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Iranian folklore, including jokes, legends, games, folklore heroes and beliefs is sophisticated and complex.

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  • Pourya-ye Vali
  • Hasan Kachal "Hasan the Bald"
  • Khaleh Soskeh "Auntie cockroach"
  • Hossen e Kurd e shabestari "The Kurdish Hossen of Shabestar"
  • Karim shereyee "Karim the addict"
  • Baba shammal
  • Koroghlu (Iranian Azarbaijan)
  • Mathar Fulad-zereh "Mother of Fulad-zereh"[1]
  • Otour-khan Rashti
  • Churchill used for any mischievous person in oral folklore
  • Jaffar Jenni or Zaffar Jenni
  • Ya'qub-i Laith is a popular folk hero in Iranian history, and it was at his court that the revitalization of the Persian language began after two centuries of eclipse by Arabic.[2].


"Dāstān" in Persian means “story". The genre to which they refer may go back to ancient Iran.It was a widely popular and folkloric form of story-telling: dastan-tellers tend to tell their tile in coffee houses.They told tales of heroic romance and adventure,stories about gallant princes and their encounters with evil kings, enemy champions, demons, magicians,Jinns, divine creatures, tricky Robin Hood-like persons (called ayyārs), and beautiful princesses who might be human or of the Peri (“fairy”) race.

  • Samak-e Ayyar:An ancient fictional book about an Iranian ayyār[3] (6th century AH) written by Faramaz Ibn Khodad(Faramarz son of Khodad)(Persian: فرامرز بن خداداد بن عبدالله الکاتب الارجانی )
  • Darabnameh:An ancient book of 12th Century , written by Abu Taher Tarsusi,that's a fictional book about the Alexander and Dara[4][5]
  • Firuzshahnama
  • Dastan-e Amir Hamza ,"The adeventure of Amir Hamze" [6][7]
  • One Thousand and One Nights
  • Eskandar Nameh ,"The Persian Alexander Romances" , not to be confused with the classic book of Nezami , but rather more alike a version of Alexander romance that is used in Naghali,different versions of the tale were told by Naghals (popular storytellers), these versions departed from the western story and became, to varying degrees, Iranianized[8].
  • Cehel Tuti , "The Forty Parrots" ; a collection of entertaining stories about the wife of a merchant and a pair of parrots [9].
  • Amir Arsalan-e Namdar , popular Persian legend which was narrated to Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar.

Oral legends and tales

  • Boz boz Gandhi"Suger goat"
  • Shangol o Mangol o Habeh-e-Angur
  • Maah pishoni "(the girl with)Moon(sign)in her brow"
  • Kadou ghelghelehzan "The trundle gourd"
  • Sarma Pirezan"Grand mother COLD"


  • Karkadann
    The Nightmare in European folklore is similar to Iranian "Bakhtak"
  • Davaal paa (Persian: دووال پا ) "lasso-leg creature"
  • Aal [10]
  • Bakhtak (Persian: بختک )"Nightmare" A ghost or an evil creature that cause Sleep paralysis[11]
  • Genie " elf, goblin"
  • Div "Daeva "
  • Peri
  • Zār (Persian: زآر) A ritual in some of the south coastal Iranian provinces that is a kind of spiritual "trance" dance. In some cases it can go for a long time,until the dancer drops down of exhaustion [12]
  • Takam "The king of goats", a male goat, in the folklore of Azarbaijan.

Folklore games

Physical games
  • Amo Zangirbaff (Uncle chain-weaver)
  • Attal Mattal Totuleh
  • Ghayyem Moshak
  • Gorgam be Hava
  • Alak dou Lak
  • Bikh divari
  • Ghapp bazi "knucklebone Playing"
  • Khar polis "Donkey-Cop"
  • Aftaab Mahtab "Sunshine Moonlight"
  • Laylay or Ganiyeh [13]
folklore Card games
  • Hokm:A game for four players [14].
  • Ganjafa [15][16]
  • Chahâr barg (4 cards) is another fishing game,also sometimes known as Pâsur,Haft Khâj(seven clubs)or Haft va chahâr, yâzdah(7+4=11).
  • Âs Nas: Perhaps Âs Nas is the game from which modern Poker may have sprung [17] [18]
folklore Verbal games
  • Moshereh (Poetry Game):Every side has to answer the other side with a poem beginning with the last word of the previous poem (Compare with Urdu Mushaira).
  • Ye Morgh Darm ("I have a hen" game)
other folklore games

Traditional ceremonies

folklore Nowruz traditional characters
folklore religious ceremonies
other folklore traditions

