Qalishouyan Ritual
Iran Intangible Cultural Heritage

Qalishouyan Ritual


Traditional ritual of Qalishouyan in Kashan is in the memory of a descendant of the 5th Shiite imam, Muhammad al-Baqer, Imamzade Sultan Ali. Sultan Ali is respected as a saint by the people of Kashan. The ceremonies take place at his shrine in Mashhad-e-Ardehal, a village which is famous for its carpets and this shrine is located about 50 km west of Kashan. According to legend, Sultan Ali was killed and his body was found and carried in a rug to a stream where he was buried by the people of Fin.

Today, the Sultan Ali Mausoleum is the site of a ritual where a rug in the sacred stream is washed by a crowd. It takes place on the second Friday in the month of Mehr (early-October). In the morning, people gather to splash rose water on the carpet. After completing the wrapping ritual, they deliver it to the people of Fin who rinse the carpet under running water and sprinkle it with wooden sticks. The carpet is then returned to the mausoleum. The rituals have been on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list since 2012.

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