It’s the last Tuesday night of the year… before Persian new year! And last Tuesday means the famous tradition of “Chahar Shanbe Suri”!
Yes, Persian new year begins way before D-day :
1 month before D-Day
Every Persian home starts great spring cleaning, which consists in cleaning thoroughly all over the house: furniture, curtains, cabinets, carpets, windows… you name it!
This is also the moment where you expand your wardrobe : you have to buy new clothes in which you can celebrate the new year. Quite a nice tradition right?
This is also when you might start seeing the “Haji Firuz”, a character who can somehow be… scary if you have never heard of him! He paints his face in black and wears bright red clothes. He somehow looks like a buffoon. Haji Firuz walks in the streets with his tambourine, and celebrates the Persian new year by singing “Haji firuze, sali ye rouze!” meaning “Here comes Haji Firuz, it only happens once a year!”.
2 weeks before
Every Iranian home begins to grow its own grass, made of lentils and wheat germs. Nothing illegal here 🙂 We then leave the germs to grow in a plate where they will eventually form a small pile of grass. We then surround the grass with a ribbon of color as a final decoration touch and take good care of it during 13 days after the new year.
Why 13 days? Well you’ ll have to wait for the next article to find it out 🙂
Last Tuesday evening
Here comes the “Chahar Shanbe Suri”, one of the most popular Persian tradition. The important here is to understand the symbolism of this very particular event, which dates back to the time where Iran’s religion was Zoroastrianism, believing in the power of fire and light as opposed to the forces of evil and darkness.
During this evening, iranians light small bonfires all around the country. Everyone must then jump on the bonefires, saying the following sentence: “Sorkhie to az man, zardi e man az to ” which means “your red for me and my yellow for you“.
Here comes the explanation: by saying those words, we ask the fire and his power to give us its red color for this new year, red being a symbol for strength, light and vivacity. And in return, we ask the fire to withdraw our yellow, symbol of diseases, failures and sufferings.
This event forms an integral part of the Persian culture, and both children and grown-ups join the game for a night full of light and joy!
You now know what happens in Iran households before the new year.
Next article will be about the celebration of D-Day, a one-of-a-kind event! Stay tuned 🙂
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