How to explore Iran

Explore Iran by a really deep guide to ethnicity, culture, history and geography of Iran or ancient Persia. If you plan to travel to Iran, here you can find everything you need to explore Iran. From a brief introduction from Iran’s history and culture to diverse tribes, dialects, life styles and customs among each region. Iran is a four seasonal country with diverse weather conditions which effects on people mood, beliefs and characteristics. It is a country of different colors, races, tribes and life styles. From amazing nature in north to spectacular desserts in center and outstanding islands in south, there are many attractions in Iran to visit.Based on your preferences, there are many Iran tours which can portray a part of its beauty in one glance.

Explore Iran with North of Iran ethnic groups:

North of Iran ethnic groups are various. Each region has its own special lifestyle, dress code, ceremonies and beliefs. People in north of Iran are well-known as so hospitable and friendly people. Their cuisine is unique and unforgettable. The best way to explore Iran deeply is to get to know different tribes living in different regions of Iran. Here is a regional category of different tribes in Iran which can give you a deeper insight of Iran to make your familiar with Iran and have a fantastic Iran travel. Include visiting them in your Iran exploration.

(Mazandaran, Gilan, Golestan)

Tabari or Mazandarani is the name of groups of people who belong to tribal background of Tabari and speak in Mazandarani dialect. Mazandarani people are from the generation of Tapour dynasty. Mazandarani people consist of more than 4 percent of Country population and mostly they are Muslims, Shiite. Either in past or now, great men and women have been raised from this land. Explore Iran via specific glance of Persian tribes.

It is commonly supposed that this ethnic group has just occupied Mazandaran state in Iran, it is totally wrong though. Mazandarani people spread in four states of the country. Mazandaran has the maximum population of Mazandarani people, while Gilak groups who have similar dialects and culture live in Ramsar and Tonkobon towns in west of Mazandaran. In Golestan state, Mazandarani people live in AliAbad, Gorgan, Kordkoy and BandarGaz. Unfortunately, this group of Mazandarani people are considered as Fars ethnics in official resources which is wrong.

Northern villages of Semnan state like Khatirkooh, Chashm, Parvar, Foolad mahaleh and so on are all Mazandarani, and people from Shahmirzad city and Garmsar elikaei tribes talk in some special dialects of Mazandarani. In Tehran state, people in two cities of Damavand, Firoozkooh and Ghasran district are mostly Mazandarani. The population of them is between 3 to 4 million people. The diverse geography of this state consists of meadows, plains, groves and Hirkani forests with 100 unique plant species in the world and different weather patterns from sandy coasts to rugged mountains and covered with snow demonstrate special features in Iran nature and attracts many people to itself. Iran exploration will be more unique, if you try to find these locals to talk and hack into their life in your trip to Iran. Have you heard of Mazandaran in tripadvisor or similar advicing websites?

explore Iran
explore Iran

Mazandarani people characteristic

Lack of integration between different sections of Mazandaran lead to different customs and religious beliefs, but many behavioral features is still the same. Let’s explore Iran north ethnicities life style and traits together.

hardworking women

The first thing among this land people which attracts any stranger’s attention to itself is the industriousness and effort of Mazandarani women. They work alongside their men in cultivating rice crops and other products as well as being a mother and doing household chores. Explore Iran to get to know with industrious Iranian women.

explore Iran
explore Iran


There is a close social relationship between Mazandarani people and intimate cooperation among them. This feature is so radical in a way that the sense of collaboration and assistance is merged with every single aspect of Mazandaranis nature. Iran discovery portrays the culture of sympathy and team working.

the other behavioral features

Mazandaran occupants are so hospitable and they know the codes of hospitality in a good way. They are constant in friendship. They are so tolerant against difficulties and problems. Dance and music has special position between Mazandarani people. There are ceremonies of happiness, hopping and dance in various days of year among them.


Gil or Gilak is the name of an Iranian tribe living in South-west of Khazar (Caspian) sea who live in Gilan state. Gilaks speak one of languages of Indian and European from Iranian west-northern languages. Based on Iranika, it seems that Gils entered in South district of Caspian Sea in first or second century BC. It is argued that their ancestors come from Ghafghaz district and they probably substituted with an older group in South part of Khazar sea. Linguists believe that there are similarities between Ghafghazi languages and Gilaki (no other Iranian languages). In your Iran exploaratrion, you will find this ethnicity amazingly attractive.

