The grand commemoration of the venerated Persian poet and author Ferdowsi has commenced nationwide, with the launching of several programs by the Ferdowsi Foundation and Iran’s Pahlavani (Heroic) Sports Federation.
Experts on Ferdowsi’s ‘Shahnameh’ or the ‘Book of Kings’, (the world’s longest epic poetry created by a single poet, and the national epic of Iran and the Persian-speaking people), and renowned artists are participating in the celebrations.
The event comprises ten stages, during which different cultural and artistic programs will be performed. Acclaimed Iranian vocalist Shahram Nazeri will unveil his latest album titled ‘Royal Flag’ (Derafsh-e Kavyani), composed by Farid Elhami, at Ferdowsi Foundation branch in the poet’s birthplace at Tous in Khorassan Razavi Province, IRNA reported.
The Literature Faculty of Tehran University will host Nazeri’s performance, and renowned artists and university professors will give speeches on May 11. Paintings themed on the Shahnameh will also be displayed at the university.
Among the programs is an educational workshop on his magnum opus in Tous, by Jalal Khaleqi Motlaq, an expert on Shahnameh studies. Persian literature professor and poet, Mir Jalaleddin Kazzazi in a speech at Bahonar University in Kerman on Saturday paid tributes to the revered poet and the Sama music band staged a performance with ‘tanbur’ (a string instrument) players.
Painting and calligraphy workshops and a Naqqali student competition (Iranian dramatic story-telling) were hosted by the Ilam Talent Center, Visual Arts Club, the office of the cultural and Islamic guidance ministry and the education department of Ilam on Sunday (May 10).
On May 12, Iranologist Pirouz Mojtahedzadeh will give a lecture at Tehran’s Milad Tower. A group of ‘naqqals’ (Shahnameh reciters) will also perform on the same day at the Jihad Center of Isfahan University of Technology.
Ancient sports rituals ‘Pahlevani’ (heroic sport) and ‘Zurkhaneh’ rituals, traditional Iranian system of athletics combining martial arts, calisthenics, strength training and music along with Shahnameh recitations will be held in Markazi Province on May 14, while the House of Literati at the ongoing Tehran International Book Fair will hold Shahnameh recitation on May 15. Conferences on heroic culture and art in Shahnameh will also be organized. The Isfahan Chamber of Commerce will host the ceremony on the same day, and Ferdowsi association will arrange speeches by professors and artists.
Programs other than the heroic and ancient sports will include professional, national and international conferences, cultural and traditional art works exhibitions and traditional music with the support of the cultural office of Bank Sepah.
Hakim Abul-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi (940–1020 CE) or Ferdowsi, is celebrated as one of the most influential Persian poets of all time, and an influential figure in Persian literature. His Shahnameh narrates the mythical and historical past of Iran from the beginning of the creation of the world to the Islamic conquest of Persia in the 7th century AH. The epic book was created under the patronage of the Samanid and Ghaznavid courts of Persia.
The commemoration event will conclude on May 20.