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Jashn e Sadeh - Fire Festival (Iranian Mid Winter Feast )

 
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:18 pm    Post subject: Jashn e Sadeh - Fire Festival (Iranian Mid Winter Feast ) Reply with quote

Jashn e Sadeh - Fire Festival (Iranian Mid Winter Feast )



Jashn e Sadeh (Iranian Mid Winter Feast )

If you can read Farsi for extensive collection of articles regarding Jashn e Sadeh by top Iranian writers and scholars please visit savepasargad site:
http://www.savepasargad.com/


By: Massoume Price
Source: http://www.iranonline.com/festivals/Jashn-e-sadeh/

Sadeh meaning hundred, is a mid winter feast celebrated with grandeur and magnificence in ancient Iran. It was a festivity to honor fire and to defeat the forces of darkness, frost and cold. Two different days were observed for its veneration. One celebration marked the hundred day before the religious No Ruz on the first day of the month Farvardin (religious No Ruz is different from spring No Ruz). The other one was the hundredth day after the gahambar of Ayathrima (one of the six feasts of obligation) held to be the beginning of winter. This day coincides with 10th of Bahman in present
calendar. It is not clear why there are two Sadeh Festivals and why different regions have had different dates. Many of Zoroastrian holy days were and are celebrated twice; this is caused by the calendar reform in the
3rd century AD.

From Achaemenid times the Iranian calendar had 360 days and was short of 5 days. Ardeshir the first Sassanian king reformed the calendar and 5 days were added at the end. The new calendar receded slowly against the solar year, and the holy days, which with their symbolism were closely linked with
the seasons, became gradually divorced from them. The months moved and so did the holy days, to make sure festivals were observed correctly both the old and the new dates were celebrated. The festival celebrated in Yazd is according to Fasli calendar and in a few villages it is called Hiromba.
While the other Zoroastrians celebrated the Sadeh in Bahman. There was confusion earlier in the century as to when it should be celebrated, but most Zoroastrians have adopted the 10th of Bahman as the main event.

In Sassanian times huge bon fires were set up. Priests led the prayers specific to fire 'Atash Niyayesh' and performed the correct rituals before it was lit at sunset. People would dance around the fires. Wine an expensive luxury would be served communally and like all other Zoroastrian religious ceremonies the occasion would end with fun, merriment and feasts. The most elaborate report of the celebration comes from the 10th century during the reign of Mardavij Zeyari, the ruler of Isfahan. From Iranian origin the Zeyar family did their best to keep the old traditions alive. Huge bon fires
were made in both sides of the 'Zayandeh Rood', the main river dividing the city. The fires were contained in specially build metal holders to maintain control. Hundreds of birds were released while carrying little fireballs to light the sky. There were fireworks, clowns, dance and music with lavish feasts of roasted lamb, beef, chicken and other delicacies.

The tradition was virtually lost even amongst the Zoroastrians. In Pahlavi era it was revived and adopted as a major celebration by the whole Zoroastrian community and it is becoming known and increasingly popular with the rest of the Iranians as well. With Zoroastrians the chief preparation or Sadeh is the gathering of wood the day before the festival. Teen-age boys accompanied by a few adult males will go to local mountains in order to gather camel's thorn, a common desert shrub in Iran. For most it will be the first time they are away from their families. Wood is a scarce commodity in
Iran and the occasion resembles a rite of passage, a noteworthy step for the boys on the way to manhood.

The wood gathered would be taken to the local shrine and on their return home if it is their first time there will be a celebration for the boys at home with friends and relatives. However this practice is becoming more difficult these days and attempts are made to preserve it. The work is hard, wood more scarce than ever, fewer boys are prepared to attempt it and safety is a major concern. In addition massive emigration into the cities or outside the country has significantly reduced the number of boys available for this occasion.

Traditionally young boys (before the revolution girls had started joining the boys as well, but the practice has stopped since 1979) would go door to door and ask for wood and collect whatever they could get, from a broken spade-handle to logs and broken branches. While knocking on doors they would chant simple verses like "if you give a branch, god will grant your wish, if you don't, god won't favor your wish" and similar verses. All wood collected would be taken to the local shrine. Before the sunset all would gather outside the temple to torch the wood with prayers and chants remembering the great ones of the faith and the deceased.