Characters in jokes

A depiction of Molla Nasr al din


Cheshm Nazar
  • Ajîl-e Moshkel-goshâ "The problem-solving nuts" of Chaharshanbe Suri[25] [26]
  • Cheshm Nazar (چشم نظر)and Nazar Ghorboni (نظرقربونی): That is a pendant or gemstone or likewise that is used as necklace to protect its owner from Evil_eye[27].Compare with Nazar (amulet).
  • Cheshm-Zakhm (lit. “a blow by the eye”), the evil eye (Chashm also occurs alone with the same meaning; cf. Chashm-e bad, Chashm-e Shūr, Chashm-e hasūd “envious eye”; nazar zadan or chashm zadan “to inflict with the evil eye”; Middle Persian duščašmīh or sūr-čašmīh), the supposed power of an individual to cause harm, even illness or death, to another person (or animals and other possessions) merely by looking at him or complimenting him[28].Dried capsules of Esfand (Peganum harmala)(known in Persian as اسپند espænd or اسفنددانه esfænd-dāneh) mixed with other ingredients are placed onto red hot charcoal, where they explode with little popping noises, releasing a fragrant smoke that is wafted around the head of those afflicted by or exposed to the gaze of strangers. As this is done, an ancient prayer is recited. This prayer is said by Muslims as well as by Zoroastrians[29] [28][30].
  • fāl gereftan (Divination),Many varieties of divination are attested in Persian folk practice. They include interpretation of objects which appear haphazardly, interpretation of involuntary bodily actions (sneezing, twitching, itches, etc.), observing animal behavior, divining by playing cards (fāl-e waraq) or chick-peas (fāl-e noḵod), bibliomancy (e.g., fāl-e Hafez), divination by means of mirrors and lenses (āʾīna-bīnī), observation of the liver of a slain animal (jegar-bīnī), divination by means of the flame of a lamp, etc[21 ].

Music,dance and Performing Arts

  • Naghali and Pardeh dari, That is narrating of important stories from the Iranian fables, myths and epics which have remained from ancient times with special tone, feelings and expression. In this play, one person both narrates and plays all the roles.Pardeh dari is a special kind of Naghali which is done mostly in the streets.There is a hanging picture on which some scenes of a story are printed. The pardeh dar (story-teller) narrates the story with a demonstration of the scenes. This kind of narration is used for epics as well as religious stories[31].Many naqhāls in the Safavid period specialized in single, though extensive stories; they were accordingly known as Shahname khan, Amīr Ḥamze khan, and the like[32].

Pimps, prostitutes and mobs

See also

Further reading


  1. ^ Encyclopaedia Iranica (article by M. Omidsalar)
  2. ^ ""Ya'qub-i Laith Saffari"". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 2007-07-15.  
  3. ^ Download the book in Persian
  4. ^ tarsusi
  5. ^ HANAWAY, WILLIAM L. "ĀBĀN DOKHT". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 2009-01-25.  
  6. ^ Dastan-e Amir Hamzah or Amir Hamza, extended version
  7. ^ The Adventures Of Amir Hamza
  8. ^ HANAWAY, WILLIAM L. "ESKANDAR-NĀMA". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 2009-01-25.  
  9. ^ Yūsofī, Ḡolām-Ḥosayn. "ČEHEL ṬŪṬĪ". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 2009-01-25.  
  10. ^ The placenta was cut and immediately it was poked with a pin or a needle to frighten bad spirits such as ‘Al’. These spirits were closely associated with death of the baby or the mother or anything else that could go wrong at this time. Zoroastrians believed in a number of such dark spirits attacking the mother and the newborn and ‘Al’ resembles the ancient spirits[1].
  11. ^ see also Persian Wikipedia page about Bakhtak
  12. ^ See also Persian Wikipedia page about Zaar ritual in Iran
  13. ^ Iranian folklore games ( In Persian)
  14. ^ How to play Hokm
  15. ^ Encyclopedia Iranica Ganjafa
  16. ^ Ganjafa(In Persian)
  17. ^ About Âs Nas
  18. ^ Jacoby,Morehead, Oswald,Albert. [ "poker Origin and spread"]. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2008-01-18.  :

    Poker is virtually indistinguishable from an older Persian game called as nas, a four-hand game played with a 20-card pack, five cards dealt to each player. This coincidence led some students of games to call poker a derivative of as nas, but this theory has been discredited.

  19. ^ a b Krasnowolska, Anna. "KUSA". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  20. ^ HITCHINS, KEITH. "Part v. KURDISH (SUNNI)". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  21. ^ a b OMIDSALAR, MAHMOUD. "DIVINATION". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 2009-04-05.  
  22. ^ Chelkowsky, Peter. "THE PASSION (TA'ZIA) OF HOSAYN". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 2008-01-18.  
  23. ^ Calmard, J.. "'AZAÚDAÚRÈ". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 2008-01-18.  
  24. ^ MARZOLPH, ULRICH. "FOLKLORE STUDIES". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 2008-01-18.  :

    "As a result, some topics, especially those of religious relevance (such as the Ta'zieh; see Homayun, 1989; Idem, 1976; Idem, 1998; cf. Waklian, 1991) are prioritized"

  25. ^ Serving different kinds of pastry and nuts known as Ajîleh Moshkel Goshâ (lit. The problem-solving nuts) is the Chahârshanbe Sûrî way of giving thanks for the previous year's health and happiness, while exchanging any remaining paleness and evil for the warmth and vibrancy of the fire. [2]
  26. ^ دنیای مجازی یا فاجعه مجازی در ایران - قاشق زنی، آجيل مشکل گشا، پريدن از روی آتش، فالگوش ايستادن
  27. ^ M.Moin:A Persian Dictionary, 3rd edition, Page 4752(In Persian)
  28. ^ a b Šakūrzāda , Omidsalar, Ebrāhīm ,Mahmoud. "ČAŠM-ZAḴM". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 2009-06-30.  
  29. ^ "Aspand - Espand - Esfand - Esphand Against the Evil Eye in Zoroastrian Magic". Retrieved 2008-06-30.  
  30. ^ اسفندGreat Islamic Encyclopedia (In Persian)
  31. ^ [3]
  32. ^ HANAWAY, WILLIAM L. "DĀSTĀN-SARĀʾĪ (storytelling)". Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved 2009-01-25.  

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