Persian Travel Destinations – Persian Culture for Kids

Qeshm Island is Iran’s largest and the Persian Gulf’s largest island. It is famous for its Hara marine forests where 1.5% of the world’s birds and 25% of Iran’s native birds annually migrate.

Susa (Shush) located north of Ahvaz was Iran’s most ancient city. The Zigurat of Chughazanbil, Darius the Great’s palace, the Jewish prophet Daniel’s temple, and Artaxerxer II’s palace are among the historical sites you can see.

Pasargad is the first capital of the Achaemenid Empire and
home to the Tomb of Cyrus.

Tehran is the vibrant capital.

Kermanshah is one of the oldest cities in Iran with a great anthropological heritage. Taqe
bostan and Bistoon are two of its
world-known sites.

Isfahan is the former capital with beautiful architecture and tree-lined boulevards. It is the most popular tourist destination in the country. There’s a Persian saying “Isfahan is half the world”.

Kerman is the provincial capital, one of Iran’s oldest cities, and a major center for carpets.

Mashad is a large city in Eastern Iran with an important mosque and the shrine of the martyr Imam Reza Qom. It is considered one of the holiest cities in the Middle East and the “Jewel of Iran”.

Shiraz is a former capital and home of famous Persian poets. It is known for gardens. The city is very close to the famous ruins of Persepolis. Persepolis is the symbol of Iranian nationality. The city-like complex was built over 2.500 years ago.  It was set on fire by Alexander of Macedon and further ruined by the Arabs.

Bushehr is one of the first civilized cities in Iran. This city is where the Iranian nuclear power plant is located. It is also known for its very long and spectacular coastline neighboring the Persian Gulf.

Tabriz is the provincial capital in Western Iran.  It has been suggested that this is
the site of the Biblical “Garden of Eden”.

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Persian Common Words and Phrases – Persian Culture for Kids

These are some common phrases and words that you can practice.



Good Morning

Sobh Be Khevr

Good Evening

Asr Be Khevr


Khosh Amadid

How are you

Shooma chetor hastin

Thank you very much


You’re welcome

Khahesh Mikonam

See you later

Ba’adan mibinamet

Good bye

Khoda Hafez

What’s your name

Esm e shoma chist

My name is

Esm e man

Nice to meet you

Az molaghat e sham khosh vaghtam

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Persian Alphabet – Persian Culture for Kids

The Persian language is part of the Indo-European language family and is one of the world’s oldest languages still in use today. It has a rich literary tradition with many noted poets.  The people who speak Persian call the language Fārsī which is the Arabic form of Parsi. Persian is a member of the Iranian branch of Indo-European languages spoken by about 130 million people mainly in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. There are also large numbers

of speakers in many other countries including Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Turkey, Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Israel, Turkmenistan, Oman, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. The language was renamed from Farsi to Dari in Afghanistan during the 1960s. The dialect of Persian spoken in Tajikistan is called Tajiki. There are additional languages besides Persian spoken in other parts of Iran.  These languages include Azeri, Kurdish, Arabic, Balochi and Turkmen.

The Persian language has been written with a number of different scripts including the Old Persian CuneiformPahlaviAramaic, and AvestanCyrillic and Latin alphabets. After the Islamic conquest of the Persian Sassanian Empire in 642 AD, Arabic became the language of government, culture and especially religion. Modern Persian appeared during the 9th century. It is written in a version of the Arabic script and is full of words of Arabic origin. There are also two methods of writing Persian with the Latin alphabet.  Under Mongolian and Turkish rulers, Persian was adopted as the language of government in Turkey, central Asia and India, where it was used for centuries and until after 1900 in Kashmir.

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Persian Baby Names – Persian Culture for Kids

A Persian or Iranian name is made up of a first name and then the last name of the family.

Sometimes more than one first name is given.  Many names are taken from Arabic, Greek, Assyrian and Armenian names.  About 10-15% of the names come from a Persian literature book known as Shahnameh which means Epic of the Kings. This book written in the 10th century is highly valued by Iranians and considered a masterpiece of Persian literature. Some examples of suggested first names in this book include Abtin, Ardeshir, Armeen, Arzhang, Babak, Bijan, Bizhan, Bozorgmehr, Darab, Esfandiar, Esfandyar, Faramarz, Farhad, Fariborz, Farshid and Farzad.

Before the use of surnames (family names), people were known by the district, city, town or village from where they came from.  Different beginnings and endings were put on the first names. Today, Persians use first and last names. Below is a list of common boys’ names, girls’ names and surnames.

