Chaharshanbe Suri: Iranian Fire Festival


Kal Char Shenba is the last Wednesday* of the old winter, on this day every family builds a fire in front of their house, and every member of the family jumps over it while saying “Burea Qa o Biyea Shadi”, bidding sadness to go and joy to stay.

The last Tuesday night of the Iranian year known as Chahar Shanbeh Suri (Chahār shanbé Sūrī – usually pronounced Chārshambé-sūrī), the eve of which is marked by special customs and rituals, most notably jumping over fire. On the eve of last Wednesday of the year (Tuesday night, Wednesday morning), literally the eve of ‘Red Wednesday’ or the eve of celebration, bonfires are lit in public places with the help of fire and light, it is hoped for enlightenment and happiness throughout the coming year. People leap over the flames, shouting: Sorkhi-ye to az man; Zardi-ye man az to (Give me your beautiful red colour; And take back my sickly pallor)

The Persian New Year is called Norouz (also Norooz, Nowruz, Nawroz, Nauruz, among other spellings) and marks the first day of spring. It’s also the Baha’i New Year, but the holiday is celebrated by Iranians of all religions. History. Norouz celebrates renewal and rebirth, symbolised by the coming of spring.

Norouz marks the first day of the month of Farvardin in the Iranian calendar.

*Last Wednesday eve of the Iranian Calendar, Last Wednesday eve before the vernal equinox.

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