quality and speed will be provided at a low cost.
This may sound like oppression to some, while for others it’s a great government move to build its own communications and information field.
14. Football Stars
Football is everyone’s favorite sport in Iran. They play it very well. Both, man and women. It’s a common thing to see women playing football and wearing hijabs.
The national men’s team has qualified for three World Cup tournaments and won three Asian Cup titles. Back in 2007 FIFA (the International Federation of Association Football) banned the hijab, and by doing so Iranian women’s soccer team was immediately disqualified.
15. Culture Everywhere
Centuries of culture are seen everywhere. No wonder why there are strong written words present everywhere. Iranian culture gave so much to the world of poetry and art in general. Less is known but the word ‘paradise’ in English comes from a Persian word, meaning ‘enclosed garden’.
Some of the most beautiful poems ever created by Persian authors such as Sa’adī, Hāfez, and Firdawsī. Modern poets are equally celebrated in Iran, especially those who perform Persian classical music.
16. UNESCO Sites
Iran is proud to have 23 UNESCO World Heritage sites. It’s officially one of the oldest civilizations in the world, the Persian Civilization. Therefore, no wonder that Iran can proudly show remarkable sites such as Persepolis (Takht-e-Jamshid).
According to popular travel site ‘The Culture Trip’, sites like bazaars, ancient water systems, and palaces are primarily on the list.
17. Eating Dinner
When you get a chance to visit a traditional Iranian home for dinner don’t be shocked when they offer you a sit on the floor. Having dinner on the floor is common Iranian eating practice, especially when you are eating as a big family.
You will notice that they don’t eat with eating set, but they are just using their right hands. Bear in mind that you will have to wait to be told where to sit. In addition, you will have to try a bit of everything, so obviously come on an empty stomach.
18. Lose The Tie
Iranians think of ties as a symbol of western civilization. This attitude came with a government switch in 1979. You won’t catch anyone wearing a tie to a work interview.
The government believes that the Islamic garments remove any distinctions, including ethnic and class distinctions. The same goes for girls and women. They have to wear a hijab a.k.a head covering in public as soon as they turn nine. Tourists are no exception.
19. Heavy Music
People find it surprising, but there is a massive underground heavy metal scene in Iran, especially in Iran. Yes, heavy metal! In the previous 30 years, there has been a large increase in the popularity of Iranian rock and blues.
Locals believe that music is always about love and unity. Therefore, they have easily accepted the heavy metal style over the traditional or classical sound. Today, a lot of music in the country includes jazz, pop, and hip-hop.
20. Parkour Is For Boys And Girls
Parkour is a super popular sport in Iran. Both men and women perform it. So, you can see people jumping and running in clubs and parks. With hijabs, normally.
Parkour is a military obstacle course training discipline. It is heavily based on acrobatic movement that originated in France. The great thing about this sport is that is doesn’t require any types of equipment, which makes it a sport accessible to all.