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Get Acquainted With The Most Prominent Celebrations Of Ancient Iran

Ancient Iranian festivals are one of the most important ways of recognizing Iranian culture in ancient times. Some of these festivals are still celebrated today.

Ancient Iran festivals are one of the oldest historical events in Iran, some of which are now listed in the list of spiritual heritage of Iran and UNESCO. 

Researchers have studied the historical documents left over from ancient Iran to find out when these celebrations took place. Ancient Iranian celebrations are divided into different categories, some of which have been forgotten for years.

In this article, we introduce the most important celebrations of ancient Iran, which are mentioned in the Avestan calendar. Undoubtedly, other celebrations have been included in the list of rituals of ancient Iran, of which no information is available today. 

Ancient Iranian festivals play an effective role in familiarizing with the culture of the ancient Iranian people. If you are interested in getting acquainted with the common customs in holding Iranian celebrations and the time of their holding, join us in this article.

Iranian celebrations

Noble Iranian women in ancient Iranian celebrations

Photo source: ILNA News Agency

In the history of ancient Iran, holding Iranian festivals has been of great importance. The religion of the people of ancient Iran was the Zoroastrian religion, the most important concepts of which are the condemnation of evil and the protection of good. Accordingly, the people of ancient Iran held extensive celebrations to celebrate goodness and to establish unity and empathy among themselves.

 The Avestan root of the word “Yasin” festival means praise and worship, which shows the nature of Zoroastrian festivals.

Ancient Iranian festivals were held on various occasions. A significant part of this ceremony was the monthly and occasional celebrations. In these celebrations, the Iranians praised the Amshaspandan of Ahura Mazda. Emshaspandan are the pure virtues and attributes of Ahuramazda. 

In the calendar of ancient Iran, every day had a name, and the fact that a day and a month at the same time caused a monthly celebration on that day, and thus each month had its own celebration, which we will briefly describe below. Occasional celebrations were also held by Ahuramazda on the days of the creation of the world.

Celebration of Fororgan

An old painting of Iranian celebrations

Photo source: ILNA News Agency

The nineteenth day of the ancient Iranian months in the Avestan calendar is April. This celebration was a day of remembrance for the dead for the people of ancient Iran, and they celebrated Nowruz with them by going to the shrine of their dead. The people of ancient Iran believed that the spirits of their dead could share in this joy with them.

One of the rituals of celebrating Farrogan is setting fire and lighting incense on the graves of the dead. On this day, people washed the graves of the dead with water and roses and placed flowers and plants on their graves. Even now, many people go to the shrines and shrines of their dead on the eve of the New Year or after the New Year, thus celebrating the beginning of the new year with their deceased loved ones.

There were other celebrations in April, one of the most famous of which was the “Soroush Rooz” celebration on April 7. This celebration was held at the wedding of “Soroush Izad” who was the guardian of awakening.

May Day Celebration

Zoroastrian priests are holding the May Day celebration

Photo source: Suitcase site, unknown photographer

The third day of each month is registered in the Avestan calendar as May Day, and the coincidence of this day with the month of May is the reason for holding the May Day celebration. This festival was also known as “Golestan celebration” and is one of the ancient fire festivals. In some ancient calendars, the second day of May is referred to as May Day.

Due to the fact that the May Day celebrations coincide with the flowering season and the lush gardens, this ceremony was held with many flowers. In this celebration, the ancient Iranians wore white clothes, lit fires and celebrated with dancing and dancing. 

June celebration

Khordadgan celebration is held on the sixth day of Khordad. In Avestan language, Khordad is called “Herotat” and means accessibility and perfection. This celebration was held by the ancient Iranians in the wedding of Rasaei and Kamal Ahuramazda. Khordadgan celebration is also based on the sanctification of water.

 In Zoroastrian religion, water is considered to be the growth of all beings in the universe and the cause of reproduction and upbringing, and Khordad, who is one of the 6 Amshaspand in Avesta, is considered to be the water-keeping lady.

The rituals of Khordadgan celebration include people going to the source of rivers or seas and rivers. On this day, the ancient Iranians washed their bodies in running water and recited prayers and supplications, rejoicing and dancing with their families. This day was also a good time to build and rebuild karezes. 