Gilani people characteristics

Climatic diversity in Gilan leads to different life style for occupants in distinct sections of the state, but it could not interrupt cultural connection among them, and separate them culturally and emotionally. People mood is the same either in cities or villages, and because of similar beliefs there is no difference between them. The spiritual modesty and social thoughts cause a sweet and enjoyable life for people who live in this part of the country and lead to specific features in their behavior. Explore Iran by colorful and happy life style of Gilani people.

Cooperation and collaboration

Collaboration is visible in many aspects of Gilani people life in a way that its effects are being seen in group songs while cultivation, selling rice, their cuisine and warehousing. Men and women in Gilan make effort for a living together. They show a spectacular image of cooperation and association while working and holding their hands. This feature causes women to be as strong as men using hard tools such as ax come along with their men as well as doing feminine and delicate jobs of house holding. Exploring Iran will make you know more about their features.

Exhilaration and vitality

Geographical condition of Gilan, Dense vegetation coverage, humidity, access to sea and many climatic factors make Gilani people happy and lively with different mood from people from other parts of the country. They have stable morale. Explore Iran to see these people fave to face and get to know them wisely. Haji Sayah who traveled to Gilan in Naser al-Din Shah Qajar era says: Because of dominant rainy weather in Gilan and due to humidity, occupants temper of most of the people is moisture and tend to be bored and superstitious.

Peace, reconciliation and hospitality

This land has been a host of many people from all around the world and many migrations has happened in this region. From Mazdakies and Alavies migration to Polish and Russian entrance in world wars cause Gilani people to host many people. They make their guests feel secure and that’s why they count as a good host and their hospitality is well-known among many people and treat their friends nicely; they are very strict against enemies though. One of the best examples of this feature is obvious in their residency for more than one century against Arabs attack.

Gilani people never hold tribal and ethnic prejudices as strong as other parts of Iran. Most of Muslims of Gilan had lived with Christian Armenian in a way that they even drank from one water well. Biases don’t have any position in their life especially in marriage and different tribes marry each other easily. By exploring Iran you can compare what you hear in media about Iran and the reality.

Safety and trust to the future

Contrary to what you see in Iran desserts in building narrow allies and tall walls, Homes are still with short walls. It is because of the fact that desserts face stranger’s attacks and consider security. Because of feeling safety in fertile lands, people behavior is plain and it is accompanied with more negligence.

People in Gilan do not save money. They never experience the feeling that it might be famine in near future and there is nothing to eat. That’s why they less likely tend to save jewelries or assets. This feature is totally against the feeling of people in central part of Iran who always live in drought and they permanently think of tomorrow. Safety is one of the most guaranteed matters, if you explore Iran north.

Being glutton

The importance of food is high among Gilanis. They cook delicious food which often consist of one or some expensive ingredients. The flavors of different food vary and play crucial role in food tastes. The ingredients of food are organic and guarantee freshness and health of their feeds. Gilanies cuisine is so especial and be sure you will not miss it on your Iran exploration.

Mazandarani food


Golestan state is one of the northern states of Iran which is from 7000 years ago. The center of Golestan is Gorgan city. Gonbad Kavoos, Turkman harbor, Ramian, Gaz harbor, AliAbad-e-Katol, and Minoo Dasht are the other important cities of Golestan. Mountain, Forest, grassland, plain lands, desert and saltmarsh, sea and gulf, river and ponds and farmlands are diverse regions in this state. In comparison with other states of Iran, Golestan has more moderate weather condition than other cities.

This city has more off the beaten tracks which are really rare. Different tribes live in this state and Turkmen are the most outstanding ethnicities among them. There are Persian language speakers of Sistanies and native Persian language speakers, Baluchies, Turks (Azerbaijani, Ghezelbash), Mazandaranis and Cossacks among the other occupants of Golestan. Due to this diversity, it is not possible to distinguish their behavioral features. Explore Iran by differnt points of view among diverse tribes and locals.

