All entries for Tuesday 15 March 2005

March 15, 2005

Charshanbe Soori…

Tonight is Charshanbe Soori and I have spent the past hour or so jumping over fires. Why? you ask… well every year, on the Wednesday before Persian New Year (march 21st), people light fires and jump over them to get rid of your evils and ailments of the past year. Yes, I am aware that it is Tuesday but because of the leap year it falls a day in advance, as does new year which is on the 20th this year.

Anyways, the fire-jumping tradition dates back to Zorastrianism (fire-worshipers) who believed that fire was the essence of life, so the idea is that the fire will burn away your bad omens and fill you with warmth to start the new year well. As you jump over the fire you have to say: "Zardi-e man az to, Garmi-e to az man!" This, roughly translated, means "Take my ailments and give me your warmth!" and you can see how this is relevant to the philosophy of the fire-jumping act!

I smell of smoke and have ash-stains on my shoes but the question is do I feel relieved of my ailments and evils? Hmmmm. Lets just say I'd like to think that I am!

Here's a haiku I though of when I was watching the flames dance:

Inconstant flames swell
and lick the wind; warm us, burn
optimistic soles.

Charshanbe Soori Mobarak!
(Happy Charshanbe Soori!)

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