Everything you should know about Chaharshanbe Suri
Iranian people like the other ancient nations have their own customs and traditions. One of our new year ritual, which should be a mixture of several different traditions, is the "Chaharshanbe Suri" which in some cities is called the last Wednesday of the year.
In this paragraph I should mention two points for you; first, Iranian people celebrate the new solar year that begins on the first day of spring and also Chaharhanbe that means Wednesday. So I think now you get the point that why some people call Cahahrshanbe Suri the last Wednesday of the year.
But why we celebrate the last Wednesday of the year? What is so special about this day? Stay with us to find it out.
Chaharshanbe Suri in Iranian Calendar
Well, first let’s start with the Iranian calendar. In the ancient calendar of Iran, each year was 12 months and each month was 30 days. With this in view, the length of the year was practically 360 days, which only had 5 days and some hours difference with a full solar year. People in this time we're ready to welcome the New Year or Nowruz, with cleaning their houses that we call in “Khane Tekani”.
The history of ancient Iran is full of celebrations, all based on the vision of the ancients, with the philosophy and essence of existence. Today, Chaharshanbe Suri is one of few celebrations has remained till now in Iran and has an important position in iran tourism that every year, many tourists travels to Iran to see this celebration.
The fire in iranian culture is a symbol of purity, refreshing, constructive, living, well-being and, in the end, the most visible symbol of God on earth. Chaharshanbe Suri in Persian language culture is also known as the introduction to the New Year's Eve.
It is also known throughout history, before the coming of the New Year and Nowruz, which is still of great importance among the ethnic groups and citizens of Iran.
History of Chaharshanbe Suri
We do not find any books or historical documents, or any references, about Chaharshanbeh Suri, and only in this recent century, or more precisely, in this past half century, there have been numerous articles published about Chaharshnbe Suri or in the writings Related to they talked about this day.
Of course, it is not worth mentioning that despite the dating of this celebration, in the ancient history of this country, even though it has been mentioned in the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi (Read more about him in this article: Tomb of Ferdowsi; the Iranian poet ), Chaharshnabe Suri tradition is not entirely related to the Zoroastrians because they believed that jumping from the top of fire is bad, mischievous, and unfriendly.
Chaharshnbe Suri traditions
All cities and villages of Iran celebrate Chaharshanbe Suri in the last Wednesday of the year. At the night of the last Wednesday of the year (that is, near the sunset on Tuesday), outside the house, in front of houses, in an appropriate space, people make fire.
everyone, old and young, men and women jump from the top of the fire flames and they say, "Zardi-e Man Az To, Sorkhi-e To Az man," so they gave all of their sadness and problems of last year to fire and start new year with joy and comfort. but let’s look back to that special Persian sentence that I mentioned. what does it mean?
Actually, This sentence represents a ritual cleansing ceremony in which also "Suri" means "red" or Sorkh in Farsi and Chaharshnbe Suri refers to it. In other words, people are demanding that the fire takes all of their yellowing (Yellow = Zard in Farsi), their illness and their problems, and instead give them redness and warmth and power.
As people used the pottery dishes in houses like bowl, plate, and jar, they rolled out old pottery from the roof of the that was filled water and a few coins.
Burning Espand, and eating nuts that they believe it will solve their problems, fortune telling, "Falgush" (in this tradition, young girls make a wish, then they listen to the passengers talk in the street and listening to the passengers talks interpret their intentions based on their words.)
"Ghashoq Zani" (usually women cover themselves and knock the doors with a spoon or key, the owner of the houses gives them sweets, fruits or money) is also from the traditions and customs that have not yet been completely forgotten in Chaharshanbe Suri.
Chahahrshanbe Suri myths
There are many myths about Chaharshanbe Suri, and even in some of these myths, it is said that the owl's singing is also because of Nowruz.
Ancient Persians believed that the old year sadness and pollution should not be delivered to Nowruz and new year, and because cleaning all of this pollution wasn’t possible with water, besides water, they used the fire element for cleaning too and by burning firewood, they remove unusable appliances and disinfect their living space.
In addition to flooding with smoke, it was used to eliminate insects, which were considered as a kind of cleaning house.
Chaharshanbe Suri Nowadays
All the rituals and memories that the Iranian people celebrated at various times, and some of them that remained in the culture of this land, has been mixed with the manners, ethics, and wisdom of our ancestors, and in all of them, the belief in the God, Life expectancy, the battle with the demons and the evil were included in the form of various symbols, displays, and various dramatic rituals.
Today, Chaharshanbe Suri is a little bit out of its traditional style and has come to a different color. Now Chaharshanbe Suri is not just about setting up a fire and jumping over it, but fireworks and materials create different effects on the street and, at the same time, are somewhat annoying.
Lighting, the use of monasteries, fireworks, waterfalls and ... have made the Chaharshanbe Suri a new form and different from the past. Rainbow lights are visible on each side and there are cascades of fire sparks. Unfortunately, today, Chaharshanbe Suri has undergone a change in its affluent affiliations, which annually causes personal and financial damage to families in the last days of the year.