Chaharshanbe Suri چهارشنبه ‌سوری


Hi friends. I concede this is an extra sheet at an unusual time for me, but it is an old traditional Persian celebration, and as I believe, we must keep our traditions and cultures, not as rules but as our tribe, to learn the best of them.

It is the end of Winter, and Spring is approaching in our Northern Hemisphere. And in ancient Persia, it is the beginning of the new year. But what I want to share with you is the celebration of the latest Wednesday of the year, ( I am not sure if I did it once!?) in which the Persians, making fires, and jump over them singing: My jaundice for you, Your redness for me. It means somehow, to give all the disease up to the fire and take the health back.

The last celebration before the Iranian New Year goes to: Chaharshanbe  Soori or in other words, the Iranian fire jumping festival

This celebration might be similar to the Easter Feast because there is also an Easter fire. As in the Persian New Year feast, there are also colourful eggs as presents, but it is another story!

There are many interpretations of this festival. Chaharshanbe Soori (Suri) means literally “Chaharshanbe: Wednesday, Soori: Red” and it is a Fire Festival. This feast festival history is going back to ancient Persia during the early Zoroastrian era. During that era, people believed that water, fire, soil, and air are sacred. These are also the four main elements of nature. The fire has been the most blessing among Zoroastrians because, fire is purifying and never gets polluted. Zoroastrians celebrated the last 5 days of the year in the honour of the spirits of the dead (Source: Wikipedia). Of course, this tradition has been changed a lot over time, and the reason is probably because of the various invasions Persia have had in the past, and the blending of various cultures that influenced the way we celebrate the fire festival.

But another version, which I’d prefer, is the Saga by Ferdowsi, the great Persian poet in his famous Shahnameh: Book of The King, and it is about a forbidden love between “Siavash and Sudabe”.

Siavash is one of the most oppressed figures of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh (The King Book), whose stepmother, Sudabeh, fell in love with him but, he didn’t want to reciprocate her love.
Until this audacity, on another form, reached his father Kikavus and he became very angry with him.
Siavash asked his father to go through seven tunnels of fire, to prove his purity and innocence, and if he came out safe, the father must consider it the reason for his innocence.
This fire test ended on the last Tuesday of the year, and he came out victoriously.
It was ordered by the father to give it to all the people the next day, Wednesday, in the middle of the main square of the city, a great celebration with a big fire, which became Wednesday Fiesta. (Chaharshanbe Suri) This day was recognized as a national holiday. We celebrate the last Tuesday of the year, in memory of purity and humanity by jumping over the fire. The Wednesday Fiesta is in fact, a sign of purity.
It has a beautiful philosophy which means, taking the purity of fire into our soul.

Some compare this legend with Tristan and Izout” written by Joseph Bédier, the French writer. Though I think that the story of Tristan and Iseult is a two-way love story, and here, it is only a one-way love!

Anyway, I wish and hope that it will be a feast of health and happiness, and a long life freedom in the future.

10 thoughts on “Chaharshanbe Suri چهارشنبه ‌سوری

  1. Great post Aladin! I love how the ancient ritual of “jumping the fire” happens in so many countries and cultures. Thank you for sharing Chaharshanbe Soori with us as the Wheel of the Year begins again. During Beltane, another celebrated fire festival, couples in love will jump over the fire together. Love and light, Deborah.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.