Iranian festivals



But aside from this information that perhaps heard about it many times, I would like to introduce different and beautiful side of Nowruz that might be interesting for you.

*Spring cleaning or Khouneh Tekouni: before Nowruz, Coincides with the renewal of nature, Iranians clean their homes and buy new equipment.
*Family shopping: one of the Beautiful ceremony before the New Year is that all families go out together for family shopping and get those requirements that are related to the New Year, such as each person of family buy at least a new dress for their visiting celebrations.
* Hajji Firuz: is the traditional- fictional character for the new year, like Santa Claus, perhaps as a remnant of the ancient Zoroastrian fire-keeper. His face is covered in soot and he is clad in bright red clothes with a felt hat. People gather around him and he dance through the streets with tambourines and trumpets spreading good cheer and the news of the coming New Year.
*Haft sin: A few days prior to the New Year, a special cover is spread on to the Persian carpet or on a table in every Persian household, includes seven items starting with the letter ‘s’ in the Persian alphabet.
1-Sabzeh or sprouts: Usually wheat or lentil representing rebirth.
.2-Samanu is a pudding in which common wheat sprouts are transformed and given new life as a sweet, creamy pudding and represents the ultimate sophistication of Persian cooking.
3-Seeb means apple and represents health and beauty.
4-Senjed the sweet, dry fruit of the Lotus tree, represents love. It has been said that when lotus tree is in full bloom, its fragrance and fruit make people fall in love and become oblivious to all else.
5-Seer which is garlic in Persian, represents medicine.
6-Somaq sumac berries, represent the color of sunrise; with the appearance of the sun Good conquers Evil.
7-Serkeh or vinegar, represents age and patience
other elements and symbols are also on the sofreh:
A few coins placed on the sofreh represent prosperity and wealth.
A basket of painted eggs represents fertility..
A goldfish in a bowl represents life and the end of astral year-picas.
A mirror: symbolizing cleanness and honesty.
The candles that represent enlightenment and happiness
*visiting celebrations: on the time of Nowruz,Iranian family gather around the table of the Haft Seen and at that time they kiss each other and gifts are exchanged. Later, Typically, the youth will visit the senior family members first and this visiting continue during Nowroz. Usually guests served with nuts, fruit and sweet and the youth person get money as gift from elders.
*New Year Dishes:
*Sabzi Polo Mahi: The New Year’s Day traditional meal that is called Sabzi Polo Mahi, which is rice with green herbs served with fish. The traditional seasoning for Sabzi Polo are parsley, coriander, chives, dill and fenugreek. The many green herbs and spices in this dish are said to represent the greeness of Spring.
* Kookoo sabzi : Herbs and vegetable souffle, a light and fluffy omelet style made from parsley, dill, coriander, spinach, spring onion ends, and chives, mixed with eggs and walnut.
*Reshteh Polo: rice cooked with noodles which is said to symbolically help one succeed in life.
*Sizdah Bedar:The thirteenth day of the New Year festival is called Sizdah Bedar ,the day in nature that accompanied by music and dancing, usually at family picnicst . On this day, people throw their sabzeh away in the nature as a symbolic act of making the nature greener, and to dispose of the bad luck and young single women to tie the leaves of the sabzeh before discarding it, so expressing a wish to be married before the next year’s Sizdah Bedar




Shabe Yalda, or Yalda night is an evening of festivities and merriment that begins when the sun sets on the last day of fall (last day of Maah e Azar on Jalali Calendar) and continues until the dawn of the first day of winter, or first day of Maah e Dey.The ancient Persians depended on agriculture for their livelihood and had to plant and gather according to the change of seasons. By experience they learned that the longer days and warm rays of sun helped their crops and the gathering months brought shorter days and longer nights. They discovered that after what was the longest night of the year the daylight hours started to get longer.

This night was called Yalda which meant rebirth (of the sun), and it was celebrated for the triumph of light over darkness. They built fires on sundown of the last day in fall and kept them burning until the first rays of sun the following day. During this night they gathered with family and friends, ate delicious food, drank, and sang happy songs all night and listened to stories about old times.To this day Yalda remains as one of the most ancient festive ceremonies that has been celebrated in Iran for centuries since the time of the Persian Empire. Besides Iran, Yalda is celebrated in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia and some ceremonies similar to Yalda are also celebrated in Pakistan and Northern India at about the same time of the year. By tradition Iranians gather in the homes of the elders of family on yalda night, eat, drink tea and sharbat (sweet drinks made by mixing homemade fruit syrup and water) and be merry. The main Yalda fruits are watermelon, pomegranate, persimmons, apples and pears, though other fruits such as oranges, tangerines and kiwi are also available in Iran at this time of the year. In old times the summer fruits such as watermelon, pears and apples were kept from spoiling in a special cold storage called “anbar.”  Nowadays these fruits are imported fresh from the warmer areas.The ancient myth is that eating  watermelon on Yalda night makes the person immune to cold winter weather as well as the next summer’s heat. In old times summer watermelons were buried under branches and leaves in a cold place to keep them fresh until the Yalda night.Nuts (ajil), and dried fruit (khoshkbar) are eaten on Yalda night. The special foods that are prepared for this night change from family to family and also depend on the availability of ingredients in different regions of Iran. The variety is endless but to mention a few: Mahi PoloFesenjoonKhoresh BademjanAash Reshteh, and traditional desserts such . Reading the enchanting poems by Hafez and great Persian mythology such as Shahnameh ,Khosro va Shireen , Leili va Majnoon, make this otherwise cold winter night a delightful gathering with family and friends. Yalda is a night full of hope for the future and happiness for the young and old.



Chaharshanbe suri is an Iranian festival celebrated on the eve of the last Wednesday before Nowruz. The festivities start in the early evening, children and fun-seeking adults wrap themselves in shrouds symbolically re-enacting the visits of the departed spirits. They run through the streets banging on pots and pans with spoons (ghashogh-zani or spoon banging) to beat out the last unlucky Wednesday of the year. they will knock on doors while covered and in disguise and ask for treats. wishes are made and in order to make them come true, it is customary to prepare special foods and distribute them on this night. Noodle soup called ash e chaharshanbe suri is prepared and is consumed communally. People passing by are served nuts and dried fruits. this treat is called ajeel e chaharshanbe suri and usually is a mixture of seven dried nuts and fruits, pistachios, roasted chickpeas, almond, hazelnuts, figs, apricots and raisins. Local variations apply and mixture is different according to the location and the group celebrating it.

People who have made wishes will stand at the corner of an intersection or hide behind walls to listen conversation by people passing by. If there is anything positive and optimistic in the conversation, the belief is that the wish come true or there is good fortune to be expected. this is called faal-gush meaning eavesdropping for one’s fortune. The night will end more fireworks and feasts. Family and friends meet and with the more modern Iranians music and dance will follow.

Outside Iran occasion is celebrated with thousands of participants in major cities. Large outdoor areas, such as parks, are leads or secured for the occasion with live music or DJs, dance, food, face painting, etc, for children. Iranian restaurants will have special programs for the evening with pop music and special dishes. The large number of Iranians participating in the celebration has made this occasion known with large Iranian population.

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