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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Iran, Season 1, Lesson 21 - Arbor Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Iran Series at PersianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Iranian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 21, Arbor Day. In Persian, it’s called Rooz-e derakhtkaari.
Do you like trees? Whether you like them or not, the truth is...they love you! Trees provide numerous benefits to human beings. To maintain this great friendship between man and tree, the best thing we can do is plant trees and protect them.
In this lesson, you will learn about Arbor Day in Iran, which occurs every year on March 5. On this day, any Iranian can plant a sapling—no matter how big or small—for the prosperity and natural beauty of the country by adding that tree to the landscape of the future of Iran.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
How old is the oldest tree in Iran and where is it located?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Arbor Day is observed in many countries around the world. In Iran, this day occurs in late winter, and during this holiday people are encouraged to go out and plant trees, or in Persian derakht. This day is widely observed as a holiday because of the important role that trees play in our lives. They provide us with paper, or kaaghaz, pencils, or medaad, and most importantly with the oxygen we need to breath! As a result, protecting trees is vital to preserving the health and beauty of our world.
Surprisingly, the act of planting trees has a long history in Iran. Special celebrations were held in ancient Iran, during which trees were planted and people paid respect to the soil with religious ceremonies and prayers. It is said that within Zoroastrianism, it is believed that God created the world in six days, and that the creation of trees and plants occurred on the fourth day. Moreover, in olden days when a child was born, the family would plant a tree in the child’s honor, and the family would watch this tree grow along with the child.
Nowadays, on Arbor Day, a ceremony is held in respect for the tradition of planting trees. In addition, beautiful statements and religious texts related to tree planting are read, such as this statement by Hazrat-e Mohammad- "Anyone who plants a tree, God gives him as many rewards as the number of fruits on that tree." There are a number of cases in which trees are featured in the literature and poems of Iran's great poets, so much so that in some, trees are actually portrayed as heroes, or ghahremaan, and sometimes even as speaking characters who have human feelings. One example of this can be found in Two Pines, a poem written by Mohammad Javaad Mohabbat.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
How old is the oldest tree in Iran and where it is located?
The oldest tree in Iran is a tree called the Sarv-e Abar Kooh located in the province of Yazd, and it is over 4,000 years old! The tree, also referred to as the Zoroastrian Pine, is one of the oldest trees in the world and attracts many tourists each year.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
When and how is Arbor Day recognized in your country?
Leave us a comment telling us at PersianPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!