Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Persians have a beautiful tradition just before the First Day of Spring called "Chahar shanbeh Soori", literally translated to Festive Wednesday! The Last Tuesday of winter, they gather around in the streets early evening, make small bonfires and jump over it! As a symbolic act to give their "Yellowness", their sorrows and sickness, to the be part of the fire and take in return "Redness", happiness and health, from Fire for the coming year.

There is also a "Trick or Treat" kind of ceremony, without the costumes and the scary tricks of course, that they go door to door in the neighborhood while they are covering their faces with a sheet or veil, and the one who opens the door offers them some nuts, dried fruit and candies, trying to guess which one of the neighborhood kids is under that cover.

The night wraps up with gathering around the bonfire and sharing the collected delicacies with the whole neighborhood together with some potatoes freshly baked right there in the bonfire while listening to some happy music and maybe even some dancing; that is if the cops, militia and revolutionary guards have been tipped enough and are willing to look away, or in the short intervals that they are check pointing maybe another neighborhood!!!

There is also fireworks and as years have passed under the oppression of the Islamic Republic, the fire works have turned into handmade fire crackers that sometimes sound and act more like small bombs!!!

I remember we would end up going back home all tired, smelling like fire wood and sometimes with some burned eyelashes, hair or eyebrows! But who cared, the Spring was just around the corner and we were happy in our hearts. There was just a lot to be happy and excited about and forget all about a few bald spots in my eyebrows!!! With the New Year always comes New Hopes,new outfits and Lots of presents from family, relatives and friends, a two weeks Spring break and lots of festivities....

I have all grown up now and I am thousands of miles away from my motherland; It is " Chaharshanbeh Soori" once again. Time to shed off the "Yellowness of the past year and ask for "Fire Red Happiness". My people did not exactly have a good, happy year this past year and they are carrying a lot of sorrow, disappointment and pain as they prepare themselves for the NEW YEAR.

Just like any other year and maybe even worse, The police and guards are going to try to stop them from celebrating. But they have enough fire burning in their heart that it can start the hugest bonfires ever, that the flames can be seen from miles away....

The fire is getting its fuel as much from deep hurt and hatred as from high hopes and dreams. There is always hope. The more they try to keep it the deeper and stronger it will grow.

They may have succeeded repainting whatever that is green in the streets, they may have banned wearing green or even omitted the color green from our Flag...!

But who cares?! Spring is coming, the whole earth is going green, trees are blooming, fresh green leaves on the fresh grown young trees; fresh green grass and fresh green meadows.

Spring always takes over, Winter never lasts ...


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Artmis/Female/31-35. Lives in United States/California/San Jose, speaks English and Persian. Eye color is black. I am a god. I am also ambitious.
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United States, California, San Jose, English, Persian, Artmis, Female, 31-35.