Spring is just around the corner, and that means that Iranians across the globe are busy preparing for Norooz, the Persian New Year. This most important Iranian holiday is celebrated each year on the first day of spring. In the lead up to Nowrooz, people do a thorough “spring cleaning” of their homes, and on the eve of the last Wednesday of the Persian solar year, they celebrate the fire jumping festival called Chahar Shanbeh Suri.
One of the most festive nights of the year, Chahar Shanbeh Suri is celebrated by young and old alike in the hopes of warding off back luck and ensuring good health in the new year. Tonight at sunset, people in villages and cities across Iran will light bundles of brushwood and jump over the fires joyously reciting sorḵī-e to az man, zardī-e man az to, “[let] your ruddiness [be] mine, my paleness yours”.
The fun and games continue throughout the night as children, and even adults, disguised in chadors go around to neighbors’ houses banging pots and pans, hoping for treats. Chahar Shanbeh Suri is a time of merriment for Iranians of all backgrounds and a reminder of the historic Zoroastrian traditions of this ancient land.