With a wide popular and official participation, Damascene Rose Harvest Festival kicked off on Thursday in Marah village, Damascus Countryside.
The festival included various social and folkloric rituals embodying the economic, therapeutic, aesthetic and nutritional importance and value of various types of the Damascene Rose.
Rose-infused dishes are presented during the festival, in addition to singing a collection of folk songs celebrating the rose and its beauty.
The Damascene rose has crossed the borders of Syria after the practices and craftsmanship associated with the rose were inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2019.
This rose has become an important crop from which multiple products are extracted and there is a huge demand on these products from Syria and abroad.
The Damascene Rose begins to bloom in May when the harvest commences and the annual festival kicks off, farmers and their families head to the fields in the early morning to handpick the roses and then return home by afternoon, when the whole family helps sort the rose buds that are dried.
“Work is underway to expand the Damascene Rose cultivation, develop its products and upgrade it to reach the position that befits its name, ” Head of al-Marah Association for Revival and Development of the Damascene Rose, Madyan Bitar told SANA.
Bitar added “every four kilograms of green roses produces one kilogram of dry roses, while one kilogram of roses gives one liter of rose syrup.”
According to Bitar, to extract one gram of essential oil, we need about /12/ kilograms of rose buds, and that is the reason for the high price of one gram of oil which reaches up to USD 70 in the international markets.
Source: Syrian Arab News Agency