Monday, May 6, 2013

Fale Hafez

Yesterday I gave a brief introduction to Fale Hafez and how, for Iranians, it serves as a kind of divine guidance. On Shabe Yalda, Yalda Night, or the winter solstice, families read faleh hafez: close your eyes, ask a question, open Hafez's book to a random page, read and interpret the poem.

But you can also get your Fale Hafez on the street. Throughout Iran, and especially in Hafez's hometown of Shiraz, you'll see Fale Hafez vendors on the street with a cage of canaries. Hanging off of the cage is a tiny shelf with little envelopes. The vendor lets the canary out of the cage by letting it stand on his finger. (The sign in the picture below says that you can put the canary on your own finger). Then he moves the canary in front of the little shelf until it chooses an envelope at random with it's beak, et voila! That's your Fale Hafez. Open it, read it, interpret it, and let it guide you in the right direction.

This is an example of a Fale Hafez I got from a canary a few years ago. 

In my recent trip to Iran, I got a Fale Hafez from a vendor without a canary. I just chose one of the folded envelopes, and this is what I got:

Front and back of the paper

My Fale Hafez- poem and interpretation at the bottom

Can't get enough Persian poetry? There's an app for that! Check out these two:

Ask Hafez allows you to either search or hit the fal button to do your own digital Fale Hafez.

Rumi Quotes has a list of 142 of Rumi's finest. Read through them one by one and favorite the ones you love most. Or roll the dice to do a Fale Rumi!

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