May 26, 2024

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Baneh rose festival hosts visitors from across Iran

TEHRAN – Domestic travelers from across Iran attend a rosewater festival underway in a massive garden located in Baneh county of Kordestan province.

The joyous celebration of roses, locally known as Golab-Giri or rosewater festival, is annually observed during May and June when rose fields bloom and produce an exquisite scent.

Covering 33,000 square meters, the garden produces around eight tons of pink roses each year, a local tourism official said on Monday.

Shoulder to shoulder with farmers, visitors pick rose petals to be distilled later in the festival to create the fragrant oil, using a network of large copper pots and pipes.

Moreover, the festival features lively bazaars where local vendors sell all kinds of rose-infused products such as perfumes, soaps, and even tea. In fact, rose water is an essential ingredient in Persian cuisine. In addition, there are various musical and cultural events, including folk dances and traditional performances.

The concentration of flowers and herbs has a long history in Iran. Many believe that traditionally distilled rose water is of higher quality than that produced in factories, probably due to the shorter time between harvest and distillation.

Rosewater is traditionally derived from a very sweet-smelling type of flower best known in the country as Mohammadi roses. The flower harvest is almost complete in the early morning. Rumor has it that the quantity and quality of essential oil decreases due to delays in harvesting or shipping to the distillery.

80 liters of water and almost 30 kilograms of rose petals are placed in each pot, which is connected with metal pipes to allow steam to pass through, thus creating the hydrosol. Distillation waste can either be fed to animals or composted.

Locals believe that rose oil and rose water have therapeutic effects. Some say that rose oil calms the mind and relieves depression, grief, stress, and tension. Rose water products have been reported to help improve skin health, colds and digestive issues.

A highlight of Iran’s cultural calendar, Golab-Giri is a reminder of the importance of preserving and cherishing these ancient customs and traditions that have been passed down through generations. However, it is not only a celebration of the rose harvest but also a celebration of Iranian hospitality and generosity.


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