Planting seeds and seeds such as sesame was also common in this festival. In ancient Persian texts, the lily flower is mentioned as a symbol of Khordadgan celebration.

Tirgan Celebration

Tirgan celebration and Damavand celebration

Photo source: Hamshahri Online, unknown photographer

Tirgan celebration is one of the most important celebrations in ancient Iran, which is held on the 13th of July. In recent years, “Tirgan celebration in some provinces” has been registered in the list of national monuments as one of the country’s spiritual heritage. 

Tirgan festival in Farahan, Markazi province and Tirgan festival in Gilan province, which is known as “Tirmasinzeh”, are on this list.

Two different narratives refer to the philosophy of Tirgan celebration. In the first narration, the celebration of Tirgan is held on the anniversary of the release of Tir from the bow of Arash Kamangir to mark the border between the lands of Iran and Turan.

 According to this narration, on this day, Arash fired a powerful arrow from the top of Damavand Mountain to end the war between Iran and Turan, which took half a day to reach.

Another narration refers to the day of the battle of the rain angel or “Tishter” with the dry demon or “Opush”. In this battle, Tishter is first defeated by the dry demon of the year; But in the end, with the help of Ahuramazda, he can defeat Opush.

 In some historical books of ancient Iran, two days of small and large arrows are mentioned, which are the time of launching Arash and the day of announcing its landing, respectively.

Tirgan celebration in Iranian cities

Photo source: Hamshahri Online, unknown photographer

One of the most prominent rituals of Tirgan celebration is sprinkling, pottery and arrow and wind bracelets. Sprinkling on each other was done along the rivers to relieve the heat of July. To perform the omen’s ritual, the green urn was filled with water, and after making the intention, each attendee threw a ring-like device into the urn and then carried the urn to the foot of a tree. 

At this time, a young girl was taking out the objects inside the jar by reciting the poems of the elders. The concurrence of each poem with the means coming out of the jar was an expression of the intention of its owner.

 The bow and arrow bracelet was also a woven string of seven colors that, after making an intention, was tied to the wrist for 9 days and then it was blown high while whispering the following poem.

Arrow, wind, sadness, happiness, hardship, happiness, pearl cluster

The Tirgan festival is currently one of the most common festivals among Iranians and Zoroastrians in the world, which is held in different parts of the country on one of the dates from the 1st to the 13th of July.

Celebration of the Lords

Landscape of nature and lush trees

Photo source: Tebyan website, unknown photographer

The Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated on the seventh day of August and in honor of the guardian angel of the world and the preserver of plants and their fertilization.

 In the Avestan language, amrdad means alive and existential and opposes death and nothingness. Amshaspand Amrdad gives the world existence; Prevents death and nothingness, eliminates hunger and disease, and blesses medicines and plant foods.

Over time, the word Mordad has replaced Amrdad and Mordadgan is used instead of Amrdadgan, which is not true. “August” means death and nothingness, which by changing “a” to the beginning, the meaning of the word changes to life.

 The celebration of Amrdadegan was full of joy and vivacity, and to celebrate it, the ancient Iranians went to the green plains and open spaces and rejoiced and danced next to the flowing springs and farms. The symbol of the celebration of the Lords is the lily.

Shahrivargan celebration

Symbol of Ahura Mazda and Forouhar in Shahriorgan

Photo source: Afraz Association

Shahrivargan celebration is also known as “Azar celebration” and is held on the fourth day of September. In the ancient Iranian calendar, this day coincided with Darab’s birthday, Father’s Day, the anniversary of Mani’s death, and the farmers’ dance. The name Shahrivar is formed from the change of the word “Khashtor” in the Avestan language and means a noble country or dream land, which in some interpretations has been referred to as paradise.

 Amshaspand “Shahrivar” is the great guardian god, glory and power of the land and protects the world from the bite of the devil. This angel is also the guardian of precious metals and jewels, and he supports the kings of justice and the oppressed.

 In ancient times, the people of Iran used to go to kings to celebrate this festival and rejoice and dance.

