Familiarity with the celebrations of ancient Iran

In ancient Iran, celebrations were held on special days of the year, which are known today as the celebrations of the ancient Iranians. The life of some ancient Iranian celebrations is equal to the life of this nation and people. Some Iranian celebrations such as Nowruz, Mehregan and Gahnbar, which have natural roots, are not separate from the memory, history, customs and life of the Iranian people. All of these beliefs and customs, including celebrations, are our identity and our characteristics.

In ancient Iran, every day of the month had a private name and one day of the month was the month of the same name. Magnificent celebrations were organized and thus, in addition to special celebrations in the year, it was considered as 12 days of Eid.

These 12 days were: 19 Farvardin, 13 Ordibehesht, 6 Khordad, 13 July, 17 Mordad, 4 Shahrivar, 16 Mehr, 10 Aban 9, Azar 2, Bahman and 5 Esfand, in December they also celebrated 3 days 8, 15 and 23.

Introduction of ancient Iranian celebrations

The Avesta year is solar and consists of 365 days. Each year has twelve months and each month exactly thirty days. These thirty days have thirty specific and special names that are called by name every day. The names are from Amshaspandan Vayazdan, but they remain for five days. These five days are after the last day of the month of Esfand, that is, the day of the three hundred and sixty, which is called the paw, the stolen paw, the Khamsehe-ye Mustarqa or Andargah, and each day has a special name. These five names have been selected from the five sections of the Ghats or hymns of Zoroaster. The twelve Avesta months also have twelve names, selected from the names of Emshaspandan and Vayazadan, which are shared with twelve of the thirty names of the days.

Days of the same name with twelve months and monthly celebrations in ancient Iran

The twelve names of the months are common to the twelve names of the days. For example, Farvardin (April) is the first month of the year and the beginning of spring, while the nineteenth day of each month is called Ordibehesht (April or May) was the second month and the third day of the month. In this way, whenever the name of the day and the month agreed, that day was celebrated, and through this, more than twelve festivals a year, which it is better to call them monthly celebrations, arose. Monthly celebrations of people in ancient Iran

These are the twelve celebrations of the year that were held in the Sassanid era with many rituals and ceremonies.

Ancient Iranian Celebrations:

Nowruz-e Jamshidi and Nowruz Bozorg

Nowruz-e Jamshidi or small or public Nowruz, which is the first day of Farvardin and it is considered as one of Jamshid’s innovations. This Eid is one of the great Iranian holidays and has been remembered since ancient times. After Islam, this Eid was common among the people called Niruz and especially the Abbasid caliphs attached great importance to this Eid.Great Nowruz: or special Nowruz and that is the sixth day of Farvardin. This Eid was known as the spring festival in the reign of Kian kings and had special rituals and rituals such as sprinkling water and fireworks, etc …

Norouz ceremony

In ancient times, Nowruz was divided into two parts. Little Nowruz, which was the first day of April. The first five days of Farvardin had a public celebration and were also known as Nowruz. Great Nowruz, which started on the 6th of Farvardin. In the ancient Iranian calendar, the sixth day of each month was called Khordadrooz. This day was attributed to the angel of the water client, Khordadamshaspand. Zoroastrians believe that Zoroastrianism happened on this birthday. During the Sassanids, this day was of special importance and sanctity. One of the beliefs of the ancients was that the fate of man and the world in the coming year will be determined in Nowruz. Another belief was that the spirits of the dead returned to their homes; So they spread colorful tablecloths for them. It is said that at first this table was known as Haft Shin and included: candles, sweets, wine, milk, syrup, sugar and comb; And after the advent of Islam, it was changed to Haft-e-Sin with the ban on wine.


