A researcher of Iranian folklore Ahmad Panahi-Semnani said in Tehran on Tuesday that some of the figures of special concept in the ancient literature of the historical land of Iran are still common.
He told IRNA that in ancient times, seven, three, 13 and many other figures designated the complicated concepts of the astronomical effects and the phenomena corresponding to the related eras.
"The impression of such figures on ancient Iranian traditions was so intense that they are explicitly symbolized in many cases," he added.
"The seven-item table set on the eve of Iranian New Year (starting March 21), a seven-episode verse on the combat of the Iranian hero Rustam with the mythological evil in Ferdowsi's Shahnameh (Book of Kings) and the 13th day of the New Year considered to be ominous are a few examples."
Pointing to the old Iranian myth on the 12,000-year duration of the universe and its being doomed to destruction afterward to explain the origin of the figure 13 and the associated concept, he said that man, who is born to combat the devil, is to overcome it at the end of the said period.
"The figure 12 seems to have been taken after the 12 signs of zodiac, the discovery of which was achieved through intense attempts of the scientist who had launched a search among the stars and galaxies." he added.
He added that the first 12 days of the New Iranian Year, marking the birth of mankind, is apparently an allegory of 12,000 years, while the 13th day marks the 13th millennium and the onset of man's liberation from the material world.
"According to stories recorded in ancient books on the 13th day of the New Iranian Year, on such a day Iranians used to pray for spring rainfalls," he added.
Panahi said that since old days Iranians used to go on picnic on the Rain Day. On mid-day they used to grill mutton to celebrate their victory over the devil of drought. The sacrifice was dedicated to the Rain Angel.
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