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Iran: Zoroastrians hold Sadeh Celebration

Head of the Parliament's Cultural Committee Dr. Ahmad Purnejati, attending the Zoroastrians' ancient Sadeh Celebration in Tehran on Friday, said, "Keeping in mind that Islam promotes cheering up the hearts of the pious, the question is how come the heavy hegemony of sorrow has in recent years replaced 'The Ceremony' of the Sun in Iran?", IRNA reported.

Pour-Nejati's reference was to Sadeh Celebration, that is also referred to as 'the Ceremony of the Sun', or the day that fire was discovered in ancient Persia, according to Iran's mythical poet, Hakim Abolqassem Ferdowsi in his book "Shahnameh", or "The Letter of the Kings."

Every year on the night of the 10th day of the Iranian month of Bahman (Jan 30th), the Zoroastrians around the globe, particularly those of them in their beloved ancient motherland, Iran, gather huge piles of dried bush and set them ablaze after the sunset, thus celebrating the discovery of fire by their ancestors on such a day.

This year, too, thousands of Iranian Zoroastrians, among whom there were the top Zoroastrian clerics, or the Mo'bads, as well as the ambassadors of France and Germany in Tehran and a number of the Iranian Parliament's representatives gathered at one of their holiest sites, called the Koushk-e-Varjavand, located in the west side of Tehran, to celebrate the occasion and set their bushes ablaze during highly emotional and memorable rituals.

Pour-Nejati, one of the speakers before the ancient Iranian ceremony, stressed in his address, "It is necessary to revive the traditional Persian celebrations and I believe if a national campaign would take roots aimed at the revival of those celebrations, many of the problems with which the Iranian society is currently entangled would be eliminated."

He said, "From a psychological viewpoint, the extent of cheerfulness or depression of a nation is measured based on how many parties, or mourning anniversaries that have annually."

Pour-Nejati added, "The ancient Iranians celebrated many different occasions throughout the year, that showed how cheerful they were and how optimist they felt towards the future."

The MP stressed, "Sadeh Celebration does not belong merely to the Zoroastrians alone, and I am truly sorry that such ancient Iranian celebrations are held so quietly and in segregated corners, without adequate propagation at national level beforehand."

Pour-Nejati meanwhile referred to the Zoroastrian faith as "An ancient monotheist religion, with high emphasis on man's quest for light, as one of the significant manifestation of God."

The Zoroastrians' representative at Majlis (Parliament), Dr. Khosrow Dabestani, too, thanked God during his address because as he said "the Zoroastrians enjoy religious freedom to the extent to observe their various rituals quite freely."

He then focussed on some of the measures adopted in the country safeguard the minorities' rights, including the ratification of a law at the 6th parliament, based on which the blood money for the Muslims and the non-Muslims became equal.

Dr. Dabestani added, "The Ministry of Education has approved of employing some 200 Zoroastrian teachers this year, which is also praiseworthy."

The top Zoroastrian Mo'bad, Dr. Jahangir Oshidri's message on the occasion was then read out for the audience, following which the fire rituals of the Sadeh Celebration were performed amid a cheerful atmosphere of the audience.

... Payvand News - 1/31/04 ... --

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