News ID: 189309
Published: 0755 GMT March 13, 2017

Iranians to celebrate Fire Festival

Iranians to celebrate Fire Festival

Tonight Iranians celebrate the ancient festival of fire, known as 'Chaharshanbeh Soori' or 'Red Wednesday', by lighting bonfires.

It is an ancient festival, dating back to at least 1700 BC since the early Zoroastrian era to welcome Norouz that marks the first day of spring and the Iranian new year  (March 21).

Iranians traditionally jump over bonfires and set off fireworks to shake off the darkness of winter and welcome the brightness of spring.

Based on Zoroastrian tradition, the number of bonfires should be three representing the three holy values: Good thoughts, Good words, and Good deeds.

While jumping over the fire, people whisper the traditional poetic quote "Sorkhie to az man, Zardieh man az to", which literally means your redness (health) is mine, my paleness (pain) is yours.

The fire-jumping tradition symbolizes purity and rids people of their problems from the past year, whatever that may be. This means you want the fire to take your pallor, sickness, and problems and replace them with warmth and energy.

Another tradition practice in Chaharshanbeh Soori is that people, most often children and young adults, go to the street with pots and pans to create a cacophony. As the saying goes, they could wake the dead! And that's pretty much the intention; this ancient ritual is said to ward off evil spirits. Then the kids go door to door to receive Chaharshanbeh Soori nuts, chocolates, etc.

Although Chaharshanbeh Soori has its roots in ancient Zoroastrian fire festival, it is still maintained in Persian societies worldwide.

However, the ancient tradition has transformed over time from a simple bonfire to the use of firecrackers and explosive materials that cause grievous injuries in many instances.

Sometimes people light very huge fires which sometimes make you feel that the whole city is burning. In addition to huge flames, some times young adults make small bombs and fire crackers which make loud noise and unfortunately sometimes cause lots of horrific accidents.

Several casualties are reported from the event each year and many participants suffer burn wounds, including from accidents with firecrackers linked to the event.

Ahead of the traditional ritual, a social campaign has called for observing the event in a safe and simple way.

Prominent figures including artists and actors, journalists as well as the general public have supported the campaign on their social media platforms, quoted news outlets as reporting.

The message is aimed at imbibing a culture of social and personal responsibility, particularly when actions could have harmful repercussions on other citizens.

Security Key:
Captcha refresh
Page Generated in 0/0679 sec