Imam Reza Shrine Museums Preserve Iran’s Ancient Heroic Sports Legacy
Imam Reza Shrine Museums Preserve Iran’s Ancient Heroic Sports Legacy
Delving into the depths of Iran's storied past, the hallowed halls of Imam Reza (AS) Shrine Museums stand as guardians of the timeless legacy of Pahlevani, where artifacts and oral histories converge to immortalize the nation's heroic sports tradition.

TEHRAN (Iran News) –Iran’s rich history has long been adorned with heroic figures known as Pahlevans. The Organization of Libraries, Museums, and Documents of the shrine has diligently safeguarded aspects of this heritage, including the revered Pahlevani and zourkhaneh rituals, through oral history initiatives and the preservation of champions’ artifacts.

The 17th of Shawwal, which marked the anniversary of Imam Ali’s (AS) valiant Battle of Khandaq in 626 AD, is also celebrated as the Day of Pahlevani Culture and Zourkhaneh Sports. Recognizing their cultural significance, UNESCO inscribed Pahlevani and zourkhaneh rituals as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2010, acknowledging their role as traditional athletic practices and martial arts forms originating in Iran.

Mahdi Gheisari Nik, Deputy for Museums, highlighted the diverse array of paraphernalia housed in Imam Reza (AS) shrine museums, including Indian clubs, push-up boards, bows, and specialized attire. Notable among the displays are the armbands of distinguished Pahlevans, prominently featuring that of Gholamreza Takhti, the renowned Iranian athlete who claimed victory in 1956, 1957, and 1958.

Abdol Hossein Malek Ja’farian, head of the treasury section of the shrine museums, emphasized the central museum’s commitment to honoring Iran’s athletic traditions. This dedication is manifested through the preservation and exhibition of championship medals and belts generously contributed by esteemed Pahlevans.

For over twenty years, the Documentation Center of Imam Reza (AS) shrine has embarked on an oral history project, capturing firsthand accounts and memories related to various events and rituals. Through interviews with witnesses and experts, this initiative seeks to meticulously document Iran’s cultural heritage for posterity.

  • source : tasnim