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Chahrshanbe Soori (Fire Festival)

Happy Chahar Shanbeh Soori and may your wishes come true

People of Persian culture celebrate the last Wednesday of the year, the Tuesday night, according to the Persian calendar on 12th or 13th of March. The festival is held before Nowruz (the Persian New Year), literally means ‘red Wednesday'. Red refers to fire, itself symbolizing purity, brightness, life and health in ancient Persia.

The origin of the festivity goes back to a Zoroastrian tradition in 1725 BC. Chahrshanbe Soori comprises several traditions and Iranians have been celebrated this night by gathering around fire with feasts, wine, dance and music. The fires are set up by dry woods then people leap over them while singings and gesturing of merriment like:

*** Sorkhiye to az man / your red color for me

*** Zardiye man az to / my yellow color for you

This means you give the fire your yellow pallor, a sign of sickness, and ask the fire to give you its red color, a sign of health, energy and warmth. In ancient time, this occasion was a purification ritual and Persians believed that by leaping over the fire they would eliminate all their illnesses and misfortunes.

Fireworks are used in many celebrations around the world such as Diwali in India, the New Year in China, the United States’ Independence Day, Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night in the UK, Hari Raya Festival in Malaysia, and Prophet Mohammad’s Birthday in Libya.

 

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Chaharshanbe Soori Occasions 

Iranians customary prepare special foods and distribute them on this night. The foods include Persian Noodle Soup known as Ash, a filled Persian delight, and mixture of seven dried nuts and fruits, pistachios, roasted peas, almond, hazelnuts, figs, apricots, and raisins.

Traditionally, it is believed that the livings were visited by the spirits of their ancestors on the last day of the year. Qashog Zani is another ritual of this night that children especially girls, they run through the streets banging on pots and pans with spoons to beat out the last unlucky Wednesday of the year, while they knock on doors to ask for treats.

 

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