Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:26AM
Iranian festival of fire, called Chaharshanbeh Soori
Iranian festival of fire, called Chaharshanbeh Soori
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These are some of the stories covered in this episode of the Iran program:

Chaharshanbeh Soori
One of our favorite rituals ahead of the Persian New Year is a fire festival on the eve of the last Wednesday of the outgoing Persian Year. So on the last Tuesday night of the year when the sun goes down, bonfires are lit all over Iran. As a custom of bidding evil adieu and welcoming hope and joy, we jump over bonfires saying an epigram out loud. And that, is just one of our customs for Chaharshanbeh Soori.

Welcoming Spring
Since the Persian New Year begins on the very first day of spring, our traditions for welcoming the new year are very spring-like. The rebirth of nature inspires us to renew and cleanse our surroundings. We scrupulously clean our homes, offices, and streets, we shop for new clothes, new household appliances if necessary, and spring flowers and plants are not to be left out. Bottom line, everything has to be as fresh and new as spring. In fact, we call our Persian New Year, Norooz which means a new day.

Jalali Calendar
The Persian New Year begins on the first day of spring that is March 21st on the Gregorian Calendar. The Persian Calendar is the most ancient and perhaps the most accurate calendar of time. It is so precise that we know the exact moment the year turns. That is when the Earth has rotated around the sun once and is in th spot in space where it tilts towards the sun and the spring season begins. As a custom at that exact moment, all the family members of a household are present around a “Haft-Seen”. Haft-Seen translates to Seven S’s. They are items that begin with the sound of an “S” and each stand for something special.