The Localist

It’s Friday in Iran

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When I was first approached about writing about life in Iran, I must admit I really didn’t know where to start. Apparently a few people from other countries were writing about Sundays. Why don’t I write about something I do on a Sunday, it was suggested.

Sundays?? What is so special about them if they are not even weekends! In Iran, the week ends a couple of days earlier, on Friday. For Muslims the holy day is Friday (locally called Jum’ma, meaning day of assembly). Believers are supposed to get together at noontime for the congregational prayer, which is fully covered by local TV channels all day long as the speech is politically important.

However, Fridays are not all about politics and religion.

Fridays are also about the “off” time, when everyone has a chance to enjoy nature, visit their beloved ones, party, or just declutter and catch up with what’s left from the previous week.

We do many things on Fridays. We love nature. On Fridays, wherever you can find a green or a park, you will see Iranian families picnicking with a flask of tea, a shisha pipe and probably a watermelon. Young people often go to the mountains to disconnect from the chaotic life of a big developing city with all the cars and pollution. For those who stay, there are enough underground parties to keep people entertained.

Also, most of our weddings are celebrated on Fridays. Cinemas, theatres and concerts are also really popular. I recommend you book in advance if you plan to go out on a Friday.

What makes Friday so lovely in metropolises and large towns of Iran is the traffic flow, which is far less chaotic than weekdays. You’ll still need to be patient when looking for a parking spot close to recreation areas.

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