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How the Iranian Fire Festival in Stockholm is perceived by the visitors?
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Tourism Studies.
National Theatre.
2019 (English)In: 28th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research 23rd to 25th October 2019, Roskilde, Denmark: Roskilde University , 2019, p. 45-Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Every year, a Tuesday in the middle of March and after 5:00 pm the Iranian Fire Festival (Eldfesten in Swedish, Chaharshanbe Suri in Persian) is celebrated outdoors in the center of Stockholm and ends before 10:00 pm. This event has its roots in ancient Persia, but now it is celebrated by several nations in the Middle East, Caucasus, and Central Asia. The Stockholm festival is arranged and financed by The Swedish National Theatre and several times earlier it has been opened by Swedish ministers. The event visitors are mostly of Middle Eastern background coming from Stockholm area. Since 2016 it can also be watched live through Swedish and foreign TV stations and through Social media. During the earlier years the event was held in Kungsträdgården (The Royal Garden) but this year it was arranged in the amusement park of Skansen.  Ethnic cultural events in major urban areas create good images for cities and countries but also for immigrants and their neighborhoods in the city of issue (McClinchey, 2008; Loukaitou-Sideris and Soureli, 2012), and a sense of belonging among immigrants (Chacko, 2013). Many stakeholders are involved in such events (Getz et al 2007; Getz And Andersson, 2010) but perhaps the most important stakeholder is the visitors of the event. Therefore, it is of high relevance to study the visitors’ visit motivations, their perceived experience in terms of satisfaction level and their level of loyalty i.e. if they intend to visit the event next year (Savinovic et al, 2012). The aim of this research is to get insights on the visitors of the Fire Festival, their motives behind participation and how they perceive their participation afterwards. The main methods chosen in this research is participant observation and 257 completed surveys online until April 11th, 2019.  Preliminary results The respondents are 63% men and 37% women, and they are mostly older than 40 (44% are older than 50). More than half of them have been living in Sweden less than 21 years of which 17% less than 5 years. 83% of the respondents call themselves Swedish-Iranians. More than 80% of the respondents have academic education (of which 7% with PhD education) and most of them are employed either by public or private sector. A considerable number of them are also either self- employed, students or retirees. They have come from different districts of Greater Stockholm while a minor part has come from municipalities outside the county. A pre-dominant majority of them have come there with friends and family members, and most of them have been participating in the festival for third times or more. Also, more than half of them have visited the Skansen park three or more times earlier. The main reasons why they celebrate the festival is to keep the old tradition and culture alive. The celebration creates feelings like happiness, pride, community, belonging, nostalgia, childhood, the Spring. Concerning the question what the place or arena means to you they either like Skansen or prefer other places in Greater Stockholm or do not care about the place but the festival and other issues such as security and safety. To the question “what do you think about celebrating the festival at Skansen” they give positive answers and to the question “are your expectations on the festival fulfilled” the majority are totally or partly agreed. They also believe that this event must be celebrated every year and give many improvement suggestions and additional critical comments such as more food trucks, better and cheaper food, more professional artists and happy songs and music.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Roskilde, Denmark: Roskilde University , 2019. p. 45-
Keywords [en]
ChaharShanbeh Souri; Eldfesten, Fire Festival
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39226OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-39226DiVA, id: diva2:1365920
Conference
28th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research, Roskilde University, October 23-25, 2019.
Available from: 2019-10-26 Created: 2019-10-26 Last updated: 2019-10-31Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
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