Charshanbeh Suri(چهارشنبه سوری): Celebrating the Persian New Year with Fire, Light, and Purification

Charshanbeh Suri is an ancient Iranian festival that is celebrated on the eve of the last Tuseday of the Persian calendar year, which usually falls on or around March 16th ( on 14th on 2023) . Charshanbeh Suri translates to “fireworks Wednesday” in English, and it is a time of fire, light, and purification.

The festival of Charshanbeh Suri has been observed for thousands of years and is believed to have pre-Islamic roots. It is a time when people light bonfires in the streets, jump over the flames, and make wishes for the coming year.

The tradition of lighting bonfires on Charshanbeh Suri is symbolic of burning away the old and making way for the new. Iranians believe that the fire has a purifying effect and that jumping over the flames will bring good luck and happiness for the coming year.

On the evening of Charshanbeh Suri, families and friends gather in the streets to light bonfires and celebrate. They usually jump over the flames while reciting a traditional Persian verse:

“Sorkhi-ye to az man; zardi-ye man az to” “سرخی تو از من, زردی من از تو”

This verse roughly translates to “Give me your beautiful red color, and take back my sickly yellow pallor.” The verse is a way of expressing hopes and wishes for health, happiness, and prosperity in the coming year.

Charshanbeh Suri is also a time for giving and receiving sweets and treats. Children go door to door, singing songs and collecting sweets and nuts from their neighbors.

Despite being a beloved tradition in Iran, Charshanbeh Suri has been banned in some parts of the country in recent years due to safety concerns. The Iranian government has encouraged people to celebrate the festival in a more controlled and safe environment, such as in designated public areas.

In conclusion, Charshanbeh Suri is a joyous and colorful festival that celebrates the arrival of the Persian New Year and the renewal of life. It is a time of fire, light, and purification, and it represents the enduring spirit of the Iranian people and the importance of tradition and culture in our lives.