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Iranians outdoors to mark Sizdehbedar

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Tehran, April 2, IRNA - Iranian families spend today (Thursday 13t of Farvardin - 1st month of the year) outdoors to celebrate Sizdehbedar, that is the last day of the New Year break.

On Sizdehbedar, also known in Iran as the national 'Picnic Celebration' or the `Day of Nature', Iranians leave houses and head for parks, beaches and green spaces to celebrate a happy and healthy holiday season by eating traditional food, munching nuts and playing games.

The tradition of Sizdehbedar (Sizdeh means Thirteen) translates into "Getting Rid of Thirteen" (some believe 13 is an unlucky number).

This fun and exciting outing involves all family members and is intended to end the holiday season on a relaxing and positive note.

The concept of avoiding the number thirteen is mainly to symbolize the will and power to deal with all evil in the new year.

Sizdehbedar is the last day of New Year Celebration and life will return to normal the following day (if it is not Friday or another public holiday which is the case this year): Schools will open, shops will start on their regular hours and government and private offices are back in normal operation.

Sizdehbedar or the `Picnic Celebration' provides the nation with the last chance to spend sometime with family and friends and enjoy the fresh smell of spring.

On this day, girls and boys tie a knot with grass and make wishes.

When the knot is opened, it is believed that their luck will open and their wishes will come true.

Newly weds also tie a grass knot making wishes for a baby, a house, or whatever is on their Have-To-Have list.

An interesting ritual performed at the end of the picnic day is to throw away the Sabzeh (Green Grass) from the Norouz (New Year) Haft Seen table (a table stretched on the first day of Norouz, containing seven objects whose names begin with /S/ sound).

The Sabzeh is supposed to have collected all the sickness, pain, and ill fate hiding on the path of the family throughout the coming year.

... Payvand News - 04/02/09 ... --

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