In ancient times the fires were always set near water and temples. The great fire originally meant (like winter fires lit at other occasions) to help revive the declining sun, and bring back the warmth and light of summer. It was also designed to drive off the demons of frost and cold, which turned
water to stone, and thus could kill the roots of plants beneath the earth. For this reasons the fire was lit near and even over water and by the shrine of Mihr, who was lord both of fire and the sun. Biruni in AD 1000 has very accurately described all these reasons for Sadeh Festival.

The fire is kept burning all night. The day after, first thing in the morning, women would go to the fire and each one will carry a small portion back to their homes and new glowing fires are made from the ritually blessed fire. This is to spread the blessing of the Sadeh fire to every household in the neighborhood. Whatever that is left of the fire will be taken back to the shrine to be pilled in one container and will be kept at the temple. The festivities would normally go on for three days and the wood gathering by the boys door to door and blessing of the dead happens every night and evenings are spend eating and giving away 'khairat' (giving away as a good deed). Food prepared from slaughtered lamb and 'ash e khairat' are distributed amongst the less fortunate.

Today, Sadeh is mainly celebrated on 10th of Bahman. The fires are not lit outside and all activities take place inside the shrines. The wood gathering activities are reduced though there are efforts to preserve them. However the bulk of the Iranians are becoming more familiar with the occasion and
there are gatherings and celebrations outside Iran. Fires are lit, music, dancing and merriment of all kinds will go on for the rest of the evening. The occasion for the majority of Iranians has no religious significance and no specific rituals are involved other than torching bon fires at sunset and having a merry time and therefore keeping up with the ancient traditions when merriment was venerated and practiced.

By: Massoume Price

Massoume Price is a Social Anthropologist and Human Ecologist from London University, Kings and University Colleges. She specializes in ancient Mesopotamian Studies. She currently lives in Canada. Works with a number of Women's organizations and is a free lance writer.


Source: http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Celebrations/sadeh.htm

Sadeh is a mid-winter celebration observed by Iranians from the ancient time. It includes preparing a large bonfire and is therefore also known as Adur-Jashan (Feast of fire). The bonfire is to drive back the winter in defiance of Ahriman. Sadeh has a complex history, and two different traditions are to be noted.

By Yazd tradition, it is observed on Ashtad ruz, Azar Mah. This is the 100th ("sadeh" in Persian) day before Norooz. According to the Fasli calendar, this would place it on Dec 11. The other day, observed by Kermani Zoroastrians, is Aban ruz, Bahman mah (hundredth day after the gahanbar of Ayathrima, held to be the beginning of winter) = January 24.

The chief preparation is the gathering of wood, and everyone in the community is expected to contribute:

Sh‚x-e sh‚x-e (h)armanl 'A branch, a branch...!
Har kas sh‚x-e be-dehad Whoever gives a branch,
Khod‚ mor‚d-esh be-dehad! May God grant his wish!
Har kas sh‚x-e na-dehad Whoever does not give a branch,
Khod‚ mor‚d-esh na-dehad! May God not grant his wish!'

(Perhaps there is some connection here with the custom of wishing on candles at birthdays.) People begin to gather an hour before sunset, a spot near a stream seems to be preferred.
Beteen Zoroastrians the lighting of the fire is properly proceeded by an Afrinagan-e Do Dahman, a ceremony of blessing for the whole community, and Atash Niyayesh (fire litany).

