Parliament Likely to Eliminate some Holidays

A05393217.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- The Islamic Consultative Assembly will examine a proposal to reduce the number of official holidays in the country, a senior Iranian lawmaker said.

“In comparison with other countries, the number of official holidays in our country is very high, and with this proposal, the parliament is looking to reduce the number of unnecessary holidays,” Mohammad Reza Mirtajoddini, a member of the parliament’s presiding board, told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting between clerical deputies of the parliament and Grand Ayatollahs in Iran’s holy city of Qom.

He ruled out eliminating holidays which “serve as a symbol of Shiite Islam” but added that other holidays “to which no particular attention is given and which do not symbolize Shiite Islam” must be eliminated.

Mirtajodini said that in the past, the birthdays of late Imams (Shiite saints) were not commemorated with holidays in the seminaries and the bazaars and it was customary for merchants and seminaries to “engage in business and profit-making”.

“The late Imam Khomeini did not declare 15 Khordad (5 June) a holiday,” he added, referring as an example to the day commemorating protests held on 5 June 1963 following his own arrest.

“The people must even work on 29 Esfand (20 March),” he said, referring to the day which officially marks the nationalization of Iran’s oil industry in 1951.

Mirtajoddini said that the Parliament will likely eliminate five or six official holidays after deliberating the proposal.

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