Monday, August 27, 2012

Praying Hands

By Heidi Noroozy

In Iran, blue and yellow collection boxes are scattered about the country, on street corners, beside roads, in front of restaurants and shops. People slip money through the narrow slits in these receptacles, acts of charity for the poor. It’s considered good luck to donate to the “praying hands” before embarking on a trip—a form of divine travel insurance to guard against accidents, I suppose.

Most of the charity boxes look like this:

But on a recent visit to Iran, I saw a more elegant version made of wood and glass:

I took the photo outside a restaurant on the coastal road that runs along the southern shore of the Caspian Sea. Lovely, isn't it?


  1. Fascinating, Heidi. I'd never heard of these before. And after all these years thinking it had something to do with boring sports, I just learned that Boxing Day in Canada serves a similar purpose--donating gifts to the needy the day after Christmas. Might have to add that to my repertoire, along with Persian New Year. :)

  2. Bit don't you love the flowers in the bottom of the second box? They're real, I think. Holidays at your house must be so much fun--and the different cultural traditions...