Celebrating the festivals at harvest is prominent all over the world. Thus Iranians, besides the national and calendar celebrations have held many joyful festivals at the time of taking crops. One of these popular festivals is the harvest festival of grape which has been held from a long time ago in Qazvin. Since early times the region of Qazvin has been renowned for breeding a great deal of good grape. Moghadasi, the great geographer of Islam and the author of Ahsanol Taghasim Fi Marefatol Aghalim in the 11th century A.D has described Qazvin as following “Qazvin is large and full of vineyards.” Also Abol Fada the author of Taghvimol Baldan describes the city in the same way “there are many vineyards in Qazvin.”
In the great book of Masalek and Mamalek,the export of grape and currant has been many times indicated “Qazvin consists of two parts, it is walled, the Friday Mosque-Masjed Jomeh –is located in the greater one. There are two small subterranean canals for drinking, cultivation is implemented by rain. In spite of its drought it is a rich city with many fruits like grape, almond, and raisin, even to export to other cities.”
The European tourists have also admired Qazvin and its grape in their writings and diaries; so that Chardin has emphasized, “The best grape of Iran is produced in Qazvin.”
Flandin has also said that “the soil of Qazvin is fertile, arable and it is full of an excellent kind of grape that is called Shahaneh meaning suitable for the kings”. The words of Lord Curzon also approve the claim. He says “Qazvin due to its good grape and raisins workshops is of great importance.” There 114
are more than forty species of grape grown in Qazvin province among which the most important ones are Shahani, Bidaneh Sefid (white coreless), Bidaneh Qermez(red coreless), Fakhri, Asgari, Sahebi, Chafteh, Rishbaba, Razeghi, Olooghi, Khalili, Mish Pestan, Husseini, Maleki, Rajabi Siah, Rajabi Sefid, Atabaki, Taefi, Yarjin, Mesghali, Sanjari etc.
The area under cultivation of grape in Qazvin province is about 35000 hectares which is the third province in the country after Fars and Khorasan provinces in rank, however it enjoys the first rank in terms of grape production.
Takestan and Qazvin annually hold the grape festival in September, during which in addition to performing folk music the grape producers of the province along with the selected producers of the best grape both in quality and quantity, innovators in cultivation style, breeding and harvest would be greatly appreciated.