Press TV, Mashhad
On different occasion, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or on the martyrdom anniversary of Shia Imams Iranians make a vow with their God to do something for charity. Hence if their needs are met, they donate votive offerings as a public service.
Type of food and its amount depends to the maker of the vow who may be a rich person from the middle class or even from the poor.
The popular places to fulfill the vows are mosques and the shrines of Shia Imams. The shrine of the eighth Shia Imam in the northeastern city of Mashhad, is very famous for distributing food among pilgrims and the needy.
Officials told us that most of the people who help in cooking and preparing the votive food are Khadem or servant. It means they do not get wages. These people work to fulfill their own vows which are to give free service to the pilgrims.
Almost 20,000 packs of Iftar meal are also prepared and distributed among people every day at Imam Reza’s shrine. Some 30,000 servings are also cooked outside the shrine by charity organizations in collaboration with Imam Reza’s shrine management.
A very nice tradition in Iran during Ramadan is Nazri or votive food. People make food and distribute it among other ones for free. The reason is that they have a vow with their God to fee other people.