Qalishuyan “carpet-washing ceremony” is a huge gathering in Ardehāl, at a 800m-long site, between Emāmzāde Soltān Ali ebn Mohammad Bāqer Mausoleum (abbreviated as Soltān Ali) and the holy stream beside Šāhzāde Hoseyn Mausoleum yard, where a holy carpet is washed as part of a live ritualistic procedure.
Unlike the majority of Iranian rituals that follow a rotating lunar calendar, Qalishuyan is attended according to a fixed solar-agricultural calendar, requiring it around the nearest Friday to the 17th day of the month of Mehr (October 8th), called Jom'e-ye Qāli (“carpet Friday”).
Thousands of people of Fin and Xāve constitute the practitioners; a greater crowd attends as witnesses.
Qalishuyan in Kashan
On Jom'e-ye Qāli morning, the people of Xāve gather at Soltān Ali to sprinkle rose-flower on a donated carpet they select. Having done the wrapping rituals, they, then, deliver it to the people of Fin outside.
Holding neatly cut and beautifully decorated wooden sticks, the people of Fin run to take the lead in getting a grasp of the carpet, and carrying it to the running water, cleaned of pollutions and mixed with rose-water.
A corner of the carpet is rinsed; the rest is covered with drops sprinkled with the sticks. The carpet is, then, returned to the mausoleum and delivered to the servants inside.
The rituals are to express love and loyalty toward Soltān Ali, who is claimed to have been martyred in the same place and carried to his resting place on a carpet, instead of a shroud.
Photos by: Irna (Islamic Republic News Agency)