Today, the day of Sadeh Celebration, should be the third most important celebration in the Iranian calendar after Nowrooz and Mehregan. In the Book of Kings, according to Iranian mythology, it is the day man discovered how to create fire at will and control it for the benefit of mankind.
Traditional celebration of Sadeh involves lighting a big fire outdoors. The ceremony is followed by singing and dancing around the fire by the people gathered for the festivity. Everyone is expected to participate in the festival by bringing wood for the fire.
By contributing to feed the flames of fire collectively together, we symbolically provide light and illumination to our mind, and hence the Zoroastrian tenets of Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds. By contributing to feed the flames of fire collectively, we remember the visible symbol of the Invisible Divine Light to fight evil.
But there will be no large fires in the birth place of Zarathustra today. There will be no singing and dancing around the fire. Today coincides with the Shiite ceremony of Ashura on the lunar Arab calendar. A day in which a battle between Arabs in Karbala is commemorated. A day in which heads were decapitated and raised aloft on spears as trophies, and little babies killed by arrows through their throats. A day in which water was denied to thirsty children, stranded in the desert.
Instead of singing and dancing in the land of Cyrus, men will beat their bare chests, and whip their backs with chains, men and children will draw blood by striking their heads with large daggers and Shiite priests will perform sermons in mosques with the sole intention of making the faithful weep.
Today in the land of Zarathustra, martyrdom, blood, death, lamentation and self flagellation have displaced the singing, dancing and the zest for life and pursuit of happiness.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Celebrations: Compare and Contrast
Azarmehr, who blogs For a Democratic Secular Iran, laments the fact that since it coincides with the Ashura the Sadeh Celebration will not be celebrated as the Iranian Mullahs do their best to eradicate all aspects of Persia’s culture.