Chahar-Shanbeh Soori

On the eve of last Wednesday of the year, literally the eve of Red Wednesday or the eve of celebration, bonfires are lit in public places and people leap over the flames, shouting:

give me your beautiful red color

And take back my sickly pallor!

With the help of fire and light symbols of good, we hope to see our way through this unlucky night - the end of the year- to the arrival of springs longer days. Traditionally, it is believed that the living were visited by the spirits of their ancestors on the last day of the year. Many people specially children, wrap themselves in shrouds symbolically reenacting the visits. By the light of the bonfire, they run through the streets banging on pots and pans with spoons called Gashog-Zani to beat out the last unlucky Wednesday of the year, while they knock on doors to ask for treats. Indeed, Halloween is a Celtic variation of this night.

In order to make wishes come true, it is customary to prepare special foods and distribute them on this night. Noodle Soup a filled Persian delight, and mixture of seven dried nuts and fruits, pistachios, roasted chic peas, almond, hazelnuts, figs, apricots, and raisins.

Fal-Gush

This is another ritual in which someone makes a wish and stands at the corner of an intersection , or on a terrace or behind a wall. That person will know his fortune when he overhears conversation of a passerby.


Source: Batmangli, Najimeh , New Food of Life , Mage Publishers, Washington DC, 1996, pg. 384.

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