Nowruz, the Persian New Year, is celebrated the first day of spring. But did you know that the festivities related to the New Year actually last 13 days?
Focus on the after Nowruz and its famous Sizdah Bedar!
The after Nowruz
Nowruz is first celebrated with the close relatives on the first day of Spring. But the very next day, visits to the other members of the family begin and last around ten days. This period is called «Eid Didani», meaning “visits of the New Year”.
The youngest of the family go visit the older, and together they celebrate the New Year, with all kinds of pastries and sweets. These visits are also …. gift times! The elderly family members offer gifts to the younger, which often is money.
“Getting rid of the 13”
The 13th day after Nowruz marks the end of the festivities with the famous picnic of “Sizdah bedar”, which literally means “getting rid of the 13”. Iranians go out for a picnic with family and friends.
This tradition dates back to Zoroastrian beliefs, where the number 13 was bad luck and chaos. It was then customary to spend this day in Nature with joy and good humor to ward off the bad luck of the 13.
It is also common to practice the “Dorooghe Sizdah”, meaning “the lie of thirteen” which consist in making jokes or lies, just like the tradition of April Fool’s Day!
Throwing the grass
Finally this day is also the moment to use the famous herb discussed in our previous article. It is said that during its growth, the grass has collected all the misfortunes of the House, and that this day of 13th is the opportunity to get rid of it.
Each member of the family will then tie knots with the stems while making wishes. Then we throw the pile of grass in running water, to get rid of the misfortunes of the past year and to welcome the new year. We hope that the water will undo the knots will unravel and make our wishes come true.
Persian tradition have a very strong symbolic value, and the Sizdah Bedar is no exception to the rule.
Happy Sizdah Bedar to all the Iranians!
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