Explore Iran with spectacular sights of northern states


Agh Ghola

Gaz harbor




Ali Abad








Due to Geographical diversity and historical ancientness, Golestan state owns a lot of touristic attraction. Historical bridges, schools and ancient mourning places, celebrities’ mausoleum, building’s ancient hills and old palaces are a few of them. Caves, aged Caravansaries and bathes, and forest parks like International Golestan park, waterfalls, springs, forest reservoirs, and International lagoons are the most beautiful attraction of Golestan. Essence of flowers, bungalows and Ashoradeh peninsula are the other attractions in this region. Existence of different customs, religions, mores, culture, music among occupants as well as handcrafts. local souvenirs, weekly and frontier bazaars attract many guests to this state.


Kalardasht and Kandlos village
Do hezar, Se hezar forests
Abas Abad
Sisangan forest park
Surt badab spring

Gaz lagoon
Wildlife museum
Namak Abrod


International Golestan Park
Nahar Khoran forest
Khaled Nabi holly shrine
Gonbad Ghabos

Laveh waterfall
Alang dareh forest
Abr forest


Anzali lagoon
Chamkhale beach
Loonak waterfall
Sheitan Kooh
Asalem forest
Heiran village

Explore Iran with Northern tribes mores and customs

Mazandaran cultural ceremonies and tribes and customs:

Varf chal (barf:snow) or barf chal ceremony: There is a traditional ceremony in middle of May in a bungalow calling Asak, in 90 Km far from Eastern-North of Tehran-Amol which held every year. Explore Iran and include visiting this amazing village in your Iran tour. The reason for its name is because of saving winter water for cattle to consume in warm seasons of year. Local people start cleaning Naseri Road (a road ending to Barf chal) and then rubbing layers from holes. Next they use spade and crowbar to break the ice and carry them throwing into the holes. This day is crucial and holly day for occupants.

People in Asak decided to burry a huge hole to save water due to lack of water spring. A huge number of workers started to excavation, but while working they encounter large stones and they felt disappointed. Seyed hasan Vali, one of the mystics in 9th century crossed this district and guided people. He said “I put my cane in one place and then you start digging from this point”. He asked people to celebrate this success in Eske Vash district (when the hole was digging) and host others by bread, cheese, honey. They also sacrifice sheep.

explore Iran
explore Iran

Women dominance (Mother of king celebration): The village will be out of men on Barf chal day and women accept one-day village management. Rustic women choose one woman among themselves who is able to lead, order and manage the affairs of village. She should also be ingenious and powerful both physically and mentally as a governor of the town. Ruler chooses some young ladies to monitor affairs. This guard dresses up like soldiers with armours and start monitoring and investigating around the town. No man can enter the village on this day, but elder men and sick men can stay home in case of not showing up behind windows or porches.

Army forces do not let men to enter the village as well. The command of ruler is necessary to be obeyed and defiant will be punished in a really fun way. They make the defiant ride on one donkey without pack saddle and they turn her around the city, or she has to cook pastry and distribute among all the women. In the beginning of the ceremony, women start dancing and hopping in front of ruler’s house to make her go out and go to the special place of administration along them. Tekieh is the name of special place where ruler stays. They then have lunch altogether and they start doing their routine household chores in the evening when men are supposed to come back. These mysterios villages will not show up until you start to visit and explore Iran by yourself.

Nowroz songs: Some people with the title of NowrozKhan (people who sing for new year) come to the villages and sing some poems in honor of Imams and sing local songs to enunciate new year and spring season arrival in middle of Esfand (March beginning). It makes the whole city happy and exhilarated. If you travel to Iran in this season you will be probably waching these singing men while you are going to explore Iran.

NowrozMah celebration: This is a celebration of gratitude in middle of Mordad month (August). When first rice crop gets ready for cultivation, they cook food with it and start celebrating in the end of their work. Mazandarani people believe that this ceremony should be held out of the village. Explore Iran by taking part in these sorts of festival and feel the locality.

Terma Sezad Show: There are many rumors about this celebration. In the middle of Aban month (November) due to Zahak victory legends or Arash Kamangir victory stories, families get together and listen to elderly myths. They also believe the night is the anniversary of Imam Ali birthday as Shiite. Youngsters go to elder people houses knocking the door. They imitate they cannot hear and receive gifts from hosts. You cannot find these mysterious stories about what is going on in These lands even in Lonely planet. You should take an action and explore Iran by starting your Iran discovery.

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