Iranian Festivals Introduction
One of the symbols of a nation’s culture and civilization is its ancient celebrations, preserved for many years by its celebration of identity and cultural solidarity. Behind all the celebrations that take place at specific times and dates, there are philosophies and beliefs, and how each one is unique. All nations and territories of the world celebrate days of the year on various occasions. In this way, joy and nourishment, the sorrows of the day are forgotten and they spend hours enjoying the beauties of life.
In ancient Iran there were many celebrations at certain times of the year, which are still held by the people at the same time today. All of these beautiful celebrations have a special wisdom and philosophy that people rely on to celebrate their grandeur and preserve their ancient and national identity proudly. Ancient Iranian culture is a treasure that must be passed on and preserved from generation to generation. Holding ancient celebrations is one way to teach these ancient values to future generations. So how good it is to get to know the best Iranian celebrations and to be proud of our national identity.
The biggest celebration that Iranians have been celebrating since ancient times is magnificent, Nowruz. Nowruz Spring Celebration marks the beginning of Day in farvardin, the beginning of lush and prosperous day and night equality. In ancient Iran, people celebrated for 21 days. On the calendar, the beginning of Nowruz celebrates March 21, Earth Day.
Before New Year’s Eve, Iranians move past the house and clean. That is, they erase all the gravity and pollution of the past year and welcome the New Year with beauty and cleanliness. Also, after all the housework is done, it is time to set up the Haft-Sin table. The Haft-Sine table has a special layout that relates to the goodness of Ahuora and each has its own goodness. As the New Year comes, family members gather around the Haft-Sine table and begin their year with good wishes.
In ancient Iran, Mehrgan celebration after Nowruz was the most important celebration and was held on the 16th day of Mehr. Mehr means friendship and a treaty, and it also heralds the beginning of the second great season. Earlier, Nowruz considered the beginning of the first important season and Mehr the beginning of the second important season.
In their view, winter was the beginning of the invertebrate celebration. According to Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, the celebration of Mehregan is attributed to the victory of the Persians over Zahak, who was proposed by Kaveh Ahangar, who, after much effort, imprisoned him and elected Fereydoun as their leader. The celebration still exists and cultural lectures on the celebration are held alongside traditional food in some parts of Iran.
The longest night of the year, called the Night of the Yalda, heralds the beginning of winter. In the past, people stayed up together this long night until the morning, sitting around the fire and waiting for the sun to rise. The presence of elders at the Yalda Night celebration is required and the sun symbolizes the end of autumn. While awake, people tend to eat foods such as sesame, watermelon, pomegranate, and nuts, each with its own distinctive symbols.
Chaharshanbeh Souri Celebration
This beautiful celebration takes place on the last Tuesday of the year before the New Year. On this night people light a fire and jump over it and read, “My yellow from you, Your red from me.” With this philosophy that catches the fire of yellowing and disease and gives it redness and warmth instead. Fire has long played an important role in Iranian culture and is the main symbol of the Chaharshanbeh Souri celebration. Iranians consider fire to be an element of clarity, purity, health and well-being.
Sizdah Bedar Celebration
The last Iranian Nowruz celebration is on the thirteenth day of Farvardin, or Sizdah Bedar, which has been called the “Nature Day” in recent years. The celebration will be held on the occasion of the victory of the rain god over the Devils. Since ancient times, people have come to this day in the heart of nature and have been blessed by the god of rain. They also dance and rejoice.
Whatever remains of Nowruz fruits, sweets and nuts, the Iranians take with them the Haft-Sin tablecloth and take it to nature. On the 13th of Farvardin, people spend a day with their family and friends, full of joy, and leave the Haft Sin’s Seeds to the flowing stream to have a blessed year. It is also customary to marry single girls on this day and wish they could go home soon.
Sepandar Mazgan (Persian Love Day)
Mehregan is the day of love in Iranian culture. One of the rituals that is celebrated on Mehregan Day more than any other day is the affection and love shown to all of our friends, relatives, and to those who love them, various gifts including a bouquet of flowers. But I do need to mention two things.
The first point is that some friends are trying to celebrate the feast of Esfandegan as Iranian Valentine’s Day. But it must be remembered that the Day of the Poor is Women’s Day in Iranian culture and has nothing to do with Valentine and the material bond between a young couple. However, they may be temporally (accidentally) close.