Chaharshanbeh-Suri: A reddish salute to new Iranian year

March 18, 2019

As every last Tuesday of the Iranian calendar year comes, millions of Iranians make bonfires at sunset to jump over the fire till midnight to observe Chaharshanbe-Suri, just days before Noruz, the New Year holidays.

The festival is held on the night before the last Wednesday of the year when families and friends gather by bunches of open fires and keep them lit till dawn.

Narratives say that ancient Iranians originally observed such time-honored fire festivity in a bid to ward off all the misfortunes and bad omens with hopes that their wishes would come true.

Attendees chant “Give me your fiery red color and take back my wintry sallowness,” while they are jumping over open fires. In short, the festivity may symbolize a euphoria of nature on the eve of spring.

In ancient Persia, the fire was considered as a sacred element, a belief that modern Zoroastrians still adhere to. The fire has been supposed to give people its warmth and energy and take away their paleness, sickness, and problems in return.

However, the ancient tradition has changed over the course of time. Many people say that it is turned into a nightmare!

Earsplitting bangs dominate everywhere, caused by the loud explosion of fireworks from locally-made firecrackers to imported ones. The city feels like being under siege; fireworks go off every second, shaking windows.

Each year, hundreds of people, particularly the youth, are burned or injured so that to be on the safe side many prefer to stay at home before nightfall.

The Iranian New Year holidays, or Noruz, is the longest, oldest and most cherished festival on the nation’s calendar. Perhaps the most enduring image of the event is mostly about socializing, deepening family bonds and meeting up with old friends mostly in their homes.

AFM/MQ

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