Rose Water Festival-Golabgiri

Also known as: Distillation of Rosewater

Ghamsar (also Qamsar), the city of roses in Kashan County, is where you can sense the very beauty of May in desert. Although Kashan is a historic city with ancient remains, paradisiac gardens and old houses and also close to Maranjab Desert, Ghamsar with its many rose gardens and a traditional rose water festival (Golabgiri in Persian) is one of the first choices when visiting Kashan in the spring. Golab is a portmanteau of “gol” meaning flower and “ab” meaning water. 
Golabgiri (or rose water distillation) is an old festival which usually begins mid-April with blossoming of a special kind of rose named “Mohammadi” and lasts till early June. This rose with a good odour grows in Ghamsar and nearby villages. In the time of Golabgiri, you can either watch or participate in rose picking in the beautiful gardens (remember to ask for permission before entering the gardens).
If you wander in the city, you will find many warm-hearted locals who welcome you and let you watch and enjoy rose water distillation process. You can even participate in the process and buy the rose water you participated in its production. 

Process of rose water distillation 
Unlike the progress in the tools and the process of rose water distillation in factories, people in Ghamsar still use their own traditional ways and tools. 
In Kashan and Ghamsar morning begins, before sunrise, with picking rose flowers. Locals believe that to have the best scent, flowers have to be picked before sunrise. 
They separate petals and put them in big copper pots with lots of water and after covering all gaps, have it boiled. The steam goes through pipes connected to the pots and after a couple of hours the steam cools down in copper pitchers, put in cold water, and turns into golab (rose water). 
Stream of cold water is the reason why this process has traditionally been held near rivers. The result is a fragrant liquid used in food and even for medical purposes by locals. Golab has also a special role in the life of religious Muslims.

How to go to Ghamsar?
Ghamsar is located south of Tehran in Kashan County- Isfahan Province. You can get to Kashan either by bus or taxi, from Tehran or Isfahan. Located approximately 250 km from Tehran, you should pass by Qom and then Kashan and finally continue your way to the south about 30 km to get to Ghamsar. The whole journey from Tehran to Ghamsar may take about 3 hours. Its distance from Isfahan is also about 170 km and it takes about 150 minutes. In the time of rose water festival, there are many tours to Kashan and Ghamsar.

Other attractions in Ghamsar you may like to visit:
•    Saleh water spring
•    Ghamsar and Borzok protected area
•    Ghamsar Khatoon house
•    Rose water museum
•    Birds garden

Golabgiri is a top choice when visiting Kashan and Ghamsar in May, but don’t forget to visit Tabatabaei House, Fin Garden, Manouchehri House and Sialk Tepe. Trekking in Maranjab desert is also another top choice for travelers in the spring and fall. 
Please comment below and share your ideas with us.

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