Shahrivargan celebration was held in ancient Iran for the wedding of the guardian god of power and due to the semantic closeness with the position of men in the family, it was also Father’s Day

One of the rituals of celebrating Shahrivargan was lighting a fire, gathering together and sharing food with the needy. At the end of the dance and celebration, people took the fires to the roofs of the houses. Other rituals of this celebration include riding and decorating houses.

 This celebration coincided with the birthday of Darab (who in some sources is known as Cyrus the Great) and also the anniversary of the death of Mani, who was a pure prophet, only because of the value of the personality and high character of these people. 

In the ancient Iranian calendar, a day was not registered because it coincided with the birth and death of a person; Rather, only the character and greatness of human beings was worth recording a day as a celebration.

The naming of Father’s Day in the calendar of ancient Iran coincided with the celebration of Shahrivargan, due to the closeness of the meaning of this day with the position of the father in the family; As Esfandgan was called Women’s Day because of the birth of the earth.

 Shahrivargan celebration was also very important for farmers; Because September was the month of harvest and the farmers believed that they should rejoice and dance for more harvest. Another celebration of September on the eighth day of this month was the “Autumn” celebration, which was held to welcome the autumn season.

Mehregan Celebration

Mehregan celebration in Ardakan Chek Chek shrine

Photographer and photo source: Parisa Behrozi, Amrdad website

The celebration of Mehrganaz from ancient times to the present day is held on the 16th of Mehr. This celebration is one of the most famous celebrations in ancient Iran and according to the existing traditions, in the very distant times of Mehregan Day, it was the beginning of the new year for Iranians. 

The ancient Iranians also considered this day as the day of Kaveh’s uprising and his victory over Zahak, and they celebrated and danced in Mehregan.

In the last days of Cyrus’ reign, the first day of the year was changed to the beginning of April and was called Nowruz. According to historical sources, the name of this festival was named after the goddess Mehr or Mitra. 

Mitra is one of the most valuable goddesses and the source of goodness, friendship and truth, and the enemy of lies and impurity

. Celebrating Mehregan was accompanied by joy and dancing and giving gifts to each other. On this day, people swept houses and streets, dressed in purple, prepared various meals, and recited poetry and played music.

Another common ritual in Mehregan celebration was spreading the Mehregan table around the fire. From water and rose water to sweets and syrups, nuts and dried fruits and colorful fruits were placed on this tablecloth and the top of the tablecloth was decorated with mirrors, candlesticks, flowers and vases.

 The celebration of Mehregan is still popular among Zoroastrians today, and every year on the 16th of October in cities such as Yazd and the shrine of Chek Chek Ardakan, this ceremony is performed. ( View on map )

Abangan celebration

View of autumn trees in November

Photo source: Namnak site, unknown photographer

The tenth day of the month of Aban was the time of the celebration of Abangan in ancient Iran, which was held for the wedding of the goddess of water, Anahid.

 The people of ancient Iran, after the element of fire, had great respect for water and also held celebrations to honor this natural element. The word “November” is also a plural of “water” and refers to the value of Anahita.

In ancient times and during the wars between Iran and Turan, Afrasiab ordered the destruction of karezes and streams. After the victory of “Zhu”, the son of Shah Tahmaseb over Afrasiab, the karezes were rebuilt and water flowed in them. 

According to another legend, after the war between the two kings, the drought of several years ended and it rained on this day, and for this reason, this day was called Abangan celebration.

In this celebration, people dressed in white clothes went to the rivers and springs and took food and drink with them. This celebration, like other celebrations in ancient Iran, began with the recitation of prayers, supplications, Avesta and hymns and continued with dancing.

Azargan celebration

The big fire of Azargan celebration

Photo source: Celebration site, unknown photographer

The celebration of Azargan is held on the ninth day of Azar and is one of the fire celebrations in ancient Iran. The celebration of Azargan is to praise the Azar of Ahura, which in Zoroastrian religion is referred to by attributes such as opening and sheltering. 

The goddess of fire was warming and life-giving for the ancient Iranians and is considered one of the most sacred natural elements.

