In the south of Iran, weddings take place during the winter time. The society is rather conservative and having access to local festivities is a rare privilege. But once the doors are open, the hospitality of the iranian people is unique.

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People in Hormozgan province in southern Iran have for centuries been practicing unique ceremonies and rituals in their marriages and weddings. They always take place in the wintertime as in summertime, the temperatures rise is over 50 degrees.

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In Iran, the bride and groom have separate wedding parties. The celebrations can last up to 10 days in some areas. Days and nights filled with dinners and parties, following strict rules. Some days are dedicated to men, while others to women or families.

Qeshm Island, Tabl village

Hundreds of people will enjoy the wedding celebrations and will be fed by the families of the new couple. The sacrifice of cows is part of the ceremony. The butcher gives water to the animal in a sign of respect.

Salakh village, Qeshm Island

Legal age for marriage in Iran is 13 for the girls, but in the conservative areas like in the south, child marriage is still happening. A simple letter from the father and the court are enough to seal a deal between families.

Kushkenar village, Hormozgan

The relatives of the groom put henna on his feet as a sign of respect, the Hanabandan or henna distribution ceremony begins the night before the wedding in a public place or even in the middle of the village.

Kushkenar village, Hormozgan

In Hormozgan, bringing the bridal dress from the groom’s house to the bride’s house is performed in a ceremony called Saakht. The musicians make as much as possible noise to attract attention and receive money. The leader blows in a sheepskin which sounds like a Scottish bagpipe.

Kushkenar village, Hormozgan

A wedding ceremony in Qeshm is the most exciting thing in a person’s life. Friends, relatives, or neighbors are invited to join the celebration. Foreigners are also welcomed even if few people visit this area. Before the evening prayer, the guests celebrate by singing and dancing in the streets for a parade.

Tabl village, Qeshm Island

A giant tent welcomes the men for the party. The elders sit in line to perform during hours of the wedding dance. Those former fishermen who sailed on their dhows until Somalia or Kenya in their youth, move-in rhythm like the waves of the sea.

Qeshm Island, Tabl

To put more excitement during the party, a masked man appears to scare people. Children shouts and the dances go on. All the celebrations are filmed by a pro crew which costs a lot of money to the families. The movie will be proudly shown to every visitor in the future. It also indicates social status.

Hormozgan, Kushkenar village

In the sunset, the friends of the groom bring him to his home. A piece of symbolic luggage is carried behind him with his new clothes for his new life. The procession goes through the streets of the village.

Kushkenar villageHormozgan

The groom puts his new clothes, to symbolize the change in his life. This must be done in front of a lot of witnesses.

Qeshm Island, Salakh village

With is news clothes, the groom rides a camel decorated for the occasion. His friends keep on singing and dancing in front of him. Some grooms have left the island for a long time to work inland and are not feeling comfortable during this traditional riding.

Qeshm Island, Salakh

Sweets and small bank notes are thrown to the children by women wearing the traditional mask in a festive atmosphere.

Qeshm Island, Salakh

Traditions have remained well preserved in Qeshm due to the isolated and proud nature of the local people. Any wedding will end by a camel race outside of the village.

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Colorful and vivid decorations are the symbols of a bright future for the bride in her bedroom. In older times, the girls had nothing to say about their father’s choices, but today, they have a voice to approve the marriage. Technology also helps young people to communicate and know each other before the marriage.