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Researcher explains origin of 'Sizdah Bedar'

Shahr-e Kord, Charmahal Bakhtiari prov, April 2, IRNA - Head of the Iranology Foundation of the Charmahal Bakhtiari province, researcher and Iranologist, Abbas Qanbari Adivi said here Monday that the ceremonies observed on the 13th day of the New Iranian Year (started March 21), called Sizdah Bedar, date back to old days.

He told IRNA that the New Iranian Year (Norouz) has been celebrated by people of Iran in various periods as the festival of creation and the starting point of being and birth.

"The 13th day of Farvardin (the first solar month in Iranian calendar) is the last day of New Year holidays," he added.

Qanbari Adivi said that given 12 is considered by Iranians as a sacred number, it is believed that the material world lasts for 12,000 years.

"Besides, the number of months per year, signs of Zodiac and Norouz holidays have also been selected based on the same belief," he added.

He noted in old days people believed that during the New Year holidays, ghosts come back and live with people and that the 12th day of Farvardin is the end of the world.

"The 13th day of Farvardin was considered as the beginning of heavenly life. This day is celebrated to prevent collapse of the world and ensure its durability," he added.

Qanbari Adivi Adivi said that in ancient Iran on the 13th day of each month, named `Tir-rouz', people asked the Goddess of water and productivity (Anahita) for rain.

Persian Goddess Anahita
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"On this day, people returned the plants they had raised for the beginning of the New Year to the nature. That is why on Sizdah Bedar nature is highly respected and it is called the day of nature.

"Given that 13th of Farvardin is believed to be the day when the Goddess of water overcame the devil of drought, carnivals were arranged on the day and the occasion was celebrated. This ceremony is still observed in India," he added.

He pointed to people's belief in the course of history that the Earth was due to undergo celestial developments and collapse on Farvardin 12th, adding that given this did not take place, the 13th day is celebrated.

"On this day, based on an old tradition, people from all walks of life and all ages tie grasses wishing for prosperity.

"Sizdah Bedar was originally celebrated by Zoroastrians and Norouz has been observed by Iranians as a big festival since the advent of Zoroaster," he added.

... Payvand News - 4/2/07 ... --

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