One of the most important things to do on the day of Azargan celebration was to go to the fire places and light a fire, which is still done by Zoroastrians today. In ancient times, Iranians celebrated this festival by lighting fires on the roofs of houses and celebrating and dancing. 

Other rituals of the festival included the recitation of prayers and supplications by the priests and the spreading of tablecloths. “Fire of Prayer”, which is the fifth prayer of “Kharda Avesta”, was also recited in this celebration. The celebration of Azargan is still held by Zoroastrians in cities such as Kerman, Yazd, Shiraz and Tehran.

Digan Celebration (Khorram Rooz)

A view of a snow-covered tree in winter

Photo source:, photographer unknown

The celebration of Digan or “Khorram Rooz” was held on the first day of January. In ancient times, January was called “Khor Mah” and the first day was called “Khor Rooz”. Dey was one of the attributes of the one God among the Zoroastrians and they had named the coldest month of the year after Ahuramazda.

Zoroastrians considered the first day of January as the birth of the sun and at certain points in history celebrated this day as the beginning of the new year. 

This celebration is also known as “Di Dadar” celebration. In this feast, the people and the kings wore simple clothes and rejoiced and danced together equally. 

Ordering was also forbidden on this day, and everything was done willingly. War, hunting and bloodshed were also forbidden on this day. Due to the celebration of Digan Day after Yalda night, the people of ancient Iran rested on this day.

January was one of the most celebrated months for the Zoroastrians of ancient Iran. The “Garlic Sur” celebration was held on the 14th of January to ward off demons, and it was customary to cook foods rich in garlic on this day. 

The celebration of “Betika” was also held on the 15th of January to ward off evil and harmful people. In this celebration, statues of people were made and burned. On the sixteenth day of January, the celebration of “Gavogil” was held, which was under the protection of Fereydoun.

Celebration of Bahmangan

A painting of the symbol of Bahmangan celebration

Photo source: Belief ritual site

“Bahman” is the name of the second day of Bahman, and for this reason the ancient Iranians celebrated Bahmangan on this day. This celebration is also known as “Bahmanjeh”. The celebration of Bahmangan was held in praise of “Vuhuman”, the goddess of Ahuramazda, who had a good thought, good character and wisdom. 

In the Zoroastrian religion, the goddess Vohuman protected animals and livestock.

One of the most important rituals of Bahmangan celebration was to avoid killing animals and eating their meat. Some Zoroastrians still observed these rituals until the end of February.

 In this celebration, as in other celebrations of ancient Iran, wearing white clothes was common and roosters and jasmine flowers were considered as the symbols of this celebration. On the 22nd of Bahman, the Zoroastrians of ancient Iran celebrated the festival of “Badireh”, which was in the marriage of the god of wind.

Celebration of Sepandar Mozgan

Zoroastrian women's wedding ceremony in Sepandar Mozgan celebration

Wedding ceremony of Iranian women in Sepandar Mozgan celebration, photographer and photo source: Firoozeh Manouchehri, Amrdad website

“Sepandarmaz” was the fifth day of March and the time of the celebration of Sepandar Mozgan or Esfandgan. In this celebration, the goddess of guardianship of pious and benevolent women was praised. Later, in Persian, this ceremony was known as “Mardgiran” celebration. In this celebration, men prepared gifts for their wives and honored them.

Esfand or Sepandar Maz means humility and purity and is one of the Amshaspands of Ahura Mazda. On this day, the humility, patience and love of Ahura Mazda were praised and the woman was worshiped as a sign of these attributes of God. 

On the other hand, Amshaspand Sepandarmaz is the goddess of fertility and childbirth on earth and for this reason this day was known as Women’s Day in ancient Iran.

One of the customs of this day is for women to wear luxurious and beautiful clothes and for women to sit on the throne and rule at home.

 Love and affection were the main concepts of this celebration and in recent years in Iranian culture this day is called love day. Zoroastrians still celebrate this day as Mother and Wife Day, and in some cities, such as Yazd and the surrounding villages, this magnificent ceremony is held.

 The celebration of “Nowruz of the Rivers” was another celebration of the month of Esfand, which was held on the 19th of Esfand, in which the rivers were cleansed and perfume and rose water were sprinkled.

