Cultural Traditions in Iran by Lynn Peppas, Crabtree Publishing, 2015. ISBN: 9780778780618. Reviewed by John R. Clark, MLIS.
This book is part of a series introducing youngsters to celebrations, festivals and holidays in other countries. Given the political turmoil that has beset Iran, particularly events in the two years since the book was published, it is hard to measure whether cultural celebrations have been impacted and, if so, to what extent. Having said that, the author has provided a colorful and information rich look at celebrations in a country that youngsters in America (and other countries) may know little or nothing about. Festivals like Sizdah Bedar is an example. Falling 13 days after New Year, it is also called Nature Day. Families are encouraged to spend the day outside as well as use it to get rid of bad luck. Religious holidays like Ramadan and Ashura are covered in detail, with differences between how Shia and Sunni Muslims celebrate them noted. One that may strike American youngsters as unusual is Oil Nationalization Day. Overall it’s a well done and interesting look at festivals and celebrations in a country that remains a mystery to many in our country.