Fairies in the folklore of Booshehr
In folklore, many stories and narratives give life to the legendary fairy and make her an inseparable part of everyday life. Parig (which means fairy) appears in Zoroastrian texts as one of Ahriman’s allies. Accordingly, researchers presume that, due to a change in religious attitudes, the fairy who was the goddess of fertility in pre-Zoroastrian times was recreated in Zoroastrian mythology as a negative figure. However, what is astonishing is the role of the fairy in the views and beliefs of common people, who still think favourably of this ancient goddess. A fairy is a mysterious figure and therefore cannot be judged as totally good or bad. She is a beautiful woman and brings fertility; she is also, on the other hand, an enticing woman sworn to delude men. In short, a fairy’s contradictory nature of being both good and bad and her eternal presence in believers’ minds indicate the importance and status of this ancient goddess.
The fairy is more popular in the coastal regions of the Persian Gulf than in the other parts of Iran. Associated with qanats (tunnels dug to carry water) and springs in central Iran, she is a mermaid in the regions near the Persian
Gulf. What is notable in the folklore of Booshehr is the natives’ firm belief in the presence of various fairies in their everyday lives.
This article sets out to study the different types of fairies in the folklore of Booshehr and to examine their differences and similarities by classifying them. It will also deal briefly with the concept of fairies in Iranian culture.