On September 9 and 10,
A record crowd of over 20,000 people attended the two-day event. This year’s festival was dedicated to the famous Persian King, Cyrus the Great. The festival grounds were decorated with artifacts reminding the visitors of history and the contribution this king has made to human kind.
The festival can best be summarized as a time to reflect on the past and welcome the future with love, compassion and understanding. The crowd was welcomed by posters and artifacts along the corridor walls, most of which contained information about the ancient
Cyrus is viewed as an embodiment
of the Mehregan philosophies. Cyrus the Great "was a historical figure at least
at the same level as Alexander and Caesar," said Cyrus the Great biographer
Cyrus Kar. "He drafted the first human rights legislation in recorded history,
over a thousand years before the Magna Carta. He abolished slavery. "He freed
the Jews from 60 years of Babylonian captivity and he built their temple in
Twelve provinces of
Whether it was with dancing, music or poetry readings, three stages set at the front, middle and back of the rectangular field were constantly active with entertainment.
Food was plenty and as varied as
people who attended, from kabobs, ashe reshteh and Persian ice cream to corn on
the cob and Abghoosht.
Across from the stage of traditional dancers was a tent titled "Cyrus's Lounge" filled with young Persian teenagers dancing to Iranian hip-hop. As one would say "I like young people, I like that disco over there,” pointing to Cyrus's Lounge. "I love to dance and live young." Young crowd were not the only ones dancing, older crowd gathered on thick red traditional rugs to watch the performance of such traditional singers as Aghili, Behzad, Shahla Sarashar, and Niloofar. Older men and women clapped or stood up and twisted their arms to the Persian version of Wayne Newton.
On the main stage such popular entertainers as Black Cats, Mehrshad, Strunz & Farah, Noosh Afarain, and Pyruz kept the crowd happy. Cultural and folkloric dance performed by three major dance groups, Golsanam, Pro Dancers, and Beshkan Dance Academy were the favorite of young and old.
... Payvand News - 9/19/06 ... --