The history of ancient civilizations is a valuable heritage that is passed on from generation to generation through traditions. National holidays are an important part of this heritage. Iran, as one of the oldest civilizations, has a list of national holidays the history of which dates back more than a thousand years.
Nouroz is the most important national holiday, translated as “New Day”. This is the New Year in Iran, which is celebrated with the same scope. It is celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox. The date of the holiday changes every year, depending on the sun movинг from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere.
Two weeks before the holiday, the whole country begins to get prepared. General cleaning is organized in the houses; locals throw out all the rubbish and old furniture, buy new clothes. A traditional New Year tree in Iran is Haftsin, seven items starting with the letters “syn”. On the table are put samana (halva), syn (apple), sulfur (vinegar), sabze (wheat sprouts), sir (garlic), sagehed (wild raspberries) and sumac (berries). In addition to traditional Haftsin a mirror, book of Haviza poems, painted chicken eggs and an aquarium with goldfish is put on the festive table.
Chaharshambe-Suri or the Fire Wednesday is celebrated on the last Wednesday of the year according to the Iranian calendar. Chaharshambe-Suri originated from the Zoroastrian holiday, which began to be celebrated after the Arab conquest. On the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, Iranians light fire and jump through fire with the words “My yellowness to you, your redness to me.” This is a unique ritual of purification; jumping over the fire you give your illness and weakness to fire and get health from fire.
Fortune-telling is an important part of Chaharshambe-Suri. Predictions are written down on small paper shits and collected in one pitcher. In this pitcher personal of participants are also gathered. To predict fortune first one of the personal things is pulled and then one of the predictions is pulled.
On the 10th of the month Ordibekhesht Iran celebrates the national day of the Persian Gulf. On this day in 1622, the Strait of Hormuz was liberated from Portuguese army. The day of the Persian Gulf has been celebrated since 2004 and the fests are oganized not only in coastal cities, but throughout the country. Every year, Iranians celebrate the day in different ways. This year a hike from Shiraz to Bushehr was arranged.
Shab-e Yalda is one of the most ancient holidays in Iran. It is celebrated during the winter solstice, on the day of the longest night. On this day, the ancient Persians celebrated the birth of the sun god Mithra. According to legend, the longest night Mithra fought against the evil, and the onset of the morning was a victory for good.
During the holiday, the Persians lit fire and organized fest until morning praying to the god Mithra. Today, Iranians celebrate Shab-e Yalda at home with family. Persians decorate table with fruit; watermelon is a symbol of health, garnet is a symbol of fertility and nuts are the symbol of success.