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Ali Majdfar | all galleries >> Galleries >> Throughout IRAN > Chahar Shanbe Suri ( Chaharshanbe Soori )
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16-MAR-2010 Ali Majdfar

Chahar Shanbe Suri ( Chaharshanbe Soori )


Chahārshanbe-Sūri meaning Wednesday Feast, from the word Sour which means party or feast and also red in Persian, is an ancient Persian festival dating at least to 1700 BCE of the early Zoroastrian era. The festival of fire is a prelude to the Nowruz festival, which marks the arrival of spring and revival of nature and at the same time start of new Iranian Year. Traditionally celebrated on the last Tuesday night of the year. The word Chahar Shanbeh means Wednesday and Suri is red. Bonfires are lit to keep the sun alive till early hours of the morning. The celebration usually starts in the evening, with people making bonfires in the streets and jumping over them.

The tradition includes people going into the streets and alleys to make fires, and jump over them while singing the song zardi-ye man az to, sorkhi-ye to az man. The literal translation is, my sickly yellow paleness is yours, your fiery red color is mine. This is a purification rite and 'soori' itself means redness which hints at the color of fire. Loosely translated, this means you want the fire to take your paleness, sickness, and problems and in turn give you redness, warmth, and energy. There is no religious significance attached to Chaharshanbeh Soori and it serves as a cultural festival for Persians, Persian Jews, Muslims, Armenians, Kurds, Turks and Zoroastrians alike. Indeed this celebration, in particular the significant role of fire, is likely to hail from Zoroastrianism.

Another tradition of this day is to make special ajeel, or mixed nuts and berries. People wear disguises and chadors and go door to door knocking on doors. Receiving of the Ajeel is customary, as is receiving of a bucket of water; however this tradition is weakened now a days.

In recent years, chaharshanbe suri has become a symbol of protest against government who tries to vanish this tradition by means of religious excuses.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II ,Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
1/200s f/4.0 at 24.0mm iso2000 hide exif
Full EXIF Info
Date/Time16-Mar-2010 19:01:17
ModelCanon EOS 5D Mark II
Flash UsedNo
Focal Length24 mm
Exposure Time1/200 sec
ISO Equivalent2000
Exposure Bias+1 1/3
White Balance
Metering Modemulti spot (3)
JPEG Quality
Exposure Programaperture priority (3)
Focus Distance

other sizes: small medium original auto
Guest 26-Mar-2010 21:55
Interesting shot and use of light , fabulous narrative ~V~
Simon Chandler22-Mar-2010 00:14
Fantastic low light shot with great motion and storytelling. v
Lamar Nix17-Mar-2010 13:50
Fire jumper appears to be only partially successful with flames apparently emanating from his buttocks!
Randy Adams17-Mar-2010 12:17
Very interesting tradition Ali...thanks for sharing! Great capture! V
Paco López17-Mar-2010 05:47
Very good work! V!
waterfalls man17-Mar-2010 04:08
Grea Shot V!!
Guest 17-Mar-2010 03:47
Very interesting bit of tradition, Ali. Well done. V
Char17-Mar-2010 01:47
What a wonderful scene with really interesting data on the event and the happenings. Thanks for sharing this bit of history Ali! \/
Vince17-Mar-2010 01:16
A wonderful capture and the information that comes with it. Vote.
Gill Kopy17-Mar-2010 00:08
Great shot - so interesting learning more about Iran and the traditions V
laine16-Mar-2010 23:36
More wonderful history...thank you, Ali
Yvonne16-Mar-2010 23:34
What an interesting festival, hope the jumpers jump high.. Thanks for sharing Ali! v
an nguyen16-Mar-2010 22:00
Great shot and I have heard about the tradition .
Colin Storey16-Mar-2010 20:13
Fantastic narrative behind this great shot. v
pepe_carmona200016-Mar-2010 20:04
Muy buena toma, voto
Stephanie16-Mar-2010 17:25
What a fascinating narrative Ali! I hope this man did not catch fire while jumping over the bonfire!
Guest 16-Mar-2010 17:21
Great capture.
Valene16-Mar-2010 17:10
Beautiful photo, and I really enjoyed your narrative about this tradition! V
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