About Iranian festivals
Iranian Festivals and ceremonies are so attractive. Iran has many different types of festivals and ceremonies among which Nowruz, Yalda, and Sadeh are as the most important ancient Persian festivals in Iran. Festival translation is Jashn in Iran. Each Jashn is essentially a holy occasion. Festivals and ceremonies are friendly and enjoyable sharing food and drinks according to Zoroastrian customs. These festivals and ceremonies come from Zoroastrianism, an ancient Iranian religion.
Nowruz (Persian new-year celebration), One of the most famous Iranian festivals
Nowruz is a strong and Iranian national festival in the history of Iran. In fact, It is an Iranian holiday. It is the traditional Iranian new-year holiday and the most cherished and important of their festivals. Nowruz festival coincides with the start of spring, or the first day of spring, and traditionally celebrates the rebirth of nature, new life and new beginnings with symbolizing.
There are some traditions here such as some activities. For example, people prepare for the New Year and end of the cold season. People clean their homes and visit cemeteries on the last Thursday of the year. On this day many families remembere their dead relatives. In this festival, Iranians have haft-sin symbolism. Haft-sin is a sofreh (table cloth) of seven symbolic items that all starting with the letter sin (with sound s), traditionally display at Nowruz. Some itema include:The holy book of Qur’an, Divan-e Hafez, or Shahnameh; Iranian poetry books, a mirror with two candles, a goldfish in a glass bowl, painted eggs, a bowl of water, hyacinth flower, and Some traditional desserts like Shirini nokhodchi or Nanberenji.
- Sabzeh (wheat, barley, mung bean or lentil sprouts growing in a dish)
- Samanu (sweet pudding made from wheat germ,)
- Seer (Garlic)
- Somaq (Sumac)
- Sekeh (Coin)
- Serkeh (vinegar)
- Senjed (dried Persian olive)
- Seeb (Apple)
Both people of Iran and tourists who come to Iran from all over the world should know that the biggest celebration that Iranians have been holding since ancient times is the celebration of Nowruz. The spring celebration of Nowruz is the manifestation of the beginning of the anniversary of Ahura Mazda in April, the beginning of greenery, prosperity and equality of night and day, which people in ancient Iran celebrated for 21 days. In the Gregorian calendar, the beginning of Nowruz celebration coincides with March 21, Earth Day.
Before the arrival of Nowruz, Iranians, as usual, move the house from dust, they clean and wash. This means that they remove all the heaviness and pollution of the previous year and welcome the new year with beauty and cleanliness. Also, after all the housework is done, it is time to set the Haft sin table. The Haft-Sin table has a special arrangement that is related to the good blessings of Ahura, and each of them has a special meaning. At New Year’s Eve, family members gather around the Haft-Sin table and begin their year with good wishes.
The last Iranian Nowruz celebration is related to the thirteenth day of Farvardin or the 13 bedar, which has been called “Nature Day” in Iranian calendar in recent years. This celebration is held on the occasion of the victory of the rain god over the devil. From ancient times, people went to the heart of nature on this day and prayed to God for rain and blessings. They also dance and rejoice.
Iranians take whatever is left of the fruits, sweets and nuts of Nowruz, along with the vegetables of the Haftsin table, and take them to nature. On the 13th of Farvardin, people spend a day full of joy and happiness with family and friends, and leave the greenery of Haftsin in a flowing stream to have a year full of goodness and blessings. It is also customary on this day for single green-haired girls to tie the knot and wish to go home lucky soon.
Yalda, one of the Iranian festivals which means birth, is one of the most ancient Persian festivals. On Yalda festival, Iranians celebrate symbolically the arrival of winter, the renewal, the victory of light over darkness, the birth of Mithra, the God of light, the end of the crop season, thank the Lord for all blessings, and to pray for prosperity in the next year. Yalda is Considered as the longest night of the year. It is also referred to as Shab-e Chelleh.
On this night, family members get together in the house of the eldest member of the family and stay awake all night long and eat especial food. On this night, people eat dried nuts, watermelon and pomegranate and they read classic poetry, and old mythologies aloud such as Divan-e Hafez (the Iranian poet of 14th century AD.) and Shahnameh.
Symbols of Yalda night
Watermelon: Iranians believe that those who begin winter by eating summer fruits such as watermelon would not fall in ill during the cold season.
Pomegranate: Pomegranate is reminders of the cycle of life, glow of life, rebirth and revival of generation.
Divan-e Hafez: Each member of the family makes a wish and randomly opens the book and asks the eldest member of the family to read it aloud. People are in believe with what that poem expresses, then they interpret the relation between the wish and poem, whether and how it will come true. This is Faal-e Hafez (Hafez Omen).
Sadeh Celebration: Other Iranian festival and ceremony is Sadeh. Sadeh means “hundred” and refers to one hundred days and nights left to the beginning of the new year celebrated at the first day of spring. It is a festival to honor fire, defeat the forces of darkness, frost and cold during ancient times. Ancient Iranians celebrated Jashn-e Sadeh by lighting fire.
Zoroastrians hold his ceremony on the tenth day of February every year. In fact, They celebrate Sadeh ceremony every year in Kerman. They hold the magnificent celebration forty days before the Nowruz, and forty days after Nowruz. This celebration is one of the birthright and rising ceremonies that both tribesmen of Kerman and farmers and gardeners hold it when the winter is over and the spring begins. Sadeh means a fire and a flame of fire. Sadeh is the name of the tenth day of Bahman.
Rose water festival (Golabgiri)
Lalehzar, Kerman, Iran holds an annual festival of Rose and Rose Water In Ordibehesht (May and June). In this festival people pick up the Mohammadi roses to obtain rosewater out of them. People hold this festival mostly in Kerman and Kashan, Iran.
One of Iranian festivals and ceremonies is Mehregan. It is a narrative in Avesta that Mehr was born on the beginning of the winter and is called Mitra. Another story is that Mehr is the same as the sunset, light, warmth, kindness and love. On this day Kerman Zoroastrians are happy, wear new clothes, clean their house and …
one of Iranian festivals, which is an ancient Iranian rain festival that hold on July. The festival refers to archangel Tir (literally meaning arrow) or Tishtar (lightning), who appear in the sky to generate thunder and lightning for providing much needed rain.