Rose Water Festival
Besides being well-known for its historical attractions, Iran is famous for its rose gardens and distillated products. Spring is not only a time for blossoming but a time for traditional feasts. One of the interesting events happening in April each year is the Rose Water Festival.
Rose water distillation is something common in some other countries such as Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, and Argentina where rose gardens are quite widespread. But what is special about this one in Iran?
Based on evidences, rose water distillation was first done in Iran by the famous Persian scientist, Avicenna. Distillation of Rose Water and other herbal products are still done in the traditional way in some parts of the country. Both foreigners and locals are attracted to Rose Gardens in spring in order to watch the traditional rose water distillation. What’s more, it is an undisputed belief that traditionally produced herbal products have a much higher quality than those mass-produced industrially. The locals are also interested in getting the fresh product because of its excellent quality.
The most famous rose water festival happens in villages near Kashan and in villages to the south of Shiraz. Although, there are other places where roses are produced such in Kerman and Hamedan, Gomsar and Niasar near Kashan and Meymand near Shiraz are well-known spots for rose water festivals. There are a variety of roses but the best one with an amazing scent which is used for distillation is the red rose (Rosadamascena) from Rosacea family. In the past years, the festival was limited to one particular day in mid-April but recently it has been extended to one week because of the swarming tourists who like to visit the rose fields and watch the process.
The process begins with picking up the rose flowers from Rose Gardens abounding in the area. After collecting the roses, the flowers are put into huge copper pots. Then some water is added to the pot. Next, the lid is fastened on the pot. As the water starts to boil, it vapors through an aluminum pipe into another pot. The vapor becomes cold and changes into water while moving through the pipes. That is how rose water or “Golab” is produced. The genuine “Golab” has a great smell and a special bitter taste. Sometimes they mix the new and old rose water to produce a high-quality product which is called “Golab do aatishe” (i.e. rose water which is heated twice).
In herbal medicine, rose water is used as a cure for many diseases or health problems such as cleansing and protecting skin, improving blood circulation, curing digestion disorders, increasing passion among females, etc.
Needless to say that these areas are also the best producers of other distillate products such as Peppermint distillate, Spearmint distillate, Orange flower distillate, Cumin distillate, and many others. Some locals prefer to get the genuine rose water and other excellent distillates in these areas at this time of the year. It is a good opportunity to smell the roses and mix with locals while watching the feast.
If you are intending to travel to Iran in April or early June, consider visiting the Rose Gardens and Rose Water Festival. We can arrange tours to enjoy the Festival. This can easily fit your tour country-wide as both Kashan and Meymand are located on typical touristy routes. Certainly, it can be an interesting life-time experience.