NEW YEAR NO RUZ , by Massoume Price
new day or New Year as the Iranians call it, is a celebration of spring
Equinox. It has been celebrated by all the major cultures of ancient Mesopotamia.
Sumerians, 3000BC, Babylonians 2000 BC, the ancient kingdom of Elam in
Southern Persia 2000BC, Akaddians all have been celebrating it in one form
or another. What we have today as No Ruz with its’ uniquely Iranian characteristics
has been celebrated for at least 3000 years and is deeply rooted in the
traditions of Zoroastrian belief system.
(Mihregan) , by Massoume Price
Zoroastrianism was the religion
of Iran before the conquest of Islam in the seventh century AD. The architect
of this religion, Zoroaster created many feasts and celebrations to pay
homage to many deities and yazata (Izads) who symbolized all forces beneficial
to humans. Amongst all these festivals seven were regarded as feasts of
obligation. They are known as ‘gahambars’ and are dedicated to Ahura Mazda,
the lord of wisdom and the six holy immortals, i.e. Amesha Spentas, protectors
of the seven creations (sky, waters, earth, fire, plants, animals and humans).
The other important festivals are devoted to the major Izads such as Mihr,
at Mihregan and Tiri at Tiragan.
The Beginnings and Traditions of Mehregan , by
Farshid Eghbal & Sandra Mooney
There are many accounts as
to the beginning of Mehregan. A few, different versions are listed
e Cheleh (Yalda Festival) , by Massoume
is a day of victory when Angels helped Fereydoon and Kaveh become victorious
over Zahak. They imprisoned him in the Damavand Mountain where he
died from his wounds.
is the day God gave light to the world, that had previously been dark.
On this day Mashya and Mashyaneh
(a concept of Semitic Adam and Eve) were created.
On this day the sun was created.
Yalda, a Syric word imported
into the Persian language by the Syric Christians means birth (tavalud
and melaad are from the same origin). It is a relatively recent arrival
and it is refereed to the ‘Shab e Cheleh Festival’, a celebration of Winter
Solstice on December 21st. Forty days before the next major Persian
festival ‘Jashn e Sadeh’; this night has been celebrated in countless cultures
for thousands of years.
e Sadeh ,
by Massoume Price
Sadeh meaning hundred, is
a mid winter feast celebrated with grandeur and magnificence in ancient
Iran. It was a festivity to honor fire and to defeat the forces of darkness,
frost and cold. Two different days were observed for its veneration.
Shanbeh Suri (The festival of the last wednesday) ,
The ancient Iranians celebrated
the last 10 days of the year in their annual obligation feast of all souls,
Hamaspathmaedaya (Farvardigan or popularly Forodigan). They believed
Foruhars, the guardian angles for humans and also the spirits of dead would
come back for reunion. These spirits were entertained as honored guests
in their old homes, and were bidden a formal ritual farewell at the dawn
of the New Year.
MONTHS, ORIGIN OF THE NAMES , by Massoume
The names of the 12 Persian
months are taken from the ancient Zoroastrian texts and the origins
are deeply rooted in their belief system. This was the religion of
Iran before the advent of Islam in seventh century AD. Zoroastrians believed
in two primal forces, good and evil. Everything that supported and enriched
life was good and all that threatened life and disturbed order was bad.