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Iran National and Public Holidays

Official Holidays in Iran

Here is the list of all public and religious holidays in Iran:

February 11: Anniversary of the Islamic Revolution

The anniversary of the Iranian Revolution is celebrated on 22 Bahman, the 11th month of the Iranian calendar, which corresponds to February 11 in the Gregorian calendar. It is dedicated to the protests that led to the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty and the rise to power of an Islamic revolutionary led by Imam Khomeini. This political celebration is held on the last day of the celebration called the Ten Days of Fajr.

March 20: Oil Nationalization Day

The nationalization of the Iranian oil industry was the result of a movement in the Iranian parliament (majlis) to seize control of Iran's oil industry, which was run by private companies largely controlled by foreign interests. The law was passed on March 15, 1951 and verified by the Majlis on March 17, 1951. The law led to the nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC). The movement was led by Mohammad Mossadegh, a member of the Majlis of the National Front and the future Prime Minister of Iran.

March 21: Nowruz

Nowruz is a festival that marks the beginning of solar New Year. Nowruz is an ancient Zoroastrian fiesta that has survived the passage of time through centuries. Nowruz is characterized by the renewal of family reunions, paying tribute to the elderly, exchanging gifts, attending to the poor and the orphans, reconciliation with those with whom we’ve been at odds for some time and taking pleasure in the beauties of nature, which stand out quite noticeably at this particular point of time.

April 1: Islamic Republic Day

Iranian Islamic Republic Day is the 12th day of Farvardin, known as Ruz-e-Jomhuri-ye-Islami. This day is a national and public holiday in Iran. This is the day of the announcement of the results of the referendum in the Islamic Republic of Iran in March 1979. The results were announced: 98.2% voted for the creation of an Islamic republic within the state.

April 2: Sizdah Bedar

Sizdah Bedar, also known as Nature Day, is an Iranian festival held annually on the thirteenth day of Farvardin (the same as Aries), the first month of the Iranian calendar, during which people spend time outdoors picnicking. It marks the end of Nowruz holiday in Iran.

In general, among Iranian festivals, "Sizdah Bedar" is somewhat vague in terms of historical roots. History textbooks prior to the Qajar era do not explicitly mention such a holiday. But in ancient sources, such as the Shahnameh, there is a mention of the "thirteenth day of Farvardin". It is widely believed that the ancient Iranians celebrated the 13th day of Novruz after twelve days of celebration, each day representing a month of the year. This was the official end of Nowruz and the beginning of the remaining twelve months of the year.

June 4: Death of Imam Khomeini

On June 3, 1989 at 22:20 local time, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Iranian Revolution and the first Supreme Leader and Founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, died in Jamaran, Greater Tehran, at the age of 89 after spending eleven days in a private hospital, near his home after five heart attacks in ten days. Sources put his age at 89 years old, and the cause of death is bleeding in the digestive system.

As a mark of respect, the Iranian government ordered all schools to close on Sunday, declared 40 days of mourning and said schools would be closed for five days. Pakistan has declared ten days of national mourning, Syria has declared seven days of mourning. Afghanistan, Lebanon and India have declared three days of mourning.

June 5: Khordad National Uprising (1963)

The June 5 and 6 demonstrations, also referred to as the June 1963 events or (by the Iranian calendar) the 15 Khordad uprising, were protests in Iran against the arrest of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini following his denunciation of the Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Israel.

The Shah's regime was taken by surprise by massive public demonstrations of support, and although these were crushed by the police and military within days, these events demonstrated the importance and strength of the (Shia) religious opposition to the Shah and Khomeini as a major political and religious figure.

Birthday of Imam Ali

Ali was born to Abu Talib and his wife Fatimah bint Asad around 600 CE, possibly on 13 Rajab, a date also celebrated annually by the Shiites. Shia and some Sunni sources present Ali as the only person born inside the Kaaba in Mecca, some of which contain miraculous descriptions of the incident. Ali's father was a leading member of the Banu Hashim clan who also raised his nephew Muhammad after the death of his parents. When Abu Talib later fell into poverty, Ali was adopted at the age of five and raised by Muhammad and his wife Khadija.


Laylat al-mabit refers to the night in 622 CE in which the Islamic prophet Muhammad fled Mecca for Yathrib, apparently to foil an assassination plan. His escape from Mecca followed the exodus of his persecuted followers to the safe haven of Yathrib, a city that was later renamed Medina in his honor.

