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Chaharshanbeh-Suri celebrations planned in Tehran's Chitgar Park

TEHRAN, March 9 (Mehr News Agency) -- A public celebration of the Iranian traditional Chaharshanbeh-Suri (Fireworks Wednesday) is to be held on the evening of March 18 in Tehran's Chitgar Park.

The event, which celebrates the last Tuesday of the Iranian calendar year, will include several programs of fireworks, comedy shows and contests in which artists and sportsmen will be participating, the Persian service of CHN reported on Sunday.

Iranians Celebrate Chahar-Shanbeh Soori, Festival of Fire (March 2007)

Secretary of the celebration, Mohammad-Hossein Pishvaii said that the event is being organized by the Tasvirgaran Institute which aims to revive Persian traditional celebrations which are in danger of dying out.

"In the olden days Chaharshanbeh-Suri was celebrated in a very different way. It was originally a Zoroastrian tradition held on the last Tuesday evening of each year. Each family would light seven bonfires on the roof of their house and jump over them. After putting out the fires, they would pour the ashes over the rooftop along with salt and some coins to rid themselves of bad luck," Pishvaii added.

He went on to say that they are going to follow the old tradition and put ash, salt and coins inside a number of jugs and give them to visitors so that they can carry out the ancient ritual.

On being asked about the likelihood of the park being damaged by the fireworks, he replied, "The major celebration will be held inside a seminar hall nearby and then the participants will go to the park to light the bonfires. Of course, the park will be cleaned up afterwards."

He continued that the institute has proposed that the public sector cooperate and allocate a greater percentage of funds for such group programs celebrating Chaharshanbeh-Suri and then less money would have to be spent on remedying the disorder caused by people performing their own rituals throughout the city.

Tasvirgaran Institute is an NGO (non governmental organization) affiliated to Iran's National Youth Institute and has to date held several celebrations and ceremonies.

... Payvand News - 03/09/08 ... --

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