Monday, July 8, 2013

The Iranian Traveler

My best friend is taking a trip today, and it got me thinking about the tradition Iranians have when someone is traveling. A tray is prepared on which there is a Koran and a clear glass of water. Someone holds up the Koran and the traveler kisses it or touches it to their eyes three times and then passes under it. It's a sort of protection for safe travels. This tradition has been instilled in me so deeply that I cannot travel without doing it. And if I'm traveling with someone, I always make sure, Az zire Quran rad shodi?, Did you pass under the Koran? 

As the traveler is leaving, the other person throws the water from the glass behind them. Water needs to be flowing for it to be pure and clean. It becomes putrid if it remains stagnant. Therefore, throwing the water behind the person is symbolic of flowing water, that this person may go safely on their travels, achieve everything they desire and return safely (and soon). 

To my dear friend A. joon, we are on different continents, but this is my symbolic gesture of throwing water behind you, wishing you safe travels and that you come back soon. As Rumi says, Travel brings power and love back into your life. سفر بخیر, safar bekheyr, bon voyage! 



  1. Just out of curiosity, do you know where this tradition of throwing water behind a traveler stems from? What's the story behind it I mean?

    1. Good question. I'm really not sure, but I'm asking around to see if I can find out.


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