A Brief Introduction to The Imam Reza (PBUH) International Festival of Arts and Culture

A Brief Introduction toThe Imam Reza (PBUH) International Festival of Arts and Culture
The Imam Reza (PBUH) International Festival is held annually by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance of Iran both at the national and international levels; it is held at the occasion of the lightened and prosperous birth anniversary of the Scholar of the Household of Prophet Muhammad  (Peace Be Upon Them), Imam Ali Ibh Musa al-Reza (PBUH) and for the birth anniversary of her ladyship  the benevolent of the Ahl al-Bayt, Fatimah Masoomeh (S.A.A.), and also in respect of Hazrat Shah Cheragh (PBUH), during the Ten Days of Keramat Celebration (from the first till the eleventh of Dhu al-Qidah). This festival is of major importance since every year intellectuals, scientists and artists and in one word, creators of fine Razavi artistic works create fine and invaluable pieces of art to expand Razavi culture, lifestyle, and knowledge. These works are created in cooperation with member organizations and institutions of the festival, supports from the community and the esteemed government of Iran, and with the special attention from the Islamic Consultative Assembly, especially members of the cultural committee, as well as with exceptional guidance from great leading religious authorities and scholars which all provide the ground for the festival to be held in a spiritual atmosphere.

A. Theme Programs
Theme programs of the Imam Reza (PBUH) International Festival include those programs which are managed by the General Administration Office of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in each province of Iran and all its member organizations and institutions; the process includes publishing public calls, receiving the works, and announcing the winners. Currently, there are 85 branches of the festival devoted to subjects such as science, research, culture, movies, journalism, digital arts, and children and young adults. Furthermore, the qualitative and quantitative promotion of all of these programs is under the supervision of expert work groups and the trusteeship of expert committees and departments of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

B. International Programs
The international programs of the Imam Reza (PBUH) International Festival are defined in accordance with the cultural-scientific capacities of international intellectuals and scientists. These programs are held with the cooperation of the lovers of the eighth shining star of the sky of Imamat and Vilayat [Divine Leadership] worldwide with scientific, cultural and artistic approaches.  This section of the festival is held with the leading role of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization, the cooperation of cultural organizations related to foreign countries especially Ahl al-Bayt (PBUH) World Assembly, Al-Mustafa Al-Aliamiye Association and the center of foreign schools ]of Iran’s Ministry of Education[.

C. General Programs
The general programs of the Imam Reza (PBUH) International Festival creates spiritual opportunities during the Ten-Day Keramat Celebration, all around the country from cities to villages in the form of public celebrations, with the participation of various members of the community and by preparation  of seventeen committees formed by institutions and public organizations. The Organizing Council of the Ten-Day Celebration is in charge of organizing these programs with the cooperation of Supreme Council of Culture and Arts of Mosques  and thirty other related cultural organizations in the country.

D. Honoring Holy Shrines of the Descendants of Imams (PBUT)
Honoring the Descendants of Imams as the cultural poles of the community is one of the main programs during the Ten-Day Keramat Celebration at the fifth day of Dhu al-Qidah and in the cultural calendar of the country, which is scheduled and held every year at all provinces. In the previous years, this commemoration has happened worldwide in the framework of the festival and conference and it has been on the agenda for the Endowments & Charity Affairs Organization of the country.

F. Commemoration of Imam Reza (PBUH) Ghadamgahs ]Stops[ In Iran
Celebrating the anniversary of the entrance of Imam Reza (PBUH) to the country by people occurs alongside Imam's migration pathway from Shalamche to Merv, by setting up symbolic caravans and special ceremonies, this celebration is institutionalized by the massive presence and participation of people in all provinces which are at the migration pathway in the country.
G. Weeks of Razavi Culture
One of the programs of this festival is to organize seven-day Razavi Culture celebrations through the year in remembrance of Imam Reza (PBUH) and for benefiting from the Razavi lessons and teachings by creating a lively spiritual atmosphere across the community. These celebration weeks is actually extending the Ten-Day Keramat Celebration across all the provinces of the country by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.

H. The Winners
One of the major achievements of the Imam Reza (PBUH) International Festival is recognizing outstanding fine works of arts and culture with the theme of Razavi culture. During various celebrations in different provinces, the judging committee of each of the scientific, cultural, artistic, cinematic, journalistic and digital fields choose the outstanding projects and the three first outstanding participants will be announced as the winners and are appreciated during the closing ceremony at each province.
I. Servants of Razavi Culture
One of the sections of the closing ceremony of the Imam Reza (PBUH) International Festival is introducing servants of the Razavi culture which are elected by the Razavi Election Committee of Cultural Servants. Sixteen outstanding figures in science, culture and arts, from inside and outside of the country, who had performed distinguished services at the realm of the holy culture of Razavi are introduced and commended by receiving the Razavi badge.

J. The Opening And Closing Ceremonies Of The Imam Reza (PBUH) International Festival Of Arts And Culture
During the Ten-Day Keramat Celebration, the opening ceremony of the Imam Reza (PBUH) International Festival is held at Qom and at the birth anniversary of her ladyship Fatimah Masoomeh (S.A.A.), the festival is celebrated in thirty one provinces across the country and in many places around the world, and the closing ceremony is held at the night of the blissful birth anniversary of Imam Ali Ibn Musa al-Reza (PBUH) with the presence of senior officials, people, winners of the festival and cultural and artistic figures; finally, the festival finishes its job by honoring servants of the Razavi culture at the holy city of Mashhad.

Imam Reza (PBUH) International Foundation of Arts and Culture

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