Chaharshanbeh Soori, penultimate Wednesday pyromania

In my last post, I mentioned I’d keep you up to date with my preparations for the  celebration of Nowruz, and here I am with a quick update.  Last week, I started the spring cleaning and also sprouted some lentils for the haft siin table (more in my next post), but in this post I’ll speak about Chaharshanbeh soori – چهارشنبه ‌سوری‎ – red Wednesday in Farsi and Akhir Chaharshanba – اخیر چهارشنبه – last Wednesday in Azeri.  For millennia, the peoples of the Greater Iran region have built fires and jumped over them in a symbolic act of cleansing, change of fortune, and seeing the old year out, and new one in.  I haven’t studied the origins of Chaharshanbeh soori to know for sure if it was Zoroastrian or a post Islamic Iran way of disrespecting fire (by jumping over it) and the superstition of Wednesday being lucky or unlucky. All I know is we all seem to enjoy gathering around a fire with loved ones and feel comforted in its glow and warmed by its energy.

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