Marking the hundredth day since the passing of summer, this ancient Persian holiday celebrates the beginning of the long winter; honoring fire and defeating the darkness, frost and cold weather. The extravagantly grand festivity, Jashn-e Sadeh (also spelled Sadé) in Persian, was most elaborately celebrated in the times of ancient Persia. Old legends say that King Hushang was the founder of this celebration. The story refers to a day when he was climbing the mountains when he saw a snake and tried to hit it with a stone. Both the mountain’s body and the stone he threw were flint, so when he missed the collision of the stones created a fire which caused the snake to flee. Through this event, he discovered fire and saw it as a sign from god which needed to be admired. Come along with goingIRAN to learn and discover more about this ancient celebration!
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Nowadays, this celebration is most popular among the Zoroastrians of Iran. Much like the old times, it is still celebrated in a very similar way. The boys of the town, who wanted to make the passage to adulthood, were responsible for the collection of the firewood the day before. The next night at the town center or temple, the holy fire would be lit and kept burning throughout the entire night. People would gather to hold hands, pray and dance in a circle around the magnificent fire. The next morning, the women of the households would return to the temple and take a piece of the blessed fire back to their homes and make their own fire with it. This was the spreading of the blessed fire throughout every household in the neighbourhood. After everybody got a piece of the flame, the remaining would be placed in the temple’s shrine and kept burning all year round. For three days the Persian people spend time with one another and visit each other’s homes for feasts and food donations/sacrifices to the poor.
Nowadays, this celebration is still celebrated in its ancient tradition in the cities of Kerman, Yazd, Kushke Varjavand Garden in Karaj and some parts of Tehran. If you are visiting Iran during January 28th or 29th, be sure to be a part of this extraordinary ancient celebration that embraces the fire energy in your soul!
Date/Time: 29 January (At Night)
Located: Zoroastrian temples
Photo by Atta Kenari