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Iranian fire jumping festival

March 24, 2020 0 Comments iran-events

There is a celebrate on last Wednesday of year in Iran that is known Chahrshanbeh Suri. it is ancient festival of fire and related to Zoroastrian. The followers of this ritual respected to the fire. Because the fire always is clean and it doesn’t get infected. In addition, it goes up and burns to give us light and heat. The fire was symbol of love, Truth and purity. This traditional custom has continued until now.  Nowadays, on the last Tuesday of March, the Festival of Fire takes place and sees bonfires sprouting up in various public areas, in alleys, in front of homes and sometimes parks. Chahar-Shanbeh means Wednesday and Suri means both ‘Red’ and ‘Celebration’.


Iranian customs on Chahrshanbeh Suri night


  • Earthenware jar-shattering (Kuzeh,Shekani): Iranian believed, you haven’t use the jug more than one years  and they believed negative energy are gathered into jug during the year and you have to break the jug to destroy negative energy.
  • Eavesdropping (Gereh-Goshaee): Similarly, women yearning to tie the knot or persons who have run into some problem, make a knot at the corner of a handkerchief or some other garment and request the first person whom they come across to undo it. The willingness will signal a hopeful portent.
  • Reading ShahName and ancient stories: Family members are usually gathered around the fire and the biggest family person begin to read Shahnameh.
  • Ghashogh Zani: Ghashogh Zani has the same meaning as spoon banging where people would go door to door in disguise. Then, they would bang spoons on plates to ask for treats. Somehow like the famous Halloween trick or treat ritual. Today, this tradition is almost forgotten and not practiced.





Tradition of Chahrshanbeh Suri in cities of Iran


  • Tabriz: One of the interesting traditions done in Tabriz is that on Wednesday morning family members jump over springs and creeks three to seven times for a healthy new year. In this city people jump over the fire on Tuesday evening and the girls go eavesdropping in the neighborhood as well. Wives buy new mirror, comb, and a sweep. Some people believe at the New Year the waters get renewed as well, so they break all the old jugs and fill new jugs by the new water to splash it in their rooms and make tea for prosperous year ahead. Interesting!
  • Tehran: In Tehran people drop a jug that was never used during the year from the roof of their house which is the symbol of destroying all the bad lucks and misfortunes that were stuck in the jug during the year. Unmarried girls eavesdrop outside their neighbors doors as a deviation on their marriage. What the girl hears will determine whether she is going to marry a nice man pretty soon or not. This tradition is less followed today or the girls do it for fun only.
  • Isfehan: In Isfahan jumping over fire, dropping a jug from the roof, and eavesdropping by the girls are the common customaries on Chaharshanbe suri night. There is a belief that if a person who is experiencing an unfortunate situation must tie a corner of a handkerchief or any other piece of textile and stand on a way. She or he will ask from the very first person that appears on the way to open the tie and this is how the bad situation will pass and that person will find the solution for their complex condition.
  • Shiraz: In Shiraz people believe if they bathe in a qanat (traditional water system) that originates from tomb of Sa’adi on the eve of last Wednesday of the year they won’t get sick on the future year. The young girls go to the holy shrine of Shah-e Cheragh to pray for a blissful future and a good marriage. Eavesdropping is done by Shirazi girls as well. Of course reading Hafez on the last Tuesday night of the year is a custom that won’t be forgotten by Shirazi people. Any celebration is an excuse to pay tribute to this great Persian poet.

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