Iran recognizes 27 public holidays per year. The majority of Iran’s holidays are based on Islamic religious culture as well as political milestones commemorating a long struggle to obtain political freedom and equality. But, Iranian New Year is based on a Pre-Islamic ancient tradition called Nowrouz.
Three calendars are commonly used in Iran. These calendars include:
- The Persian Solar calendar as the main and national calendar,
- The Gregorian calendar for international events,
- The Islamic calendar (Lunar calendar) for Islamic holidays.
Iranian solar calendar which is a direct descendant of the ancient Zoroastrian calendar is based on the immigration of the Prophet Mohammed from Mecca to Medina in AD 622 and this is why it is called Hijri (immigration). The new year (Nowruz)in this calendar is on the first day of spring falling on 21 March according to the Western calendar. Generally, the Iranian Solar Calendar is synced with the earth`s circulation around the sun and seasons changes and this is what “solar” is originated from.
|Season||Spring (Bahar)||Summer (Tabestan)||Autumn (Pa’iz)||Winter (Zemestan)|
|Farvardin||21 Mar-20 Apr||Tir||22 Jun-22 Jul||Mehr||23 Sep-22 Oct||Dei||22 Dec-20 Jan|
|Ordibehesht||21 Apr-21 May||Mordad||23 Jul-22 Aug||Aban||23 Oct-21 Nov||Bahman||21 Jan-19 Feb|
|Khordad||22 May-21 Jun||Shahrivar||23 Aug-22 Sep||Azar||22 Nov-21 Dec||Esfand||20 Feb-20 Mar|
In Iran, the common working week is 5-day work week. It runs from Saturday to Wednesday beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. In fact, Iran is the only Islamic country with its weekends on Thursdays and Fridays. Friday is prayer day in Iran and other Islamic countries so it is a holiday. But Thursdays are more flexible. Hence, public offices close on this day but, some companies work a half-day on Thursday. Furthermore, shops, supermarkets, and malls are open seven days a week on most public holidays. Transport functions fairly normally and hotels remain open.
Museum work time depends on national holidays. Places like squares, cemeteries and urban symbols that are public are always open. But, places with specific protection framework (museum, palace museum and cultural-historical places covered by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts), ticket sales, manpower such as guide, guard and etc. are closed only seven days per year. These seven days are Demise of Ayatollah Khomeini, Martyrdom of Imam Ali, Martyrdom of Imam Jafar Sadegh, Tasu’a and Ashura, Demise of the Prophet Mohammed, and Revolution Day.
Revolution Day Holidays
Revolution day holidays follow the Persian solar calendar and usually fall on the same day each year according to the Western calendar.
- The victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran (11 February, 22 Bahman): The anniversary of Khomeini’s coming to power in 1979.
- Islamic Republic Day (1 April, 12 Farvardin): The anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979.
- The demise of Ayatollah Khomeini (4 June, 14 Khordad): Commemorates the death of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989.
- The 15 Khordad Uprising (5 June, 15 Khordad).
- Oil Nationalization Day (20 March, 29 Esfand): Commemorates the 1951 nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.
- Nowruz (21–24 March, 1–4 Farvardin): Iranian New Year.
- Sizdah be Dar (2 April, 13 Farvardin): ‘Nature Day’ is the 13th day of the Iranian New Year, when Iranians traditionally leave their houses for the day.
Religious holidays follow the Muslim lunar calendar, which means the corresponding dates in the Western calendar move forward by 10 or 11 days every year.
- Tasua (9 Moharram, 28 August 2020)
- Ashura (10 Moharram, 29 August 2020): The anniversary of the martyrdom of Hossein, the third Shiite imam, in battle at Karbala in October AD 680.
- Arbaeen (20 Safar, 7 October 2020): The 40th day after Ashura.
- Demise of the Prophet Mohammed (28 Safar, 15 October 2020)
- Martyrdom of Imam Reza (30 Safar, 17 October 2020)
- Birth of the Prophet Mohammed (17 Rabi’-ol-Avval, 3 November 2020)
- Martyrdom of Fatima (3 Jamadi-l-Okhra, 29 January 2020): Fatima was the daughter of Prophet Mohammed.
- Birth of Imam Ali (13 Rajab, 8 March 2020)
- Ascension of Holy Prophet (27 Rajab, 22 March 2020): Maab’ath, Mabath, the day that Prophet Mohammed was chosen as the prophet of Islam.
- Birthday of Imam Mahdi (15 Shaban, 9 April 2020)
- Martyrdom of Imam Ali (21 Ramazan, 15 May 2020)
- Eid al-Fitr (1 Shavval, 24 & 25 May 2020): The Festival of the Breaking of the Fast that marks the end of Ramadan. After sunset on the last day of Ramadan, large meals are consumed across the country.
- Martyrdom of Imam Jafar Sadegh (25 Shavval, 17 June 2020)
- Eid-e Ghorban (10 Zu-l-Hejjeh, 31 July 2020): Marks the day when Abraham offered to sacrifice his son.
- Eid-e Ghadir (18 Zu-l-Hejjeh, 8 August 2020): refers to a sermon delivered by the Islamic prophet Muhammad at the Pond of Khumm, shortly before his death in 632 CE.
- Martyrdom of Imam Ali (8 Rabi’-ol-Avval, 25 October 2020)