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ChaharShanbeh Soori

Chahrshanbeh Soori meaning Wednesday Feast, from the word sour[citation needed] which means feast in Persian is an ancient Persian festival dating back to at least 1700 BCE of the early Zoroastrian era. Also called the Festival of Fire, it is a prelude to Nowruz, which marks the arrival of spring.

Traditionally celebrated on the last Tuesday night of the year, Chahrshanbeh Soori has, since the Iranian revolution, been marked on the evening before the last Wednesday. The words Chahar Shanbeh mean Wednesday and Suri means red. Bonfires are lit to "keep the sun alive" until early morning. The celebration usually starts in the evening, with people making bonfires in the streets and jumping over them singing "zardi-ye man az to, sorkhi-ye to az man". The literal translation is, my sickly yellow paleness is yours, your fiery red color is mine. This is a purification rite. Loosely translated, this means you want the fire to take your paleness, sickness, and problems and in turn give you redness, warmth, and energy. There is no religious significance attached to Chaharshanbeh Soori and it serves as a cultural festival for Persian people: Persian Jews, Muslims, Armenians, Kurds, Turks and Zoroastrians. Indeed this celebration, in particular the significant role of fire, is likely to hail from Zoroastrianism.

 

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