Saleh

Happy Nowruz, The Iranian new year

Today is first day of Spring in Iranian calendar and new year’s day, Irpedia.com nicely sum up all the history, tradition behind this amazing tradition. So happy Nowruz and new year!

Saleh

A glorious past

It seems that August 2008 issue of National geographic is a must have issue for every Iran lover, I didn’t get it myself yet but from NG’s website we can taste a little bit of it, a nice article about Iran’s glorious past, a good introduction about Iran Archaeology and 24 briliant photos by Newsha Tavakolian and Simon Norfolk, you can even take a nice interactive quiz to test you knowledge about Iran, I got one wrong!


Saleh

Where to go in 2008

While ago the NY times published a nice article about tourism and cool places to go in 2008 and guess what our American friends put Iran in their list. Its always nice to read and see these things, what are you waiting for, book your next holiday in Iran.

What Axis of Evil? Upscale tour operators are tiptoeing into Iran next year, offering trips that explore the ancient country’s Persian treasures and olive-green desert plains. Next spring, the luxury cruise liner Silversea will make stops in the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas on its Dubai to Dubai cruise. And California-based Distant Horizons (www.distant-horizons.com) is organizing two 18-day trips that start in Tehran and then weave through the once-forbidden countryside, including stops in Shiraz and Isfahan. Prices start at $5,390 per person.


Saleh

Two unique Haft Sin Tables

As we are still only in 3rd day of Norouz, I want to share two unique Hatf Sin Tables that I find on web:

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This one is a Haft Sin table in Persian Gulf by some Iranian divers, you can see the original photo here on flickr.

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This really nice and traditional Iranian Haft sin table is in White House, Yeah you read it right! It just feels good!
” A traditional Haft Sin table celebrating Nowruz, the Persian New Year, is seen set Wednesday, March 19, 2008, in the State Dining Room of the White House. Nowruz is, in Persian and some other cultures, including Kurdish culture, a family-oriented holiday celebrating the New Year and the coming of spring. The Haft Sin table has seven items symbolizing new life, joy, love, beauty and health, sunrise, patience and garlic to ward off evil. White House photo by Chris Greenberg

Saleh

Happy New Year Happy Norouz

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With my best wishes for all, Happy New Iranian Year of 1387, Happy Norouz!
Saleh

Happy Charshanbe Suri

Today Is one of the ancient Iranian traditions, Charshanbe Suri. It was my first Charshanbe Suri out of my beloved country Iran, one the main

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things that we do in this day is that we jump over fire, so I decide to held a fire for myself but it was just then that I realise we don’t have a single match in home because our oven is one of those electric ones! It was really hard to do it without match but I finlay manage to do it! Any way I find this nice article about this tradition on prlog.org website and I really want to share it here.

Updated: Today I came across this nice page (in Persian), It shows Charshanbe Suri celebration in west of Tehran, you can hear Iranian youth during charshanbe suri and see some photos of it.

PRLog: “Give me your fiery red colour/ take back my wintry sallowness.” The Red Wednesday, counts among the only two extant one of those fire-connected festivities. It is an annual ritual which is held on the eve of the last Wednesday of the Iranian year.

From among the Aryan festivals and feasts, some of the most important ones pertained to fire, the symbol of good health, cultivation, light, and purity to the Iranian. Chaharshanbe-Suri, “The Red Wednesday”, counts among the only two extant one of those fire-connected festivities
It is an annual ritual which is held on the eve of the last Wednesday of the Iranian year. It is believed that the ritual guarantees the dissipation of the misfortunes and evils, and of course, the materialization of people’s hopes and desires for the next year.

It dates back to before the Arab Conquest of Iran; when the Iranian year was made up of 360 days with 5 extra days during which the Zoroastrians would build fires to invite their ancestors’ ghosts to their homes. On the other hand, we know that the Arabs believed that Wednesday was inauspicious. So, the people shifted their ritual to the eve of Tuesday (in the Arabian calendar, a day begins and finishes at dusk) to save the custom against the ill will of the Arabs. The ritual is composed of different rites:

Bute-Afruzi (Bush-igniting)
Bush-igniting is the principal ceremony of the night. Before the dusk, seven, as a symbol for the seven Zoroastrian angels (Amshaaspandan), heaps of bushes (of weed) are gathered before the house-gate or on the roof of the house -some visible place for the “ghosts” to guide. After the night has fallen on, the heaps are kindled and the uproarious tumult begins.