Laylat al-mabit is often associated in Islamic literature with the reports that Muhammad's cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib risked his life to facilitate Muhammad's safe escape from Mecca. As the harassment of early Muslims in Mecca continued, or perhaps with the hope of better prospects, Muhammad asked his followers to emigrate to the city of Yathrib, whose residents had pledged to protect him there.

Birthday of Imam Mahdi

Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Mahdi is considered by the Twelver Shia to be the last of the Twelve Imams and the eschatological Mahdi who will appear at the end of time to establish peace, justice and redeem Islam.

Hassan al-Askari, the eleventh imam, died in 260 AH (873-874 AD), possibly poisoned by the Abbasids. Immediately after his death, his chief spokesman, Uthman ibn Said, stated that the eleventh Imam had a young son named Muhammad, who was hidden from the public for fear of persecution by the Abbasids. Uthman also claimed to represent Muhammad entering a state of obscuration. Other local representatives of al-Askari largely supported these claims, while the Shia community broke into several sects due to al-Askari's succession. However, all these sects are said to have disappeared after a few decades, with the exception of the Twelver, who accept al-Askari's son as the twelfth and last Imam in the occult.

Martyrdom of Imam Ali

After Uthman was killed, Imam Ali was chosen as the next caliph, coinciding with the first civil wars between Muslims. Ali faced two separate opposition forces: a group in Mecca that wanted to convene a council to determine a caliphate; and another group led by Mu'awiyah in the Levant who demanded revenge for Uthman's blood. He defeated the first group; but in the end the Battle of Siffin resulted in arbitration in favor of Mu'awiya, who ultimately defeated Ali militarily. Killed by the sword of Ibn Muljam Moradi, Ali was buried outside the city of Kufa. In the eyes of his admirers, he became a model of piety and uncorrupted Islam, as well as the chivalry of pre-Islamic Arabia.Several books are devoted to his hadiths, sermons and prayers, the most famous of which is Nahj al-Balaga.

Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Fitr is one of the two official holidays in Islam. It is celebrated on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal and marks the end of the month-long fast observed during the month of Ramadan.

Eid al-Fitr (Feast of Breaking the Fast) is an extremely important religious festival observed by Muslims worldwide.

On the Day of Eid, Muslims are expected to give as much charity as possible, greet one another and show happiness. Common greetings during Eid al-Fitr are "Blessed Eid" (Eid Mubarak) and "Happy Eid" (Eid Sa'id). Some countries also have greetings in the local language. People are encouraged to forget animosities and forgive one another for what they may have done during the year.

Martyrdom of Imam Sadeq

Ja'far ibn Muhammad ibn Ali al-Sadiq (702–765), commonly known as Ja'far al-Sadiq - "Ja'far the Truthful" was the 8th Muslim Shia scholar, jurist and theologian of the century. He was the founder of the Jafarite school of Islamic jurisprudence and the sixth Imam of the Twelver and Ismaili denominations of Shia Islam. Traditions (hadith) recorded from al-Sadiq and his predecessor Muhammad ibn Ali al-Baqir are considered more numerous than all the hadiths preserved from the Islamic prophet Muhammad and other Shia imams combined.

Eid al-Adha

Eid al-Adha is a significant annual Islamic observance for Muslims. It is also known as the Feast of Sacrifice or Festival of Sacrifice as it commemorates Ibrahim’s (Abraham) willingness to sacrifice his son to God.

On this day, it is customary to gather with family and friends, have celebratory meals, and give eidi (special gifts). Eid gifts are most often given to children as a token of love. 

Eid al-Ghadir

Eid al-Ghadir - "Pond Feast" is an Islamic commemorative holiday and is considered one of the important festivals of Shia Muslims. Eid al-Adha is held on the 18th of Dhul-Hijjah at the time when the Islamic prophet Muhammad is said to have appointed Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor. According to Shia hadiths, this Eid was called "Eid-e Bozorg-e Elahi" - "the greatest divine Eid", "Eid Ahl al-Bayt Muhammad" and Ashraf al-Ayyad (that is, the highest Eid).


Tasua is the ninth day of Muharram and the day before Ashura. Several events took place on this day, including: the entry of the Shemra into Karbala, the provision of safe passage for the children of Umm-ul-Banin, preparations for war; and Hussein ibn Ali and his comrades were besieged by the enemy (as part of the Battle of Karbala). This day is attributed to Abbas ibn Ali due to his actions as the commander of Husayn ibn Ali's army.


