Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy New Yearrrr

Last night I had the extreme pleasure of participating in the Iranian event of Charshanbe Suri- or, more simply put, the evening before Nowruz (Iranian New Years) where people get crazy and make fires and jump through them -despite the governments disapproval of such wild things.

It was way too much fun and, as a traveler, I feel so lucky to have been able to participate in it.  Symbolically, I think jumping over the fire is supposed to represent burning up your bad habits of the past year, and being purified in the flames. I jumped over four, so hopefully all my past bad habits are fully cleansed! It was crazy and chaotic and awesome - fires burning on every other street corner, the smell of smoke everywhere and people setting off fireworks constantly (and often way too close to my now-ringing ears). The whole event has a slight element of danger and chaos and naturally, I loved it.. Charshambe Suri is a festival that goes back to the pre-Islamic Persian empire, and I think has its roots in Zoroastrianism. As I said, I think the government technically has made the fire celebrations illegal, but people thankfully do it anyways, and the party I went to was a private one, held in a garden outside Shiraz (many people in Shiraz own garden properties outside the city). This particular party had a DJ and tons of people, outdoor dancing, drinks (woo!), and was as much fun (if not more - actually WAY more) than any new years eve I've had back in Canada.

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