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    Zoroastrian fire temple Yazd,Iran

    / 20th century
    Yazd - Zoroastrian fire temple Yazd,Iran

    Overview:

    • Price: 3 $
    • Working Hours: Every day from 8:30 to 12, 16:30 to 20:30 (15 until sunset during winter)
    • Plan Your Visit: About an hour

    The Yazd Atashkadeh is located on Kashani Street in Yazd province. It is considered a holy Zoroastrian temple which is home to Atash Bahram (Victorious Fire). The building was constructed in 1934 under the supervision of Jamshid Amanat on a piece of land donated by the Amanat brothers, and funded by various sources. The Yazd Atashkadeh is said to be Iran's only temple housing Atash Bahram. The name Atash Bahram more accurately defines the grade of consecrated fire in the temple, than it does the temple. It involves the gathering of different types of fire gathered from 16 different sources, including lightning, fire from a cremation pyre, fire from trades where a furnace is operated, and fires from the hearths. Each of the 16 fires is then subject to a purification ritual before it joins the others. Thirty two priests are required for the consecration ceremony, which can take up to a year to complete. However, the name Atash Bahram has now come to mean the temple that houses the highest grade of fire used in Zoroastrianism.



    Jamshid Amanat made five trips to India soliciting funds from the construction of the Atashkadeh. On four occasions, he traveled by steam boat and on one by land through Baluchistan and Pakistan. It appears that the final donors included Homa Bani of Bombay, the Persian Zoroastrian Amelioration Funds accumulated by the Zoroastrians of India, and the Parsi Panchayet. Jamshid Amanat and his brother also made some donations in the name of their father Ardeshir Mehraban Rostam Amanat.


    The main building of the Atashkadeh sits in the middle of a large garden and is surrounded by pine, cedar and cypress trees. The Farvahar above the main entrance to the building and the adorned stone columns further magnify the venue’s glory. The designs on the columns and walls and also the Farvahar are the work of craftsmen from Isfahan who completed the work in their hometown and then transported the finished stones to Yazd. A pool lies ahead of the building’s entrance. The overall structure is heavily influenced by Parsi fire temples.


    The plaque at the entrance of the Atashkadeh reads: "This Zoroastrians' temple was built in 1934 in a site belonged (sic) to the Association of the parsi (sic) Zoroastrians of India under the supervision of Jamshid Amanat. The sacred flame, behind a glass case and visible from the entrance hall, has apparently been burning since about A.D. 470, and was transferred from Nahid’e Pars temple to Ardekan, then to Yazd and to its present site."


    Entry to the building requires certain criteria to be met by visitors. In addition to cleanliness, visitors must be barefoot and wear white or light colored clothing. Male visitors must wear white caps and female visitors white scarves. The holy fire is inside a bronze vessel and is visible to guests only from behind a glass wall. Only priests attached to the Atashkadeh may enter the innermost sanctum itself. There are no lights in the inner sanctum other than that of the fire itself.


    The fire inside the Temple has been burning for 1,500 years. The fire originates from the flames of the Pars Karyan Fire Temple in Larestan, which was brought to Aqda, Yazd and was kept alight there for 700 years. In 1143 it was taken to Ardekan and was kept lit for another 300 years. Subsequently in 1473 it was transported to Yazd where initially it was kept in the home of a high ranked priest by the name of Tirandaz Azargoshasp in a neighborhood called Khalaf Khan Ali. It was finally placed in its current location upon completion of the Fire Temple.


    These days the Atashkadeh is a tourist destination, especially during Norooz. Opening its doors to tourists has raised objections, especially from the Zoroastrian community, as it is considered a place of worship. While its peace, tranquility, cleanliness and purity threaten to be continuously disturbed, however, sections of it are still allocated for visits by the public.

    Notes & Recommendations:

    Also visit the cultural Zoroastrian museum near this fire temple.


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    Patrimonito

    This workshop is designed according to the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage. The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Furthermore, Patrimonito means 'small heritage' in Spanish and the character represents a young heritage guardian. Patrimonito has been widely adopted as the international mascot of the World Heritage Education Programme.
    Date: 29th December
    Number of trainees: 7
    Duration: 3 hours

    The workshop of "Patrimonito" was held on 29th of December. Participants arrived around 10:30 and they were welcomed by hot chocolate and Persian cup cakes. After a little introduction by trainers and trainees, the process started by making two groups and letting them choose a name for their group, each group was accompanied by a mentor then each group was given some images of world heritage sites in Iran and some descriptions, each group was asked to match images and descriptions, the mentor was guiding them throughout the activity. All trainees were participating actively and trying to remember their experiences about their travels to these places. When they were done with the activity, the mentors started giving the answers and a brief explanation about each site; mentors were using trainees’ ideas and experiences to complete their tasks.

    Shortly after that, the second part started which was a presentation done by two of mentors. The aim of this presentation was to define the value of these world heritage sites and duties of each person as a "Patrimonito", and what happens if there is no "Patrimonito" and nobody cares about our tangible or intangible heritage. In this part trainees started questioning and understanding the whole concept of being a "Patrimonito", they also added their own suggestions on how to protect our heritage and by the end of this part, they were completely aware about their role as a "Patrimonito".
    Now it was a best time to have a short break, during the break trainees were introduced to some of intangible heritages as they were served by traditional food and snacks and even they way of serving was according to traditions and everyone had this opportunity to discuss about intangible heritage while enjoying some traditional food and snacks.
    When the break was done, everyone was asked to choose a heritage either tangible or intangible and they had to introduce their chosen heritage to a tourist by making a postcard using what they have learnt. They were given all of necessary tools such as color papers, color pencils, glue, scissors, images of heritage and a mentor was with them in order to help them completing the task.

    When they were done, they handed out their postcards and with the mentors they sat together and spent a few minutes asking and answering about what they have learnt. Then they were told to say their vows for protecting their heritage and caring about it, the mentor said the vow and the trainees repeated after her and they officially became a "Patrimonito".

    The last but the best part was when they were given the certificates, and they were told that since they are aware of the value of the heritage and they know how to protect it, they are chosen as "Patrimonito" and they should continue their mission by introducing the value of heritage to others. They were granted certificates and labels and the workshop of "Patrimonito" was finished by taking some memorial photos.