Festivals in Iran

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Getting Acquainted with Orthodox Iran Festivals

There are numerous Iran Festivals that are celebrated by different communities in Iran. Due to its multi-cultural influences, Iran boasts of festivals that combine the essence of various cultures and religions including Syrian and Roman influences along with Persian culture and Zoroastrianism. Two of the most revered Iran festivals are:

Yalda Festival

The festival of Yalda is also called Shab-e Cheleh. This festival owes its origin to ancient times when Zoroastrianism was spreading through Central Asia.

Celebrated in the month of December, the exact date of the festival is decided by calculating the longest night of the year. The date invariably falls in December (the 21st or the 22nd) in accordance with the traditional, Persian calendar system. Yalda is regarded as the night wherein evil was finally defeated and the holy powers won the struggle for humanity. The festival is also interpreted as the victory of the sacred, Zoroastrian God Mazda over the demon Ahriman.

Like most Iranian festivals, the emphasis is upon cooking delicacies at home. Among the various authentic Iranian recipes cooked during Yalda, the use of melons is emphasized. Eating melon during this time of the year is supposed to ward-off illnesses. Nearly every commercial eatery serves melon-based dishes during Yalda, ranging from pies to breads prepared with melon seeds. Prayers are held throughout the day and the celebrations pick up once the night falls. The ideal time to visit the bazaars (rustic marketplaces) is late evenings when they are lit brightly.

Jashan-e-Sadeh Festival

Celebrated in the month of January, the Jashan festival is also referred to as the ‘Zoroastrian Midwinter’ festival.

The word ‘Jashan’ means ‘celebration’ and this is one of the most enthusiastically-celebrated orthodox, Iranian festivals. Most families keep alight a pyre of wood on this day. The flame of the pyre is symbolic and is believed to chase-away the demons and mark the onset of the orthodox, Iranian New Year. The heat of the bonfire represents purity and a good omen that overcomes the evil, represented by the frosty, cold weather that prevails during January.

Visitors are often seen sharing the small bonfires that spring-up across every street, throughout Tehran, during the Jashan festival celebrations. This is perhaps the best way of getting acquainted with the cultural heritage of the Iranian people. The conversations often revolve around the victory of Lord Mihr on the eve of the first-ever Jashan and how this festival was sustained when Christianity prevailed in Central Asia and was celebrated as a delayed New Year.

Contributors
March 11, 2010 change by ak1980
March 12, 2010 change by ctanios

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armin sheibani fard

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the norooz is one of the best festival in iran norooz mean"new day"it is a historical festival from sixth century b.c(iran empire)

iran has a lot of historical festival I'll write in future.

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