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Nisht, a deep-rooted ritual in Iran’s Uramanat

Nisht is a UNESCO-inscribed ancient ritual that was long practiced in Iran’s Kordestan Province.

Nisht, meaning sitting, is a UNESCO-inscribed ancient ritual that was long practiced in Uramanat region of Iran’s Kordestan Province.

The ritual of Nisht, which has fallen into oblivion over time, would be held every year in mid-autumn when people left their villages for the countryside.

Since Uramanat’s villages are mostly located in the valley and have hot and dry summers, in the past the people of these villages used to build summer houses on top of mountains and spend their spring and summer in these cottages, in an area full of water and suitable for gardening.

The villagers then in the middle of autumn flocked back to their villages where they held a special ritual called Nisht.

As part of the ritual, prayer was said and animals were sacrificed. The women of the village also made a special food called Ashteh-Chi which is a sour type of Ash made of beef and pomegranate molasses.

Then, they ask one another for Halaliat (forgiveness) if they harm each other unintentionally during their stay.

Although the ritual is no longer practiced in the region, it has been inscribed on the National Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

MM/AG

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