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Events & Festivals in Iran


The time of Islamic festivals is calculated according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given below are approximations which are subject to change each year.




Considered a barbaric ritual by many outsiders, this is one of the most important events in the Shia calendar. The day marks the anniversary of the martyrdom of Husayn, the grandson of Mohammad. To demonstrate devotion, some followers let their blood flow freely from their heads through self-inflicted wounds.

Victory of the Revolution

This day commemorates the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, when the Shah was overthrown and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini came into power.



This is the Iranian New Year celebration, a holiday that is also shared by some neighbouring countries. Preparations for Norouz include the cleaning of homes and the purchase of new clothes and flowers. The 12-day celebration includes visiting family and friends, culminating in an outdoor picnic on the 13th day.


Islamic Republic Day

This day commemorates the creation of an Islamic republic after the downfall of the Shah in 1979.

Milad al-Nabi

This day is the Prophet’s birthday and is celebrated by the Shia on the 17th of Rabbi al-Awwal. This date also coincides with the birthday of Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, which is also recognised.


Khomeini's Death

This day commemorates the anniversary of the death of the founder of Iran’s Islamic regime, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Birthday of Iman Ali

The birthday of Iman Ali is recognised across Iran.

Leilat al-Meiraj

Also known as the Ascension of the Prophet, this day celebrates the greatest miracle in Islam, when the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven to join God.


Birthday of Imam Mahdi

This occasion is celebrated across Iran, marking the birthday of Mahdi, the 12th and final Shi'a Imam.


Martyrdom of Imam Ali

This day commemorates Imam Ali’s martyrdom at Kufa Mosque. Remembered as the first Imam and a helper of orphans, Ali was also the first successor of Prophet Muhammad.

Quds Day

This is a day when Muslims from around the world gather to demonstrate their support for those of the Islamic faith who are oppressed. Rallies are typically held in Tehran, although visitors are not advised to attend.

Eid al-Fitr

This day marks the end of Ramadan and the fasting that is observed in this month. Feasts and family gatherings are typical activities for people on this public holiday.


Martyrdom of Imam Sadeq

This day is observed across the country as a public holiday. Normally, Iranians attend a religious ceremony, which takes place at a mosque.


Eid al-Adha

Also referred to as the Feast of the Sacrifice, Eid al-Adha commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim's (Abraham's) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael for God. This three day-long festival incorporates prayer, sacrifice and charitable acts.

National Holidays

Islamic New Year: 20 January

Ashoura: 30 January

Victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution: 11 February

Oil Nationalisation Day: 20 March

Nowrooz (Iranian New Year): 21 March

Prophet's Birthday and the Martyrdom of Imam Sadeq: 31 March

Islamic Republic Day: 01 April

Sizdah-Bedar: 02 April

Death of Imam Khomeini: 04 June

Anniversary of Uprising Against the Shah: 05 June