Tuesday, March 18, 2008
If you see fire jumping tonight, let me explain:
The last Tuesday of the Iranian year is celebrated with a bonfire. This day is called Charshanbeh Suri. Literally, this means Wednesday's eve of joy. Therefore, it is celebrated on the last Tuesday night of the year.
The main activity on this day is setting up a fire with kindle and jumping over it while chanting a song. The song goes "Zardî-ye man az to, sorkhî-ye to az man." This literally means my yellowness to you, your redness to me. Figuratively, this means my ilness and paleness to the fire, the flames strength and vitality to me. While the tradition brings health for the new year, the fire also guides the spirits of old relatives to your home. It was believed that these spirits were to visit the living at the end of every year.
The ceremony goes back to Zoroaster who introduced fire as a cleansing and purifying element on the globe. The idea is to burn bad habits, weakness, sin, and such in the new year, which coincides with the coming of Spring in the Iranian calendar.
SYI - Iranians are good!