You take my yellowness, and give me your redness

Be honest.

Did you find the headline a little weird? If so, don’t be perplexed by the feeling. Even the actual words in Farsi baffles some people! That is, Farsi-speaking people!

The Festival of Fire, “Chaharshanbeh-Suri” which takes place on the last Tuesday of the Iranian calendar year, is probably one of the oldest traditions of the Persian culture.

But as usual, I won’t be talking about history as I am clearly not a historian (I wish I was, but I have come to terms with the sad reality that I am in fact, not a historian!)

Food and traditions are what I know best, therefore, it is only fair to stay on those topics!

I’ve written about the festival of fire in one of the past posts “Trick or treating Persian style”; I am told that it is quite a nice read! So if you like, you can check that out and learn more about the other traditions that take place on the night of Chaharshanbe-Suri.

There are so many sides to the festival, however, the most prominent one is probably the jumping over the fire part; there is a reason why it’s called the Festival of Fire after all!

And it’s not just a simple jumping and yelling and laughing either! You need to be saying the magical sentence to have fully respected the customs, which means that while jumping over the flames (some families actually set them quite high!) you’d have to be sreaming: “Zardi man az to, Sorkhi to az man.”

In his book “From Persia to Tehr Angeles” Kamran Sharareh writes: “Zardi means “all our sickness and troubles”-our “yellowness”. Sorkhi means “good health and good feelings, vivacity”-redness. So, altogether this phrase means: ‘Give me happiness and take away my sickness and sorrows.'”

When I read this line, I thought “wow, that’s actually a really good literal translation of the phrase.” so voila! I’m sharing this perfect explanation with you too.

The Persian culture is intertwined with poetry and myths. So it is only fitting that the customs and traditions also bear a lot of poetic lines and lyrics.

Well then, there is so much more to write, so much more to share. However, it is the last Tuesday of the year and as a traditionalist myself, I should be getting prepared to wrap up my work early and get ready for a night of fun.

The countdown to Persian New Year has begun!

Oh and, I know I didn’t touch base on the “goodies” of this event. But why not check out this post?

Simi Rezai-Ghassemi explains the food way better than I ever can!



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