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Pandemic forces Fajr handicrafts festival to go fully online

Pandemic forces Fajr handicrafts festival to go fully online

TEHRAN –The 5th Fajr national handicrafts festival, one of Iran’s major crafts shows, will be held entirely online in February due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to the organizers.

Full arrangements have been made to hold the festival at the same time as previous editions, which were held in February, Vida Tavahodi announced on Thursday.

Extensive planning has been done to create significant visual attractions for the online event, which is expected to be well-received despite all the problems and issues caused by the pandemic, the official added.

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The festival, which brings together works from all over the country, is a venue for showcasing tens of ancient and modern Iranian handicrafts.

The event will showcase woodwork, illuminated manuscript, miniature, textile printing, enamel, leatherwork, calligraphy, metalwork, mirrorwork, and marquetry, among others. It will also feature potteries, ceramics, personal ornamentation, rugs, and kilim carpets.

With 14 entries, Iran ranks first globally for the number of cities and villages registered by the World Crafts Council, as China with seven entries, Chile with four, and India with three ones come next.

In late January, the cities of Shiraz, Malayer, and Zanjan and the village of Qassemabad were designated by the WCC- Asia Pacific Region, putting Iran’s number of world crafts cities and villages from ten to 14.

Shiraz was named a “world city of [diverse] handicrafts”. Malayer was made a global hub for woodcarving and carved-wood furniture. Zanjan gained the title of a “world city of filigree”. And Qassemabad village, which is nationally known for its traditional costumes, was also promoted to a world hub of handicrafts. Chador Shab, a kind of homemade outer-garment for women, was, however, the main subject for the WCC assessment for the village.

Iran exported $523 million worth of handicrafts during the past calendar year 1398 (ended March 19). Of the figure, some $273 million worth of handicrafts were exported officially through customs, and about $250 million was earned via suitcase trade (allowed for customs-free and tax-free transfer) through various provinces, according to data provided by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts.

Ceramics, pottery vessels, handwoven cloths as well as personal ornamentations with precious and semi-precious gemstones are traditionally exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, the U.S., the UK, and other countries.

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