2- Ordibeheshtgan celebration

In May, the third day of May is the month in which the name of the day and the month are equal. According to the old calendar, which is thirty days each month, this celebration is on the third of May, but according to the current calendar, which counts 31 days as the first six months of the year. One day has been added to the month of Farvardin. The May Day celebration will take place on the second of April. In this celebration, the princes gave a public ceremony and the priest held the rituals that were customary in the presence of the king and advised everyone. The leaders of each group were introduced to the king and the artists were blessed and received a reward of honor. This day belongs to the holy angel of May, who is the manifestation of purity and truth and the representative of the divine religion and the guardian of fires with him. And because of the position and rank of Ordibehesht Emshaspand, this celebration is named after him and it is based on the same attributes and perfections that the ancient Iranians celebrated this day and prepared themselves to accept the attributes of this holy angel. Which is celebrated with great praise among other nations is an Eid called the Angel of Fire and Light, which has been entrusted to this work by God to eliminate the causes of diseases with the help of spices and foods and to open the truth from falsehood. Going to the temple and the fire temple and asking for help and coming to the kings and going to war and campaigning on this day was considered good and blessed. Ordibehesht with Fateh A is in Dari Persian. Ordibehesht is from the Avesta word ASHVAHISHTA. They worshiped Ahura Mazda.

3- Khordadgan celebration

It takes water from Forouhar and blows it to the wind.

The sixth day of each month is called Khordad, Amshaspand Madineh, which is responsible for water, and on the sixth of Khordad, from June, a celebration is held in praise of this Amshaspand. This day is in the official calendar of the country according to the 4th of Khordad.

Khordad or Heurotat means wholeness, totality and perfection and is a manifestation of the concept of salvation for human beings. One of the main tasks of Khordad is to support water and the freshness of plants is from him.

June is also a symbol of health and wellness. Khordad is always mentioned in the texts accompanying Mordad, Amshaspand Madineh. These two amshaspand are related to water and plants. Since some of the stages of creation, such as water and plants, mate naturally, their guardians, in June and August, often come together. Their gifts are wealth and the herds of cattle, so that these two represent strong ideals, the source of life and growth. Their special rivals are the court of “hunger” and “thirst”. Khordad, Izad Tishter and Bad and Forouhar are colleagues of the pious. Khordad Emshaspand, during the devil’s attack, draws water with the help of Forouhars. It blows in the wind and the wind rushes it to the countries and rains it down by the clouds.

In naming the months, June and August are on both sides of the fish, the symbol of which is Tir or Tishter, and Tishter is the god of rain. Here, too, we see the connection between the two Emshaspands with water. In addition, in the kingdom of God, health and eternal life under the supervision of these two Amshaspand will benefit man.

June is the server of years, months and days; [And this] is because he is the server of all. He is the water of worldly possessions. Existence is the birth and upbringing of all beings in the world from water and the earth is also from him. Because in the year, [if] the good may live, it is because of Khordad … He who calms or hurts the water, then, Khordad [was] relieved or annoyed. He is a colleague of Tir and Bad and Farvardin


4- Tirgan celebration, celebration of rain star victory

Tirgan July day from July The thirteenth day of the ancient July, July 10 solar. It is narrated that they help to rain. In July, when the day of July comes, that day is called Tirgan festival.

Tirgan is one of the biggest celebrations (ancient Iran). It is narrated that during the reign of Manouchehr Shah, a pioneer like Afrasiab Turani defeated Manouchehr and besieged him in Tabarestan. This arrow landed on a tree next to the Jeyhun River and the border between Iran and Turan was determined.

Another story about the Tirgan festival is that during the Sassanids and the reign of Firuz, there was a drought in Iran for seven years, and on such a day, people turned to the desert and prayed to God for rain, and then the rain began to fall. Happily, on such a day, Iranians sprinkle water on each other.

The ritual of this celebration is such that a few days before the Tirgan celebration, the whole house is cleaned from inside and outside, and on the morning of the celebration, everyone bathes and puts on new clothes. What is characteristic of this celebration is a thin thread of seven colors of silk and a thin and delicate wire that is known as a bow and arrow, which may be a sign of the colors of the rainbow in the sky known as the bow and arrow of Arash. The people of that time tie this thread to their wrists in the morning of July and blow it ten days later.

