Sunday, March 16, 2008

March 18, 2008, the Iranian national celebration of Chahar Shanbeh Suri, last Tuesday of Iranian Calender year
Last Wednesday of the year (Chahar Shanbeh Suri): On the eve of last Wednesday of the year, literally the eve of Red Wednesday or the eve of celebration, bonfires are lit in public places and people leap over the flames, shouting:Give me your beautiful red colorand take back my sickly pallor!With the help of fire and light symbols of good, we hope to see our way through this unlucky night - the end of the year- to the arrival of spring’s longer days. Traditionally, it is believed that the living was visited by the spirits of their ancestors on the last day of the year. Many people especially children, wrap themselves in shrouds symbolically re-enacting the visits. By the light of the bonfire, they run through the streets banging on pots and pans with spoons called Gashog-Zani to beat out the last unlucky Wednesday of the year, while they knock on doors to ask for treats. Indeed, Halloween is a Celtic variation of this night. In order to make wishes come true, it is customary to prepare special foods and distribute them on this night. Noodle Soup a filled Persian delight, and mixture of seven dried nuts and fruits, pistachios, roasted chic peas, almond, hazelnuts, figs, apricots, and raisins.Fal-GushThis is another ritual in which someone makes a wish and stands at the corner of an intersection, or on a terrace or behind a wall. That person will know his fortune when he overhears conversation of a passerby.Since the advent of their reign in Iran, mullahs’ evil rule considered joyous ancient Persian traditions as obstacles to the spread of their religious fascism and Islamic fundamentalism and their hopes to hijack the Iranian nation and its traditions. In this war of ‘Good’ against ‘Evil’, the Iranians used these very traditions as a strong weapon to resist this cultural attack. Mullahs have tried for 29 years to brand these festivities as superstition; however, these traditions grew deeper and stronger. Especially Chahar-Shanbeh Suri has turned into a feast of fire to show people’s hatred for the mullahs. Despite government bans and arrests, millions of people, especially the youth, use bonfires, firecrackers and sound bombs on this night to say a ‘BIG NO’ to the mullahs.