Boys’ Names
Abbas · Abolfazl · Abdollah · Ahmad · Ali · Ali Reza · Amir · Arash · Ardeshir


Dariush · Davoud

Ebrahim · Ehsan · Eskandar · Esmail

Farhad · Farshid


Habib · Hamed · Hashem · Hassan · Hossein

Jamshid · Javad

Kamran · Karim · Kazem · Kourosh

Mahmoud · Majid · Manuchehr · Masoud · Mehdi Meysam · Milad · Mohammad ·   Mohsen · Mostafa



Rahman · Rasoul · Reza

Saeed · Samir · Shahin


Yaghoub · Yahya · Younes · Yousef

Girls’ Names

Anousheh · Astar · Azadeh

Farnaz · Farzaneh · Fatemeh · Fereshteh


Laleh  · Leila

Mahshid · Maryam · Mina

Nasrin · Nazanin · Niloufar

Parisa · Parvin

Reyhan · Roksaneh · Roya

Sara · Simin



Zahra · Zaynab

Common Surnames (Last names)

Abbasi · Abed · Akbari · Alizadeh

Ebrahimi · Esfahani



Jafari · Jamshidi

Kazemi · Khadem · Khorasani

Madani · Mazandarani · Mohammadi · Mokri

Pahlavi · Paria

Rahimi · Rezaei

Salehi · Shirazi


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Persian History – Persian Culture for Kids

The history of Iran is a mix of dynasties and invaders from the Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Mongols and others.  It is one of the world’s oldest civilizations with historical and city remnants dating back to 4000 B.C.

The Medes made the country one nation in 645 B.C.  The Achaemenid Empire (550-330 B.C.) was the first Iranian empire to rule a large region that stretched from the Balkans to North Africa and also Central Asia.  Their capital was Persis (Persepolis).

Next came the Seleucid Empire, followed by the Parthians and the Sassanids.  The Sassanids governed Iran for about 1,000 years.  The Islamic conquest of Persia in the 600’s ended the Sassanid Empire.  The Islam religion spread through Iran from the 8th-10th century.  It led to the decline of the Zoroastrian religion in Persia.

After hundreds of years of other countries and dynasties ruling the land, Iran was once again reunified as an independent state in 1501 by the Safavid Dynasty.  They made Shi’a Islam the official religion of their empire.  Iran was a monarchy ruled by a shah or emperor for almost 500 years, from 1501 until 1979.  The Iranian Revolution allowed Iran to become an Islamic Republic on April 1, 1979.

From 1979, the country became a republic called the Islamic Republic of Iran. A Supreme Leader rules the country. Ali Khamenei has served in this position since 1989 having been the President of Iran from 1981-1989.  A President is elected to be second in command by the people of this country. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad leads Iran as the sixth president.

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Persian Inventions and Discoveries – Persian Culture for Kids

Persia with its long history has invented many things.  From domesticating the goat

and chicken, to the invention of the brick, wine, the lute which led to the guitar, the

ziggurat, first banking system and systems of checks to peaches and tulips, the game of backgammon, polo, taxation system, the courier post, spinach cultivation, ancient refrigerators, ice cream, batteries, original

excavation of a Suez Canal, the teaching hospital, the cookie,

the windmill, use of alcohol in medicine, algebra and trigonometry and wind catchers, the country has left its mark on the world.



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Persian Cuisine – Persian Culture for Kids


Bread is the most important food in Iran.  It is baked in large clay ovens.  Many
dishes are made from dairy products.  Yogurt is a popular food as well as rice dishes that include meats, vegetables and seasonings. Lamb is a typical food.

Iranians love the dessert baklava and, of course, tea.   There are many traditional tea-houses throughout the country where different teas, desserts and regional foods are served.

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Persian Holidays and Traditions – Persian Culture for Kids

The Persian year begins in the vernal equinox around March 20th when the daylight and night fall are the same length. The Persian Calendar is the official calendar of Iran and Friday is the weekly day of rest. A typical work week is from Saturday to Wednesday.

Some of the major public holidays in Iran include Oil Nationalization Day (March 21), Nowruz—New Years Day (March 31), the Prophet’s Birthday and Imam Sadeq (June 4), and the Death of Imam Khomeini (June 5). Additional holidays include The Anniversary of the Uprising against the Shah (January 30), Ashoura (February 11), Victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution (April 2), Sizdah-Bedar—Public Outing Day to end Nowrooz (April 1), and Islamic Republic Day (January 20).

Persian weddings are quite different from western weddings.  There is a legal process that takes place earlier in the day and then the wedding reception follows.  The reception lasts for about 3-7 days. The mother of the bride passes down a beautiful spread made of cashmere, satin or silk to her daughter. Several traditional items are placed on the spread to include a mirror, candlesticks, seven herbs and spices, flatbread, a basket of eggs, decorated nuts, a basket of pomegranates and apples, a cup of rose water, a bowl of sugar, etc.  Each of these items is a symbol of something important for the married couple.

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Persian Arts and Creativity – Persian Culture for Kids

Iran has one of the richest histories of art in the world.  The people are strong in architecture, painting, weaving, pottery, statues, calligraphy, metal work, and stone masonry. Persian rugs have always been part of the culture. They were the first people to weave carpets in history. Today, Iran makes more carpets than any other country in the world.

The Persian Garden was designed as a reflection of paradise on earth. These gardens can be seen in Persian architecture, in the ruins of Iran and in their paintings.

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Persian Flag – Persian Culture for Kids

The Persian flag is a horizontal tricolor of red, white, and green with the emblem of Iran in red centered on the white stripe. The takbir meaning Allah is the greatest in English and Arabic is written 22 times in white on the fringe of both the green and red bands in the Kufic script.  The flag was designed and approved in 1980 after Iran became a republic in 1979 when the ruler was forced to leave the country.

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