Iran's Culture 09 Apr 2023 BY Arash Morshed

The Fragrance Festival: Golabgiri Season in Iran

Rose water is a fragrant liquid that is obtained by distilling rose petals.

It has been used for centuries in various cultures for its numerous benefits, including its moisturizing and soothing properties for the skin, its culinary uses as a flavoring agent, and its aromatherapy benefits for relaxation and stress relief.

The highest quality rose water is often considered to come from Iran, producing the most significant amount of rose water globally. The Rosa damascena variety of roses grown in Iran is highly sought after for its potent fragrance and flavor. Countries known for producing high-quality rose water include Bulgaria, Turkey, and Morocco.

In addition to its use in traditional Persian cuisine, rose water is a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. It is used to flavor desserts and drinks. It is also commonly used in cosmetics and skincare products for its hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties.


Making Rose Water in Golabgiri Festival

golabgiri kashan

Golabgiri season is a highly anticipated time of year in Iran, where the blooming of the Rosa damascena flower marks the beginning of the traditional process of making rose water. For centuries, this process has been an integral part of Persian culture.

Golabgiri season is crucial because it represents not only the annual harvest of roses but also this tradition's cultural and social significance. The season of making rose water is a time of celebration, where families and communities come together to share in the process of making rose water and to honor the beauty and abundance of nature. Throughout this blog post, we will explore the history, function, and cultural significance of the Golabgiri season and how this tradition has evolved.

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History of Golabgiri

iran golabgiri

Golabgiri, which means "Damask rose essential oil extraction" in Persian, has a long and rich history that dates back to ancient times. The tradition is believed to have originated in Iran, where the Rosa damascena flower grows abundantly in the central and southern regions of the country.

The use of roses for medicinal and cosmetic purposes has been documented in Persian texts dating back to the 10th century. However, during the Safavid dynasty in the 16th century, the production of rose water began to flourish with the establishment of rose water distilleries in the city of Kashan.

During this time, rose water became a popular ingredient in Persian cuisine, where it was used to flavor desserts, drinks, and savory dishes. It was also used for its medicinal properties as a natural remedy for various ailments such as headaches, stomach problems, and anxiety.

Over time, the tradition of Golabgiri has continued to evolve and adapt to changing times. Today, the production of rose water in Iran is a major industry, with modern distillation techniques and machinery being used alongside traditional methods. The popularity of rose water has also spread beyond Iran, with the product now being exported worldwide.

Despite these changes, the tradition during the Golab-giri season remains an integral part of Persian culture and heritage. Each year, as the roses begin to bloom in late May or early June, families and communities come together to celebrate the harvest and participate in the process of making rose water. The practice of Golab giri not only preserves the cultural significance of the Rosa damascena flower but also serves as a reminder of the importance of connecting with nature and each other.


The Process of Making Rose Water


During the Golab giri season, the traditional process of making rose water begins with carefully harvesting the Rosa damascena flowers. The flowers are picked early in the morning before the day's heat can cause them to lose their fragrance.

Once the flowers are harvested, they are taken to the distillery, where the distillation process begins. The flowers are placed in a large copper vessel known as a Dig (a kind of Persian pot), filled with water. The Dig is then sealed, and the water is heated, causing the steam to rise and pass through the flowers. The steam carries the essential oils and fragrance of the flowers, which are then collected in a cooling coil.

The distillation process typically takes several hours, and the resulting rose water is collected in large containers for bottling. The rose water is packaged and labeled for sale or use in cooking, skincare, or aromatherapy.

The traditional process of making rose water during the Golabgiri season is labor-intensive and time-consuming. However, the resulting rose water is of the highest quality, with a potent fragrance and flavor prized worldwide.


Celebrating Golabgiri Season; Golabgiri festival

persian golabgiri

Golabgiri season is an important time of celebration in Iran, where the tradition has been deeply ingrained in the culture for centuries. During rose water extraction season, many communities come together to participate in the process of making rose water and celebrate the beauty and fragrance of the flower.

Golab Giri season typically occurs in late May or early June, when the Rosa damascena flowers fully bloom. The exact timing of the festival may vary depending on the location and climate, but it usually coincides with the peak season for rose water production.

In Iran, several cities are particularly famous for producing rose water during the Golabgiri season. The city of Kashan, in central Iran, is known for its long history of rose water distillation and is home to some of the country's oldest and most traditional Golabgiri practices. Other cities, such as Qamsar and Meymand, are also known for their high-quality rose water and hold annual festivals to celebrate the harvest.

Beyond Iran, Golab-giri season is also celebrated in other parts of the world, particularly in countries with large Iranian populations. In the United States, for example, several cities, such as Los Angeles and Washington D.C., hold annual Golabgiri festivals that feature traditional music, dance, and food.


Bottom Line

Golabgiri season is an important time of celebration and cultural significance in Iran and other parts of the world. The process of making rose water during this season is a labor of love and a tribute to the beauty and captivating fragrance of the Rosa damascena flower.

Through the centuries, this tradition has evolved and been passed down through generations, remaining an integral part of Persian culture. Golabgiri season is a time for making rose water and coming together as a community, celebrating nature, and preserving cultural heritage.

At EavarTravel, we offer customized tours that allow you to fully immerse yourself in the Golabgiri season and experience Iran's rich traditions and culture. From visiting rose gardens and distilleries to attending festivals and participating in the making of rose water, our tours provide a unique and unforgettable way to experience this particular time of year.

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