The second Friday of Mehr, the first month of autumn in Iran, a ritual is held in Ardehāl and Fin that is called Qālišuyān. The ritual mourns the martyrdom of Ali ibn Muhammad Bagher, the son of the fifth Shiite Imam. One week prior to the actual event, the beadles run through Ardehāl and Fin reminding citizens of the coming of the Carpet Friday. On the day of the event, a selected group from Fin come to Ardehāl, where the Imam’s son was buried and a shrine was built for him to receive the holly carpet. The selected group of Ardehāl have already chose the carpet to be carried for the ritual, rolled it and fasten it with a green fabric. When the Fin representative reach the Shrine, they carry long wooden sticks that stands for weapons; by doing so people are declaring war against the murderers that killed Ali. After the dirges are sang, the Ardehāl representatives put the rolled carpet over the shoulders of Fin men and the march to the river begins. Here the carpet represents both the body of the dead Ali that goes to be washed according to the rules of Islam (a religious act known as Qosl), and the carpet that Ali died on and was used as his cerement.
The ritual mourns the martyrdom of Ali ibn Muhammad Bagher, the son of the fifth Shiite Imam. The carpet represents both the body of the dead Ali that goes to be washed according to the rules of Islam (a religious act known as Qosl), and the carpet that Ali died on and was used as his cerement.
When the people reach the river, they begin washing the carpet with special procedures and then head back to the shrine, but this time from a different route. When the mourning procession reaches the shrine, a round of dirges are sang and the Fin representative return the carpet to the Ardehāl representative that takes the carpet inside and following special formalities put it back to where it was, and after that the ritual is over.
All through the ritual those carrying wooden sticks, shout the name of the murdered Ali and other Shiite Imams and lament their death. Some believe that this ritual was taken from the Mithraism or refers to the death of Siavash, a popular Iranian prince that was unjustly murdered. Naturally, after the advent of Islam the tradition turned to an Islamic ritual. Whatever the roots of this event is, it is the only religious ritual in Iran that is held according to the Solar Calendar. The Qālišuyān of Ardehāl is now part of the Memory of the World section of UNESCO, and Iranian are hopeful to introduce this Iranian/Islamic tradition to the World.