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March 17, 2021
Chahashanbe Suri is the Persian Fire Jumping festival celebrated on the last Wednesday of every year. Referred to as 'Red Wednesday', it is known as a bad omen day; therefore, the preceding Tuesday night is an integral part of Chahashanbe Suri. The Tuesday festivities are an opportunity to chase away evil spirits and allow the final Wednesday to go by pleasantly.
The festival coincides with Nowruz, Persian New Year, with celebrations in Iran, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and other Middle-Eastern countries. Those who celebrate have plenty of free time to visit family and friends due to the temporary closure of most offices and schools.
During Chahashanbe Suri, special foods are prepared and distributed with the most popular dishes: Ash Reshteh, a Persian noodle soup with beans and chickpeas, as well as Ghotab, an almond walnut filled sweet pastry. Alongside this, people prepare a mixture of dried fruits, pistachios, roasted chic-peas, almonds, hazelnuts, figs and raisins.
There is the belief that preparing and offering these foods will make wishes come true. People will serve their Chahashanbe Suri creations communally, even offering them to passers-by's, all with granting their hopes and dreams in mind.
Despite not being a dominantly religious festival today, Chahashanbe Suri used to involve several now-obsolete practices.
Fal-Gush: People would hide behind walls and linger around the corners of intersections after making a wish. They would listen to passer-by's conversations, and if the dialogue were positive or optimistic, they would believe that their wish would come true.
Falgoosh: Young women would often use this to increase their chances of finding a husband in the new year. They would stand in dark corner spots or behind fences listening in to passer-by's conversations. Every conversation would be analysed, reinterpreting the passer-by's dialogue as life advice for the woman.
Today, Chahashanbe Suri follows similar traditions to Nowruz: people carrying out extensive Spring cleans, creating clay figurines of deceased humans and animals, and holding bonfires.
Chahashanbe Suri's primary aspect is its spiritual background. Historically it is thought that spirits of ancestors visit their families' homes during the holidays. Children then run through the streets, banging pots and pans with spoons to chase away the bad luck of the last Wednesday of the year.
Nowadays, Chahashanbe Suri firework festivals are held in central locations as crowds of people sing and dance until midnight. It is a festival of unity, colour and hope.
The ritual Chahashanbe Suri chant:
Sorkhi-e to az man
Zardi-e man az to!
Give me your beautiful red colour
And take back my sickly pallor!
Happy Chaharshanbeh Suri from the Sarvin team to you and your family!
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April 11, 2021
Persian influenced brand Sarvin, is ethically conscious womenswear born in Britain and loved internationally.