Zoroastrian In Iran

Adherents of the Zoroastrian religion from around the world gathered at a mountain shrine in central Iran this week to celebrate their Persian roots, praying in remembrance of a princess who fled the seventh century Arab invasion. At Chak Chak, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, believers gathered to remember Nikbanou, a heroine of the faith who according to tradition took shelter in the mountain and prayed for help. Miraculously, the mountain was said to have opened up and given protection to the princess, the youngest daughter of the last king of the Persian Sassanian empire. A spring slowly drips from the ceiling of the shrine, built into a cliff-side cave, giving the site its name, which means "drip drip" in Persian. Tradition says the spring is the mountain shedding tears in remembrance of Nikbanou. An immense tree stands nearby, which is said to have grown from Nikbanou's cane. "We've all gathered here to remember Nikbanou and celebrate our deep Persian roots," said priest Ardeshir Khorshidian who was dressed in white to symbolize purity. Many pilgrims stay overnight at pavilions set up at the base of the mountain. Families sitting on rugs had picnics while children played.

In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, a Zoroastrian woman holds a portrait of prophet Zoroaster in Chak Chak, a mountain shrine, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion predating Christianity, Islam and Judaism, founded some 3,800 years ago by the prophet Zoroaster. It was the dominant religion in Persia before the Arab conquest. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, a Zoroastrian woman holds a portrait of prophet Zoroaster in Chak Chak, a mountain shrine, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion predating Christianity, Islam and Judaism, founded some 3,800 years ago by the prophet Zoroaster. It was the dominant religion in Persia before the Arab conquest. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, a Zoroastrian woman holds a portrait of prophet Zoroaster in Chak Chak, a mountain shrine, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion predating Christianity, Islam and Judaism, founded some 3,800 years ago by the prophet Zoroaster. It was the dominant religion in Persia before the Arab conquest. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, a Zoroastrian woman makes her way after performing prayers at a temple in Ardakan, 330 miles (550 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion predating Christianity, Islam and Judaism, founded some 3,800 years ago by the prophet Zoroaster. It was the dominant religion in Persia before the Arab conquest. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, a Zoroastrian woman makes her way after performing prayers at a temple in Ardakan, 330 miles (550 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion predating Christianity, Islam and Judaism, founded some 3,800 years ago by the prophet Zoroaster. It was the dominant religion in Persia before the Arab conquest. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, a Zoroastrian woman makes her way after performing prayers at a temple in Ardakan, 330 miles (550 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion predating Christianity, Islam and Judaism, founded some 3,800 years ago by the prophet Zoroaster. It was the dominant religion in Persia before the Arab conquest. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Thousands of Zoroastrians, like many other Iranians, immigrated abroad under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of social restrictions and a worsening economy. But now a dozen have returned to live in Iran this past year, the government said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Thousands of Zoroastrians, like many other Iranians, immigrated abroad under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of social restrictions and a worsening economy. But now a dozen have returned to live in Iran this past year, the government said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Thousands of Zoroastrians, like many other Iranians, immigrated abroad under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of social restrictions and a worsening economy. But now a dozen have returned to live in Iran this past year, the government said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion predating Christianity, Islam and Judaism, founded some 3,800 years ago by the prophet Zoroaster. It was the dominant religion in Persia before the Arab conquest. Thousands of Zoroastrians, like many other Iranians, immigrated abroad under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of social restrictions and a worsening economy. But now a dozen have returned to live in Iran this past year, the government said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion predating Christianity, Islam and Judaism, founded some 3,800 years ago by the prophet Zoroaster. It was the dominant religion in Persia before the Arab conquest. Thousands of Zoroastrians, like many other Iranians, immigrated abroad under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of social restrictions and a worsening economy. But now a dozen have returned to live in Iran this past year, the government said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion predating Christianity, Islam and Judaism, founded some 3,800 years ago by the prophet Zoroaster. It was the dominant religion in Persia before the Arab conquest. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Thousands of Zoroastrians, like many other Iranians, immigrated abroad under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of social restrictions and a worsening economy. But now a dozen have returned to live in Iran this past year, the government said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Thousands of Zoroastrians, like many other Iranians, immigrated abroad under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of social restrictions and a worsening economy. But now a dozen have returned to live in Iran this past year, the government said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, Zoroastrian priest Kamran Lorian leads a prayer in Chak Chak, a mountain shrine, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Adherents of the Zoroastrian religion from around the world gathered at a mountain shrine in central Iran this week to celebrate their Persian roots, praying in remembrance of a princess who fled the 7th century Arab invasion. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, Zoroastrian priest Kamran Lorian leads a prayer in Chak Chak, a mountain shrine, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Adherents of the Zoroastrian religion from around the world gathered at a mountain shrine in central Iran this week to celebrate their Persian roots, praying in remembrance of a princess who fled the 7th century Arab invasion. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, Zoroastrian priest Kamran Lorian leads a prayer in Chak Chak, a mountain shrine, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Adherents of the Zoroastrian religion from around the world gathered at a mountain shrine in central Iran this week to celebrate their Persian roots, praying in remembrance of a princess who fled the 7th century Arab invasion. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Thousands of Zoroastrians, like many other Iranians, immigrated abroad under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of social restrictions and a worsening economy. But now a dozen have returned to live in Iran this past year, the government said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Thousands of Zoroastrians, like many other Iranians, immigrated abroad under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of social restrictions and a worsening economy. But now a dozen have returned to live in Iran this past year, the government said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Thousands of Zoroastrians, like many other Iranians, immigrated abroad under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of social restrictions and a worsening economy. But now a dozen have returned to live in Iran this past year, the government said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Chak Chak, a mountain shrine, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. At Chak Chak, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, believers gathered to remember Nikbanou, a heroine of the faith who according to tradition took shelter in the mountain and prayed for help. Miraculously, the mountain was said to have opened up and given protection to the princess, the youngest daughter of the last king of the Persian Sassanian empire. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Chak Chak, a mountain shrine, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. At Chak Chak, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, believers gathered to remember Nikbanou, a heroine of the faith who according to tradition took shelter in the mountain and prayed for help. Miraculously, the mountain was said to have opened up and given protection to the princess, the youngest daughter of the last king of the Persian Sassanian empire. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Chak Chak, a mountain shrine, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. At Chak Chak, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, believers gathered to remember Nikbanou, a heroine of the faith who according to tradition took shelter in the mountain and prayed for help. Miraculously, the mountain was said to have opened up and given protection to the princess, the youngest daughter of the last king of the Persian Sassanian empire. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, a Zoroastrian man prays in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion predating Christianity, Islam and Judaism, founded some 3,800 years ago by the prophet Zoroaster. It was the dominant religion in Persia before the Arab conquest. Thousands of Zoroastrians, like many other Iranians, immigrated abroad under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of social restrictions and a worsening economy. But now a dozen have returned to live in Iran this past year, the government said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, a Zoroastrian man prays in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion predating Christianity, Islam and Judaism, founded some 3,800 years ago by the prophet Zoroaster. It was the dominant religion in Persia before the Arab conquest. Thousands of Zoroastrians, like many other Iranians, immigrated abroad under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of social restrictions and a worsening economy. But now a dozen have returned to live in Iran this past year, the government said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Chak Chak, a mountain shrine, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. At Chak Chak, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, believers gathered to remember Nikbanou, a heroine of the faith who according to tradition took shelter in the mountain and prayed for help. Miraculously, the mountain was said to have opened up and given protection to the princess, the youngest daughter of the last king of the Persian Sassanian empire. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Chak Chak, a mountain shrine, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital of Tehran, Iran. Adherents of the Zoroastrian religion from around the world gathered at a mountain shrine in central Iran this week to celebrate their Persian roots, praying in remembrance of a princess who fled the 7th century Arab invasion. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Chak Chak, a mountain shrine, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital of Tehran, Iran. Adherents of the Zoroastrian religion from around the world gathered at a mountain shrine in central Iran this week to celebrate their Persian roots, praying in remembrance of a princess who fled the 7th century Arab invasion. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Chak Chak, a mountain shrine, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital of Tehran, Iran. Adherents of the Zoroastrian religion from around the world gathered at a mountain shrine in central Iran this week to celebrate their Persian roots, praying in remembrance of a princess who fled the 7th century Arab invasion. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion predating Christianity, Islam and Judaism, founded some 3,800 years ago by the prophet Zoroaster. It was the dominant religion in Persia before the Arab conquest. Thousands of Zoroastrians, like many other Iranians, immigrated abroad under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of social restrictions and a worsening economy. But now a dozen have returned to live in Iran this past year, the government said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion predating Christianity, Islam and Judaism, founded some 3,800 years ago by the prophet Zoroaster. It was the dominant religion in Persia before the Arab conquest. Thousands of Zoroastrians, like many other Iranians, immigrated abroad under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of social restrictions and a worsening economy. But now a dozen have returned to live in Iran this past year, the government said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

In this Saturday, June 14, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians pray in Setipir Shrine in Yazd about 405 miles (675 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion predating Christianity, Islam and Judaism, founded some 3,800 years ago by the prophet Zoroaster. It was the dominant religion in Persia before the Arab conquest. Thousands of Zoroastrians, like many other Iranians, immigrated abroad under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because of social restrictions and a worsening economy. But now a dozen have returned to live in Iran this past year, the government said. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

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In this Friday, June 13, 2014 photo, Zoroastrians kiss the gate doors of Chak Chak, a mountain shrine, some 600 kilometers (370 miles) southeast of the capital Tehran, Iran. Adherents of the Zoroastrian religion from around the world gathered at a mountain shrine in central Iran this week to celebrate their Persian roots, praying in remembrance of a princess who fled the 7th century Arab invasion. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

 

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