Occasional celebrations

Paintings of original Iranian celebrations

Photo source: Namnak site

Zoroastrians in ancient times, according to Zoroastrianism in the Avesta, considered 6 times as the time of the creation of the world and celebrated these days.

 Each occasional celebration lasted five days, and the last day was the most important day of the occasional celebration. These occasions are as follows:

Occasionally “Medioserm” which is on the 15th of Ordibehesht and God created the sky on this day. The second period, “Medioshm”, is on the 15th of July and the time of the creation of water. 

September 20 is also the time of the creation of the earth, which is sometimes called “Petihoshim”. The “Iaserm” period is on the 30th of October, the time of the creation of plants, and the “Midiaram” period is on the 20th of January, the time of the creation of animals. 

The last period is called “Hamsepthmidia” and the last day of the year is the time of human creation.

In ancient times, Iranians celebrated these days and at the same time took care of the needy with joy and dancing. These festivals were important for farmers and they believed that holding these festivals would be a great blessing for their crops. 

The basis of all the annual celebrations was sometimes based on goodness and righteousness, and the ritual of these celebrations included helping the needy Zoroastrians and doing good to their fellow human beings.

 Occasional festivals were also known as seasonal festivals. In these celebrations, the priests first praised Ahura Mazda and prayed, and then all the Zoroastrians, from the richest to the weakest, rejoiced together under the same cover.

The most important celebrations of ancient Iran

Among the celebrations of ancient Iran, the celebrations of Nowruz and Yalda night have a special place, which are still held in many magnificent Iranian families. In this section, we will introduce these celebrations.

Norouz ceremony

The tablecloth of the original Iranian Haft Sin

Photo source:

Nowruz celebration has been considered as one of the most important celebrations in Iran since ancient Iran. This celebration is held at the beginning of April and it is the beginning of the solar new year. In the past, Nowruz was divided into two parts: small Nowruz and big Nowruz, and the first day of Farvardin was called Little Nowruz. 

The first five days of April were also the time of New Year celebrations and were held in public.

In ancient times, Iranians considered Nowruz to be the time of determining the fate of the coming year and believed that the souls of their dead would return home on this day. 

The sixth day of Farvardin was the day of Nowruz and in the ancient Zoroastrian calendar, it was called Khordad. Zoroastrians considered and celebrated this day as the birth of their prophet. June was attributed to Anahita, the goddess of water, among the ancient Iranians.

Nowruz celebration in Turkmenistan with a Turkmen family

Nowruz Celebration in Turkmenistan, Photo Source: RFE / RL, Unknown Photographer

One of the most important rituals of Nowruz from the distant past to the present was the establishment of colorful tablecloths, which in the past were called Haftsin and over time became Haftsin. 

Haft-e-Sin Nowruz tablecloth includes greens, semno, vinegar, garlic, sumac, elm and apple; Of course, in various sources, coins are also mentioned as one of the components of this table.

Other rituals of Nowruz include planting seeds to grow green at the beginning of the new year, watering ceremonies, singing mirs, giving Eid and celebrating Eid, and seeing and visiting acquaintances.

 “Mir” is the same Haji Firooz today who promises spring in the streets a few days before the New Year.

The thirteenth day of the month of Farvardin, which was called “Tir”, was the thirteenth day of Farvardin in April, which is one of the other ancient celebrations of Iran. 

On this day, people went to nature and ended Nowruz celebrations with joy and vitality. Today, the ritual of the 13th of Farvardin is held and the green of Nowruz is tied on this day with the intention of happiness in the coming year. 

The ancient celebration of Nowruz is held on the first day of Farvardin in different parts of the world. The celebration was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List with the participation of representatives from Iran, India, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Iraq.

Yalda Night Celebration

Yalda beautiful table with red fruits

Photographer and photo source: Hamideh Shafieeha, Tasnim News Agency

Yalda night celebration is another ancient celebration of Iran that has preserved its antiquity for many years and is still held today. Yalda night, which is the last night of autumn and the night of the first day of winter, is the longest night of the year and begins at sunset on the last day of December and continues until dawn on the first day of January. 

