Picnic Season

One of the highlights of the year in Kurdistan is the Picnic Season- that is after March 21st and continues all throughout April. On any Friday morning there is a traffic jam on the main roads outside Erbil leading to the mountains!!

The long line of cars on an early Friday morning– all out for picnics!!

A young child ‘dressed for the occassion’

Spring in Kurdistan is one of the most beautiful times of the year, and it really does bring families and friends together. If you refuse to go to a picnic (as I have realized) on a Friday or even a Saturday then you are definately considered to be‘uncool’. The planning begins the night before where last minute shopping is made in preparation for the next day. The trips can be just after the main checkpoint in Erbil, near the Khanzad Hotel, Shaqlawa or anywhere else in the mountains of Kurdistan. What is most interesting is that often even if it is not the weekend, many people make their way just outside the city

Weapons of yesterday, toys of today!


On the green grass families put out tents, chairs or just a mat. Whether having barbeque, Yapragh (AKA: Dolma) or Bryani the families gather together to have their meal and this is followed by dancing until the sun has set and they pack to go back home.
The sun has set and people still dancing away…

This elderly man sat still for hours, I wished to know what was going through his mind as he looked to the mountains in silence.

Young chidlren from local farms and villages take advantage of the situation and give donkey rides to chidlren with a cost of 1 000 ID.

The region is indeed beautiful during this time of year and the people here make the most out of the natural beauty. The downside of all this is that whilst it is picnic season, this time of year also happens to be STUDY season for students with examinations and deadlines only weeks away.

So if you’re planning to visit the region, try to schedule your trip during the ‘Picnic Season’ because it is an experience like no other!


For all of you happy picnicking, as for me, I guess it is just happy studying!
And they make their way back home…

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5 thoughts on “Picnic Season

  1. I get exactly the same questions when I go back to Kurdistan.

    I still live in the Netherlands but I plan on going back to Sulaymaniyah once I have my Bachelor and Master in Conflict resolution and development. When I tell people of my plans they stare at me and either think I'm joking or I'm an donkey. But it doesn't matter cause my motivation to help re-build Kurdistan is too big.

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  2. dear Sister Sezan Xan – i just found your blog and started to read – i will read all coz i very interestewd in everything about Kurdistan, i love this country so much – its present in my life every day, first thing in the morning, when i get up is put internet on and kurdistan tv channel (the only one which works properly), then i usually spend a lot of my time serching for different things about Kurdistan – i am writting blog on one polish blog page – as i can use polish language perfectly – i want people to get to know about Kurdistan. i also write a bit here (http://kurdistankulka.blogspot.com/). I spend my time ttrying to learn sorani as well.
    i have never been in kurdistan, but its one of my biggest dreams. i have a plan to go next year for Newroz. but it seems to be almost like something im possible – i even dont know what i need to go like visa etc. but i will do everything to go. i will be glad to have contact with you and keep writting. my best wishes

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  3. Hello Sazan.
    I'm very much impressed with your blog.

    We've just arrived to Erbil on Monday. My husband is working here and we joined him with my daughter.
    I'm a documentary filmmaker and I loved the subjects you've chosen in your blog and the works that you're doing.
    I'd love to meet with you for coffee if you have time.

    Best,
    Melis Birder
    contact: melisbirder@yahoo.com

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  4. Dear Sazan Khan,

    I kept my eyes on your blog since some time ago, the way you look things is nice and interesting even if I don't fully agree on parts of the content.

    I also remember your part in the BBC program, I found Kurdistan part very positive & lovely. You was one of the reason to give the recipients this impression.

    I hope for you all the luck and keep go on.

    Dalawr Chalabi
    Hawler

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  5. Hello,

    I sent before a comment which kindly explain the Kurdish customs in such occasions. Now, I thought to check what I wrote by that time, and what? discovered my comment is NOT there!

    I hope it is just a technical issue and not something happined intentially.

    Thank you,

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