5-Amordadgan Celebration

The day of Amordad from the month of Amordad The seventh day of Amordad of the ancient month, 3 solar Amordad.

The Avesta word Amordad is AMERTATA, which means immortality, and if we omit A, which is the prefix of negation, its meaning is changed and the angel of immortality and immortality is transformed into a demon of nothingness and death, because as Amrdad means immortality Mordad means death. Therefore, it is worthwhile to call this word Amrdad, and since Amrdad is the angel of immortality and immortality, in the physical world, he is the guardian of plants and plants. Ahura Mazda gate, this ceremony was held with joy and happiness in the clear air and in the skirt of nature.

6- Shahrivargan celebration

Shahrivar, the day of Shahrivar The fourth day of Shahrivar, the ancient month, 30 Amordad.

The word Shahrivar in Avesta is KHASHATRA VAIRYA, which is in the Pahlavi language of Khashtur and in Shahrivar in Persian. The first part of this word, Khoshtareh, means the power and government of the country, and the words Shahr and Shahriyar are derived from this word. The second part means desired, and therefore the combined meaning of that is the desired government or the desired country. The people of that day, like other celebrations, begin and end with thanksgiving and prayer to Ahuramazda and end with celebration and joy.

7- Public Mehrgan and special Mehrgan

Public Mehregan: It was the 16th of October.

Special invertebrates: It was the twenty-first day of October. The celebration of Mehregan was very common among the people after Islam, even the sultans of Ghaznavid and Saluqi observed it and it was known and common among the people as Mehrjan. The date of origin of this Eid is after Nowruz. This celebration is related to the angel of love, which in Avesta Mitra means sunlight, love, covenant and covenant. And it is narrated that: On this day, Fereydoun Shah Pishdadi, led by Kaveh Ahangar, defeated the oppressor Zahak and imprisoned Zahak in Damavand Mountain and Fereydoun was crowned king. (Angels came to Fereydoun’s aid in Mehregan celebration and on the last day of the celebration Zahak was imprisoned on Damavand Mountain.


8- Abangan celebration

Aban day The tenth day of Aban Mahbastani, 4 Aban solar.

Aban means water and time of water and has been one of the cleansing elements for the ancient Iranians. It is narrated about the origin of Abangan festival that after long wars between Iran and Turan, Afrasiab Turani ordered to destroy karezes and streams, after At the end of the war, Tahmaseb’s son, named Zu, ordered the dredges and streams to be dredged, and after dredging, water flowed into the karezes. The Iranians celebrated the arrival of the water. According to another narration, after eight years of drought, rain began to fall in November, and since then, the celebration of Abangan has emerged. On this day, Zoroastrians, like other festivals, go to the Hadrians and then to the rivers and streams, reciting the Avesta of Ab-e-Zour (part of the Avesta) recited by the priest, praising Ahuramazda and asking for plenty of water and They take care of it and then rejoice.


9-Azargan celebration

Azar day is the ninth day of the ancient Azar month, 3 Azar months.

Azar to Cham (meaning) is fire. And another of the four Akhshij (cleansing element) has been with the people. Since fire is the best and fastest cleaning and heating element, it has been respected since ancient times. In Azargan celebration, like other celebrations, people go to Adrians in well-groomed and clean clothes and recite the fire of prayer (part of Avesta) to thank Ahuramazda and rejoice after prayer.


10- Deigan celebration

DAATOSHU means father and creator and is often used in Avestan letters instead of the word Ahuramazda. If you look at the names of the thirty days of each month, you will see that the eighth, fifteenth, and twenty-third days of each month are named D, and to distinguish them from each other, each is called the name of the next day, and Ormazd, which is also It is the name of God. “Ormazd, Dey to Azar, Dey to Mehr, Dey to Din”

Therefore, in Dey (10th month of year, January), four days are called in the name of God, and in Dey(January), the celebration of Deigan is held four times.