The night of Yalda was known in ancient times as the night of the birth of the god Mehr. The Iranians believed that on this night, Mitra would defeat the devil, and then the darkness would lead to destruction, and for this reason the days would be longer and the nights would be shorter.

Yalda celebration is still held in different parts of the world today and its rituals are also common. On this night, families gather together and usually visit the older members of the family.

 Yalda night table is one of the most productive traditional Iranian tables in which everything from nuts and dried fruits to a variety of colorful fruits and traditional sweets can be seen, but in the past only seven types of nuts and seven fruits were placed on the Yalda night table.

An old painting from the Yalda night of an Iranian family

Photo source: Iran Nihoon site

On the night of Yalda, family members spend the night sitting and chatting until late at night. One of the most important rituals of Yalda night is reading Shahnameh, reading Hafez and telling stories to the elders. Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh and Hafez’s Divan are also part of Yalda’s table. Fortune telling is one of the hobbies of this night.

The most famous fruits of Yalda night are watermelon and pomegranate. Watermelon, which is a summer fruit, is used tonight as a symbol of summer.

 In the past, people believed that by eating summer fruits on Yalda night, the winter cold would not affect them. Pomegranate was also a symbol of happiness and fertility and is still one of the most common fruits on Yalda night. 

Other delicacies of this celebration include lips, squash and baked beans.

Fire celebrations in ancient Iran

In ancient Iran, fire was the most important natural element in the world among the four elements of water, wind, soil and fire. Ahura Mazda was a place of worship for Zoroastrians, and this shows the importance of fire for Zoroastrians. Accordingly, the ancient Iranians held many traditional celebrations based on the burial of fire. 

Among these celebrations are Ordibeheshtgan, Shahrivargan and Azargan, which were among the monthly celebrations in ancient Iran, which we introduced in the previous sections. In this section, we introduce some famous fire festivals in the time of ancient Iran.


Zoroastrian priest and girl in white are lighting the fire of the celebration of the century

Photo source:, unknown photographer

The celebration of the century is one of the most important Zoroastrian celebrations in the world, which is held on the 10th of Bahman, or Aban day from the month of Bahman. 

In this festival, Zoroastrians praise Ahura Mazda and dance, and some people play the instrument with them. In this ancient celebration, reading Shahnameh and narration are also common. 

Century celebration in the past along with Yalda and Nowruz celebrations has been one of the most important ceremonies in ancient Iran; Although it is not widely celebrated today, it has remained important to Zoroastrians throughout the world.

The celebration of the century is also known as the celebration of fire or the celebration of winter. 

The most important symbol of the celebration of the century is fire, and Zoroastrians set fire to the power and greatness of Ahuramazda, and all participate in gathering firewood to light the fire. 

Fire plays a significant role in all Zoroastrian celebrations and ceremonies, and the followers of this religion have great respect for it. Another characteristic of holding the celebration of the century is the gathering of Zoroastrians together and the closeness of people to each other.

 In the past, fires were lit on the roofs of houses and in high places of the city and the countryside, and the celebration was held with joy and ritual dances.

There are various narrations about the history of the celebration of the century. One narration refers to the connection between the celebration of the century and the number 100 and considers the 10th of Bahman as the 100th day after the beginning of the cold season from the beginning of November.

 On the other hand, from February 1st to the first of spring, there are 50 days and 50 nights left, which add up to 100.

People are rejoicing in front of the fire celebrating the century

Photo source: site, unknown photographer

 In ancient times, the Iranians considered January and February to be a powerful time for the devil and prayed and prayed for the safety of these two months. they did. There are other narrations about the number of children of the first person reaching 100 on this day.

According to another narration, it took 100 days from the date of the celebration of the century to the time of harvesting the grains, and for this reason, the celebration of the century was held on this date.

 In the surviving works of Abu Rihan al-Biruni, the connection between the celebration of the century and the number 100 has been mentioned.

 But some historians believe that there is no connection between the naming of the centenary and the number 100. 

