4 shanbehsooi ( 4 shanbeh suri) dance : shahrzad Academy Chahārshanbe-Sūri (Persian: چهارشنبه‌سوری, UniPers: Câršanbe-Suri), pronounced Chārshanbe-Sūri (Persian: چارشنبه‌سوری) meaning Wednesday Feast, from the word Sour which means party or feast in Persian is an ancient Persian festival dating at least to 1700 BCE of the early Zoroastrian era.[1]

The festival of fire is a prelude to the Norouz festival, which marks the arrival of spring and revival of nature. Traditionally celebrated on the last Wednesday night of the year, Chahrshanbeh Soori has, since the Iranian revolution, been marked on the evening of the last Tuesday.

The word Chahar Shanbeh means Wednesday and Suri is red. Bonfires are lit to keep the sun alive till early hours of the morning.[2] The celebration usually starts in the evening, with people making bonfires in the streets and jumping over them.

The tradition includes people going into the streets and alleys to make fires, and jump over them while singing the song Sorkhi-ye to az man, zardi-ye man az to. The literal translation is, Your fiery red color is mine, and my sickly yellow paleness is yours. This is a purification rite and ’soori’ itself means redness which hints at the color of fire.[3] 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 Persians, Persian Jews, Muslims, Armenians, Kurds, Turks and Zoroastrians alike. Indeed this celebration, in particular the significant role of fire, is likely to hail from Zoroastrianism.

Another tradition of this day is to make special ajeel, or mixed nuts and berries. People wear disguises and chadors and go door to door knocking on doors. Receiving of the Ajeel is customary, as is receiving of a bucket of water.Persians celebrated the last 10 days of the year in their annual obligation feast of all souls, Hamaspathmaedaya (Farvardigan or popularly. hi Forodigan). They believed Faravahar, the guardian angels 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. The ten-day festival also coincided with festivals celebrating the creation of fire and humans. In Sassanid period the festival was divided into two distinct pentads, known as the lesser and the greater Pentad, or Panji as it is called today. Gradually the belief developed that the ‘Lesser Panji’ belonged to the souls of children and those who died without sin, whereas ‘Greater Panji’ was truly for all souls


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