Ashura is a day of remembrance in Islam. It takes place annually on the 10th of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar. Among Shia Muslims, Ashura is celebrated with massive demonstrations of large-scale mourning as it commemorates the death of Husayn ibn Ali (the grandson of Muhammad), who was beheaded during the Battle of Karbala in 680 AD.


Arbaeen - "fortieth" Chehellom is a Shiite religious observance that takes place forty days after the Day of Ashura. It is dedicated to the martyrdom of Al-Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, who was martyred on the 10th day of the month of Muharram. Imam Hussain ibn Ali and 71 of his companions were martyred by Ubaidallah ibn Ziyad's army under Yazid I at the Battle of Karbala in 61 AH (680 CE).

Death of Prophet Muhammad

In 632, a few months after returning from his farewell pilgrimage, the Prophet Muhammad fell ill and died. By the time of his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam. The revelations (each of which is known as Ayah - literally "The Sign of God" that Muhammad reportedly received before his death are verses from the Qur'an that Muslims consider to be the literal "Word of God" on which the religion is based. Apart from the Qur'an, the teachings and practices of Muhammad (sunnah) contained in the hadith and sira (biography) are also supported and used as sources of Islamic law.

Martyrdom of Imam Hasan

Hassan ibn Ali was a prominent early Islamic figure. He was the eldest son of Ali and Fatima and the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He briefly reigned as caliph from January 661 to August 661. He is considered the second Imam in Shiite Islam, succeeding Ali and preceding his brother Hussein. As the grandson of the prophet, he is part of the ahl al-bayt and ahl al-kisa, and is also said to have participated in the Mubahal event.

Martyrdom of Imam Reza

Imam Reza Shrine - "Sanctuary of Imam Reza" in Mashhad, Iran is a complex that contains the mausoleum of Imam Reza, also known as Ali al-Rida or Ali al-Rida, the eighth Imam of the Twelver Shiites. It is the largest mosque in the world in terms of area. The complex also includes the Goharshad Mosque, a museum, a library, four seminaries, a cemetery, the Razavi University of Islamic Sciences, a dining room for pilgrims, extensive prayer halls and other buildings. The complex is a tourist center in Iran and has been described as "the heart of Shia Iran". According to a 2007 estimate, 25 million Iranian and non-Iranian Shiites visit the shrine every year.

Martyrdom of Imam Hassan Asgari

Hasan ibn Ali ibn Muhammad better known as Hassan al-Askari was a descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He is considered the eleventh of the Twelve Imams to succeed his father, Ali al-Hadi. Hasan al-Askari was born in Medina in 844 and brought with his father to the garrison city of Samarra in 848, where they were kept under close surveillance by the Abbasid caliphs until their deaths, although neither was politically active.

Birthday of Imam Sadeq

Ja'far al-Sadiq was born around 700 CE, possibly 702. He was about thirty-seven years old when his father, Muhammad al-Baqir, died after appointing him as the next imam. As the sixth Shia Imam, al-Sadiq kept aloof from the political conflicts that engulfed the region, dodging requests for support he received from the rebels.

Ja'far ibn Muhammad ibn Ali al-Sadiq (702–765), commonly known as Ja'far al-Sadiq - "Ja'far the Truthful" was the 8th Muslim Shia scholar, jurist and theologian of the century. He was the founder of the Jafarite school of Islamic jurisprudence and the sixth Imam of the Twelver and Ismaili denominations of Shia Islam. Traditions (hadith) recorded from al-Sadiq and his predecessor Muhammad ibn Ali al-Baqir are considered more numerous than all the hadiths preserved from the Islamic prophet Muhammad and other Shia imams combined.

Prophet Muhammad's Birthday

Mawlid is an Islamic observation of the birth day of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. This is commemorated in Rabi' al-Awwal, the third month of the Islamic calendar. Most Sunnis consider this to be 12 Rabi' al-Awwal, although most Shi'ites consider 17 Rabi' al-Awwal to be the date. Mawlid's parentage is disputed in the Islamic world. It was introduced by the Abbasids or Fatimids.

Martyrdom of Hazrat Fatemah

Fatimiyya are days when Shia Muslims mourn the martyrdom of Fatima, the daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Fatimiyya is a window between the two possible dates of her death, that is, from the 13th of Jumad al-Awwal to the 3rd of Jumad al-Thani. Specifically, the Fatimiyya period is six days in total, three days in the month of Jamadi al-Awal and three days in the month of Jumada al-Thani. This means that the first Fatimiyya is 13-15 Jumada al-Awwal and the second Fatimiyya is 3-5 Jamadi al-Thani. Instead of three, some Shia Muslims mourn for ten days.

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