According to this group of historians, the century in the Avestan language means the rising of the sun and rising, and because in the past, the cold season was divided into two parts, the great and the small, the tenth day of Bahman is considered the end of the great; When the earth warms and gives birth. 

Therefore, the ancient Iranians celebrated the end of this great day by holding the centenary ceremony and promised to warm the earth and approach spring by setting fire.

According to other theories, from ancient times to the present day, the number 40 has been sacred to Iranians and Yalda has been one of the most important Iranian celebrations and ceremonies. 

Therefore, the symmetry of the celebration of the century with the forty days after the night of Yalda, attracts the attention of some historians. Therefore, this group of historians consider the philosophy of holding the celebration of the century as 40 days of the sun (Izad Mehr); Because the sun is born from Yalda.

Syrian Wednesday celebration

People around the Syrian Wednesday fire

Photo source: Hamshahri Online, unknown photographer

Syrian Wednesday has been another fire festival in Iran that is still held today. In this celebration, people go to welcome spring. There are various theories about the origin of this celebration.

 According to one theory, in ancient Iran, people believed that the spirits of their dead returned home near the Feast of Tabernacles; For this reason, fires were lit on the roofs of houses so that their dead could find their homes. 

The similarity of the roots of this theory to the origins of the celebration of Western Halloween and the celebration of the Mexican dead is also noticeable.

The ritual of celebrating Syrian Wednesday in ancient times was very different from its present form, and fireworks in the modern way did not exist in the culture of the people of ancient Iran.
Due to the lack of sufficient evidence for the celebration in ancient Iran, some historians attribute the celebration to the later Islamic period in Iran. 

Given the way Syrian Wednesday is celebrated and people jump over fire, this theory does not seem far-fetched. Fire was very sacred to the Iranians in ancient times and jumping over the fire was not common in any other Iranian festival. 

On the other hand, in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, passing through fire is mentioned many times and the story of Siavash passing through fire is one of the most famous Iranian stories.

 Siavash crossed the fire to be cleansed of his sin and to prove his innocence, and his passing through the fire testified to his purity.

Examining various sources, scholars attribute the date of the Syrian Wednesday celebration even to pre-Zoroastrian periods, but the way it is held has been different from the present time, and these differences raise doubts about the date of the Syrian Wednesday celebration.

One of the common customs in the celebration of Syrian Wednesday was visiting the elders and lighting fires on the roofs of houses, which has given way to other rituals today. 

Fire was a cleansing element among the ancient Iranians and was used in fire festivals to eliminate impurities. The demand for heat and light was another reason to light the fire during the Syrian Wednesday celebration.

Nosreh Celebration

The great fire of the celebration of the century among the people of Yazd

Photographer and photo source: Sara Tajli from ISNA news agency

The celebration of Nosreh is one of the oldest celebrations in ancient Iran, which was held on the thirty-fifth day of winter, five days before the celebration of the century. The philosophy of this celebration was to prepare more and more Zoroastrians for the celebration of the century. At the time of the celebration, the Iranians lit a large fire, replacing the cold and darkness with heat and light, and engaged in prayer and supplication. Zoroastrian elders in this celebration created a suitable atmosphere for people to welcome the celebration of the century. The etiquette of this celebration is very similar to the celebration of the century.

Calendar of Ancient Iranian Occasions

In ancient Iran, different numbers were sometimes used. The Zoroastrian calendar of ancient Iran was one of the most famous Iranian calendars, which had 12 months and 30 days. The calendar was inspired by the Babylonian and Egyptian chronologies, but changed after the Achaemenids came to power.

It took about 300 years for this calendar to take its final form, and from the time of Darius’s reign onwards, the use of the Mazdisna Iranian-religious calendar became popular in Iran.

In the Zoroastrian calendar of ancient Iran, the names of the months were called Zoroastrian gods. Among the surviving inscriptions of the Achaemenids, there are signs of the ancient Iranian calendar and its division. 

In this calendar, the day is divided into five parts and every 30 days is called a month. 

Therefore, each year has 12 months and five days remain at the end of the year.

 Occasions in the ancient Iranian calendar included monthly, occasional, and Hormoz celebrations on the first day of each month.