We gather together to commemorate the glory of “The Great Ferdowsi” on May 15 of each year. Under the firmament of poetry, we read and recite his “Shahnameh” as proudly as possible.
Ferdowsi was born in Khorasan in a village near Tous, in 935 CE His great epic The Shahnameh (The Epic of Kings), to which he devoted most of his adult life, was originally composed for the Samanid princes of Khorasan, who were the chief instigators of the revival of Persian cultural traditions after the Arab conquest of the seventh century. During Ferdowsi’s lifetime this dynasty was conquered by the Ghaznavid Turks, and there are various stories in medieval texts describing the lack of interest shown by the new ruler of Khorasan, Mahmoud of Ghaznavi, in Ferdowsi and his lifework. Ferdowsi is said to have died around 1020 CE in poverty and embittered by royal neglect, though confident of his and his poem’s ultimate fame.
The Shahnameh or The Epic of Kings is one of the definite classics of the world. It tells hero tales of ancient Persia. The contents and the poet’s style in describing the events takes the readers back to the ancient times and makes he/she sense and feel the events. Ferdowsi worked for thirty years to finish this masterpiece.