Rose Water Festival Experience: A Day of Art and Culture

Kashan county, located in the heart of Iran’s central Isfahan province, is known for its monochromatic beauty that transforms into a colorful spectacle during the annual Rose Water Festival. From May to June, the hills burst with delicate roses, harvested by local workers for the ancient tradition of rose water production.

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This labor-intensive process involves distilling the petals into a fragrant elixir, blending age-old techniques with modern innovation. The festival offers tourists a captivating glimpse into Persian culture, with its vibrant colors, spectacular scents, and centuries-old traditions, making Kashan a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic Iranian experience.

My curiosity about the old Rose Water Festival was enticing enough for me to book a tour, and so I did. As I reflect on my experience in Kashan, I am filled with a sense of awe and gratitude for the opportunity to have witnessed such a remarkable celebration of nature’s beauty and the human spirit. You can find my experience in Kashan below.

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Golab Giri: An Ancestral Profession

Maryam, a local woman, gently placed her kid in a nearby cradle before instructing me on the art of picking damask roses for the extraction process. With my right hand gripping the stem and my left thumb delicately plucking the flowers, I soon mastered the technique after a rose or two. As we collected the blossoms in a basket beside us, Maryam shared the rich history of the festival.

She recounted how Golab Giri, the extraction of rose water, had been a revered ancestral tradition passed down through generations. Recalling her own childhood experiences, Maryam explained how she had accompanied her mother and aunts to the fields, and now her children often joined her if they weren’t in school.

“Through generations,” Maryam remarked, “this is what we’ve done for over a thousand years. We’ve learned to thrive in this way. Despite the surrounding deserts and our dry climate, we’ve managed to cultivate the most exquisite damask rose gardens. Everywhere you look, there’s a carpet of pink instead of the desert’s usual khaki, and the fragrance of our flowers is truly intoxicating. And yet, we produce the highest quality rose waters with countless benefits.”

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I mentioned my knowledge of rose water’s benefits for the skin, to which Maryam nodded in agreement. “Indeed,” she confirmed, “it soothes skin irritations, redness, scars, and even burns. It’s a remedy for sore throats and headaches, and it can prevent and treat infections. Plus, it’s versatile enough to be used in food, beverages, and even as a base for homemade perfumes.”

While I was familiar with some of these benefits, Maryam’s insights intrigued me to delve deeper into the subject. Later, I discovered that Iran stands as the world’s largest producer of rose water and damask essence, with a significant export market. Surprisingly, Iran is the primary consumer of these products. Across the globe, people may know a few uses for rose water, but in Iran, it’s integrated into various aspects of daily life. From uniquely flavored teas and coffees to desserts and beauty products, Golab (rose water) has been cherished for centuries.

Curious about the extraction process, I asked Maryam for more details. She explained that after picking the flowers before sunrise, they’re placed in large copper pots. These pots are then heated over a fire, and water is added at specific intervals. The quantity of water and the number of times the pots are heated determine the type and quality of the resulting rose water.

Join us and the locals for an unforgettable experience, as we participate in the Golab Giri Festival in Niasar, where people connect with the wonders of nature.

Gol Ghaltan a Tradition for a Better Life

Gol-Ghaltan: A Tradition for a Better Life

Under the azure sky and the warm sun, we made our way to the center of the field with our baskets in tow. As we approached, I was offered a cup of tea infused with delicate rose petals. Curious, I inquired of Maryam why she had brought her kid along. With a smile, she explained, “I need to keep an eye on her while I work. And besides, it’s good for her to be surrounded by these flowers! Haven’t you heard of Gol-Ghaltan?” Familiar with the term, I translated it instinctively; it meant “rolling in flowers.” Perplexed, I asked what it entailed. With a laugh, Maryam clarified, “The infants, of course!”

To my astonishment, she went on to describe an ancient tradition practiced in numerous cities and villages, wherein one-year-old babies are bathed by their grandmothers and placed on a white cloth filled with damask roses. Every thorn and leaf is meticulously removed from the roses, and after the baby is dried, they are somehow bathed amidst the roses. It’s believed that this ritual safeguards the baby from illnesses, enhances their joyous feelings, and strengthens their immunity.

In the end, the festival offered a captivating glimpse into the rich Persian culture and tradition. From the meticulous harvesting of delicate roses to the ancient art of distillation, every aspect of the festival reflects the enduring legacy of this centuries-old tradition.

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I recommend experiencing Rose Water Festival in Kashan, as you will be enveloped in the intoxicating aroma of freshly distilled rose water and will be transported to a realm of unparalleled beauty and sensory delight. Moreover, you will witness the remarkable resilience and ingenuity of the Iranian people, who have managed to cultivate exquisite rose gardens amidst the arid desert landscape.

Explore the Ancient Rose Water Festival in Kashan with Visit Our Iran

For those seeking an authentic Iranian experience, a visit to Kashan during the Rose Water Festival is an opportunity not to be missed. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors, tantalizing scents, and rich cultural heritage of this enchanting event. Discover the ancient art of rose water production, sample its myriad uses, and witness firsthand the profound beauty of Kashan’s rose-filled landscape. Join us on our Iran Has Kashan tour to experience a journey of exploration and discovery unlike any other. Contact us today to book your unforgettable experience.

Kimia Raghebi
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