Everybody, ranging from the old to the children and the women, is excited into a passionate, memorable night. Now it is time for everybody to leap over the bonfires. They dance and sing merry notes. The traditional song of the night is: “Sorkhi-e man az to/ Zardi-e to az man”, literally “my redness from you/ your yellowness from me”, but figuratively it means “Give me your fiery red color and take back my wintry sallowness”.

Nowadays, firecrackers and other types of fireworks and explosives are inextricable elements of the night, adding more commotion and disorder to the atmosphere and sometimes changing the locality into a battleground, so that you can easily imagine the people as warriors serving at the front. This night is one of the most diligent occasions in the year for the riot police.

In small cities and villages, the ash of the blaze traditionally is cast off in a stream or some crossroad, due its ill omens, because people have thrown off their former pain and misfortunes into it ( of course, in the northern parts of Iran, such as Gilan province, people put this ash at the foot of the trees as fertilizer). The girl or woman, who had assumed the errand, on returning is asked for her identity and she would say, in response, that she is getting back from a wedding ceremony, fetching good health and good luck with her.

Qaashoq-Zani (Spoon-hitting)
Very much like Halloween and in full disguise, usually a veil (chador) covering the entire body, longing youths go to seven different houses and make a noise by hitting a bowl with a spoon to signal the household residing in the house. Being presented, by the household, with some treat betokens a positive omen, and vice versa.

Faal-e-Gusheneshini (solitary telling of the fortune)
Young women longing for a spouse make a wish, then having hidden themselves in some invisible dark corner of a passage, listen to the passers-by’s talks, according to which they decide whether their wish will or will not be fulfilled; passers-by’s positive talk signifies good omens, and unpleasant words point to some ill portent.

Kuze-Shekani (earthenware jar-shattering)
The household put some coal, as the sign of ill omen, and some salt, standing for evil eye, plus a cheap coin, signifying poverty, inside an earthenware jar. They turn the earthenware jar around their heads one by one. Then, one of them throws the jar over the roof onto the alley. Thus, ill omen, evil eye and poverty are driven out of the house.

Gereh-Goshaee
Similarly, women yearning to tie the knot or persons who have run into some problem, make a knot at the corner of a handkerchief or some other garment and request the first person whom they come across to undo it. The person’s willingness will signal a hopeful portent.

Shaal-Andazi (shawl-dropping)
In some parts of the country, young boys, who are engaged, drop a shawl or wraparound down from the roof of their fiancée’s house and she would present him with some confection or other present. Along with these rites, there are also others such as making soup for the sick, discarding the outworn furniture, etc. In some areas, the young get their horses out and make a performance on it before the night falls on.

Saleh

Great Wall of Gorgan

Wile ago one of my good friends send me a link of an article about “great wall of Gorgan” an ancient wall in north of Iran, definitely worth reading, its called Excavations In Iran Unravel Mystery Of ‘Red Snake’ from Science daily.

Saleh

More links in Persian Not farsi

Just like to draw your attention to my update in Persian or farsi post, I add links to three good articles about the issue at the end of the post.

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Tear down this wall

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I’m speechless lets hear from Persident R. Reagan…

Tear down this wall

Listen and read this speech (link)

STOP the wall

Photo from Yaldor

Saleh

Christmas in Tehran

mini_christmas_tehran.jpgAs usual it’s been a long long time since my last post here, lots of things happened in my life, now I’m in England as a student instead of being in my beloved country Iran. These days are Christmas time in most of the world so “Merry Christmas” to all of you who celebrate this nice tradition. Many of my friends here ask me if we celebrate Christmas in Iran or not? my answer is always the same, No most of Iranians don’t and Yes some of them do celebrate christmas. A big majority which is Muslim don’t celebrate it as big as christmas day they just celebrate it as Jesus’s birthday. But for Iranian-Armenian minority and other christian minorities in Iran Christmas time is as big as western countries, We have a big population of Iranian-Armenian’s in Cities of Tehran, Isfahan, Tabriz and Orumiyeh as far as I know. There is also a big Assyrian minority in Oumiyeh. If you go to their lovely neighbourhood’s you will find it as Christmasy as any other christian neighbourhood all over the world.

I searched a little on the web for christmas in Tehran and I find these nice pages, check here for cool photos of christmas shopping in Tehran, here you can also find a nice photo set of christmas in Tehran (the photo in this post is from this page), also make sure to check this post from ‘The Newshoggers’ blog; Christmas in Tehran and finaly read this intresting article by Dr. William Wedin, nicely titeld ‘A Christian Christmas in Snowy Iran‘ at least in Tehran my mates have snow for Christmas, here in England we even didn’t have that!

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