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Sizdah Bedar, friendship with nature

Tehran, April 3, IRNA-Thirteenth of Farvardin, the first month of the Iranian calendar year, which starts at the exact moment of the vernal equinox on March 21, is called 'Sizdah Bedar' , an article in the English-language 'Iran Daily' wrote Monday.

It is a time for Iranians to go to nature and give thanks to the creator of the universe and appreciate the beauty of nature, the paper noted.

The celebrations to mark the advent of the new Iranian year begin with Chaharshanbeh Souri--the last Tuesday of the year marked by lighting fires and jumping over them--and move on to Haft Seen and Norouz festivities and house visits. All these coincide with the nature's resurrection from winter, the article added.

On the day of Sizdah Bedar, it is customary for young single girls and boys to tie the leaves of Sabzeh (special sprouts grown for New Year ceremonies) making a wish to be married by the same time next year and then throwing it into running water, Iran Daily added.

On this day, people throw their Sabzeh away in the nature as a symbolic act of making the nature greener and to dispose of the bad luck that the sprouts are said to have been collecting from the household, the paper noted.

Researcher of history and culture, Mohammad Ahmad Panahi Semnani, in a talk with Iran Daily pointed to old beliefs according to which the number thirteen is associated with bad luck and therefore on the day of Sizdah Bedar (literally meaning thirteen outdoors) people spend the day outdoors, having family picnics and parties.

"This belief is not unique to Iranians; rather, in many other cultures they regard number 13 as ominous," he elaborated.

Semnani referred to an ancient belief based on which the 12 constellations in the Zodiac controlled the months of the year, and each ruled the earth for a thousand years. At the end of the 12th millennium and the start of the 13th, the sky and the earth would collapse in chaos. That will be the time when everything shall be destroyed in the wake of huge natural disasters.

He said that people in some parts of Iran including Khorramabad and Kurdestan also celebrate the fourteenth of Farvardin.

On this special occasion, people indulge themselves with a lot of merrymaking and joy to forget enmities and grievances and start a new life with peace, friendship and solidarity.

Semnani said that Sizdah Bedar is an occasion when there is a conflict between Ahoura Mazda (the symbol of good and purity) and Ahriman (the symbol of evil), with people praying that the good will overcome the evil.

Norouz has been celebrated for 3,000 years and is rooted in the Zoroastrian rituals and traditions. Today, it is celebrated not only in Iran, but also in Kurdistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and other parts of central Asia.

... Payvand News - 4/3/06 ... --

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