The meaning of Sadeh
The term "Sadeh" comes from the root of Pahlavi's language, meaning a "hundred". The ancient Iranians divided the year into two seasons of summer and winter. From the beginning of April to the end of October, they called summer and winter starts from the first of October to the end of March. After 100 days from winter on the 10th of Bahman (30 January), they called it Sadeh and celebrated.
Ancient Iranians believed that the cold of the winter would slowly decrease, then they went to the plain and desert on this day, providing firewood and at night burned a great fire, with hope that the brightness which comes from Ahoora's effects, it would be increased from the next day.
The Emergence of Sadeh Festival
The story of Sadeh Festival is attributed to the history of ancient Iran due of the emergence of fire by Hushang Pishdadi, which is described in the Ferdowsi's Shahnameh. The epic of Shahnameh claims that in the dynasty of Hooshang king, one day Hooshang king was going to hunting with the group on the mountains. He threw a stone away the dragon, the dragon fled then Hooshang saw the stone hit another stone and the intensity of the two stones appeared spark ignition source which was the emergence of fire. Hooshang thanked God for this blessing and the gift and made fire his altar. After that event, at the same night Hooshang ignited a fire as big as the mountain, he and people sat back fire and started eating and wine, dancing and feasted the event.
The Celebration during Eras
Sadeh has been celebrated in most Iran's cities after bringing Islam to Iran. As the history show, the greatest festival of Sadeh was celebrated alongside Isfahan's Zayandeh Rood (River) in 323 AH in post-Islamic era during the reign of Mardavij ibn-e Ziyar Deylami.
Now Zoroastrians celebrate this festival in all cities. The Zoroastrians of Kerman celebrate Sadeh more magnificently. In the past, the fire of Sadeh was held in Ghestan Qanat Village in the southeastern city of Kerman, but now this festival is celebrated near the Budhagh-Abad Garden in the northeastern part of Kerman.
The Rituals of the Festival in Kerman
A few days before the celebration, the youth and teens provided the necessary firewood at the venue and created a large mass of firewood. On the day of the festival, Zoroastrian women present at the venue and prepare Siro (Sirag) and traditional foods.
In the Grand Hall of Budagh-Abad, many cheerful ceremonies are held with the presence of people. A large group of people from Kerman gather in the streets outside the hall and around the place where the fire of Sadeh is burnt to somehow take part in this Iranian festival.
After the end of the ceremony in the hall, when the last rays of the sun leave the earth, three of the Zoroastrian priests while wearing white dresses with flame go slowly to the firewood. Dahmobed also has a fireplace in which the fire is burning, accompanies priest with the youth along with white clothes who have light burners.
The music band plays songs from the beginning to the end of the ceremony and people with joy celebrate the glory of the flames of Sadeh fire. When the darkness of the night is taking shape, the brightness of Sadeh fire for the moment will show its victory in the dark struggle.
The flames of Sadeh are gradually silenced with the presence of a large group of Kermani people who come back home after the ceremony with the hope of participating in the next year.