Although it is mentioned in the Qissa-i Sanjan, Sadeh does not seem to have much significance among modern Parsi Zoroastrians. The prolific Parsee writer Dr. J.J. Modi does makes a very brief note of it in his Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the Parsees (1922, p. 464). He gives the date as ruz Aban, mah Deh (= December 25 by Fasli reckoning!) He says the fire is to symbolize the approach of winter which necessitates the kindling of fires.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 3:49 pm    Post subject: Jashn e Sadeh Articles In Farsi Reply with quote

If you can read Farsi for extensive collection of articles regarding Jashn e Sadeh by top Iranian writers and scholars please visit savepasargad site:
http://www.savepasargad.com/


دعوت عام کميته نجات پاسارگاد برای برگزاری جشن سده در دهم بهمن ماه
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:41 pm    Post subject: Freydoon Rassouli - Iranian/American - Contemporary Reply with quote

Freydoon Rassouli
(Iranian/American - Contemporary)
artist's site: http://www.rassouli.com


Please visit Freydoon Rassouli artist's site for complete excellent collection :
http://www.tendreams.org/rassouli.htm










RASSOULI is a visionary artist who has come to the attention of the international art world in recent years. What makes his art so unique is the way he translates spiritual experience from his subconscious onto canvas through meditation at sunrise. With vibrant hues, Rassouli produces joyful color blends and circular brushwork that create a timeless perspective. He calls his unique painting technique Fusionart, a style that Rassouli has created and registered and is presently teaching to many artists in Southern California.

Fusionart's main theme is cosmic unity. The painting style is derived from mysticism, near-eastern spirituality, and a foundation in European painting technology. Rassouli represents this concept through illumination of the Divine Creative Light coupled with its manifestation reflected on his canvas in the form of feminine power and beauty.

Isfahan-born Rassouli's worldwide exhibits include numerous solo and collective shows as well as international art expositions. His most recent book, Insprations of the Heart is an empowering book that fuses a collection of Rassouli's artwork with meditative thoughts by Michael Beckwith, D.D. Selective paintings by Rassouli appear in many books, including: Jung, journey of transformation and language of souls , and on numerous magazine and book covers.

Mural of Angel of Unity, a painting that spans 55 feet tall by 1100 feet wide, is one of Rassouli's latest creations. The angel watches passersby at the corner of Washington Blvd. and the pacific coast in the city of Venice, and has become a Southern California landmark viewed daily by thousands of residents and visitors.

The concept of the Creative Light coupled with the Divine Beauty has evolved in Rassouli since early childhood, and is present in his paintings, relieves and sculptures, book illuminations and murals. He was raised in a historical home decorated with murals and intricate floral designs. Inspired and encouraged by his mystic uncle, Rassouli developed an early appreciation for painting and mystical poetry, and spent endless hours taking lessons from classical and impressionist artists, and studying mysticism. Soon he discovered new ways to transform his subconscious images into forms that he could share with others.

Recognized as the Best Student Artist in Iran at 15, Rassouli was awarded a government grant to study painting in Europe. He migrated to the United States in 1963, where he studied painting and architecture at the University of New Mexico, and was honored with the Leadership Award from the Institute of International Education.

Although he began his professional career as an architect, creating three-dimensional structures to satisfy his artistic drive, Rassouli's passion for painting persevered. Through time, he has created hundreds of artworks that have received global recognition for his unique Fusionart style.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 4:34 pm    Post subject: Jashn-eh-Sadeh in Tehran on Monday Jan. 30, 2006 Reply with quote



http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/060130/481/xhs110a01301956

Iranian Zoroastrians walk around fire during celebrations of the ancient Iranian ceremony of Jashn-eh-Sadeh in Tehran on Monday Jan. 30, 2006. Sadeh is a very important mid-winter celebration observed by Zoroastrians of ancient Persia. Also known as the feast of fire, the deeply religious event is marked by a large bonfire to drive back the winter. Zoroastrianism is an ancient monotheistic religion based on the teachings of Zarathushtra (Zoroaster), who lived in Iran over 2,500 years ago.(AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian)



http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/060130/481/xhs10701301955

Tehran's Deputy police chief Naser Shabani walks in front of the prophet Zoroaster's picture during celebrations of the ancient Iranian ceremony of Jashn-eh-Sadeh in Tehran on Monday Jan. 30, 2006. Sadeh is a very important mid-winter celebration observed by Zoroastrians of ancient Persia. Also known as the feast of fire, the deeply religious event is marked by a large bonfire to drive back the winter. Zoroastrianism is an ancient monotheistic religion based on the teachings of Zarathushtra (Zoroaster), who lived in Iran over 2,500 years ago.(AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian)
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