  • Ormazd and Dey Mah: on the first day of the ancient month of December 25, the solar month
  • Dey Mah to Azar Mah and Dey : On the eighth day of the ancient month of December 2, the solar month
  • Dey Mah to Mehr Mah and Dey: On the fifteenth day of the ancient month of January 9, the solar month
  • Dey to Din and Dey Mah: On the twenty-third day of the ancient Dey, 17 Dey of the solar month

In ancient Iran, the first celebration of Deigan in January was called Ormazd Day and January Khorram Day, and this day, which was the night before, was the biggest night of the year. The king and the ruler had a public meeting with the people. Now people prepare fruits such as pomegranate, watermelon, melon, apple, berry, grape, nuts, sweets and syrup, and until the night of Ormazd and January (Shab-e Cheleh), everyone spends the night happily and sometimes with Prayers (sometimes ashes) turn the night into dawn.

Yalda night, the night of the sun’s birth and Mitra’s victory over the devil and darkness

In the culture of the ancient Iranians, the cause of human creation was considered to be the prevalence of goodness. This goodness was not specific to the earth and encompassed the entire universe. In order to perform this heavy task, man must constantly strive against evil and its forces, and in order to reach eternity, he must cross the passage of this world. In this passage, demonic forces block the way of man. Man’s tools and weapons in the war against the devil are piety and happiness. One of the needs of every fighter, in addition to a trained body, is a strong mind. Celebrations throughout the year were a way to achieve a strong, faithful, vibrant, and healthy spirit. By participating in these celebrations, people took away the tiredness from their minds and gave it freshness and freshness. One of the principles of these celebrations was to worship and rejoice with joy and happiness. The word celebration is read in Avesta Yasin. This Avesta word means praise and worship. The purpose of holding celebrations in ancient Iran was to create a spirit of unity, concentration of forces and closeness of people.

Yalda night or Cheleh night is one of the important celebrations that has been going on since the time of the ancient Iranians. The date of Yalda night is estimated to be up to seven thousand years. In this history, Yalda night is the night of the birth of the sun and they celebrate Mitra’s victory over the devil and darkness. This narration originates from the fact that Yalda is the longest night of the year and after that the days go up. Yalda night is celebrated in different ways in other parts of the world. Yalda night customs are still alive. On this occasion, people set the table on the night of Yalda. Red fruits, such as watermelon and pomegranate, are the main ingredients of the table. Nuts and snacks are other components. These fruits and snacks are a symbol of blessing, abundance and fertility. One of the customs of Yalda night is the gathering of the family in the house of the elders of the family and storytelling. Hafez’s fortune-telling and Shahnameh reading are another part of Yalda night rituals.


Yalda night is completely familiar with Iranian culture. Everywhere in Iran, local and special customs are performed on the night of Yalda. Another sign of Yalda’s importance in Iranian culture is the presence of Yalda night in poetry and literature. In astronomy, the night of Yalda coincides with the time of the winter solstice. In fact, scientifically, the reason for the longer days and shorter nights is the deviation of the Earth’s axis.


It is the second day of Bahman, and according to some, on this day, people, especially those who are breastfeeding, used to entertain each other with foods that contain beans.


12- Sadeh celebration

It is the 10th night of Bahman. The creation of this celebration has been attributed to Houshang. Some have said that this name is on the occasion of one hundred days before the harvest and the height of the grain. Sadeh celebration is one of the celebrations that was common after Islam until the time of Ghaznavids and Seljuks. The reason for naming this celebration as the Sadeh of collective belief is that its time is fifty days and fifty nights until Nowruz.

This celebration is held on the occasion of the creation of fire. At a time when this celebration has taken place; The Iranians divided the year into two seasons. The great summer that was from the beginning of Farvardin(April) to the end of Mehr (October); And the big winter that lasted from Aban(November) to the end of Esfand(March). The celebration of the century was held one hundred days after the beginning of winter. That is, the 10th of Bahman. In fact, when the peak of winter cold was over. The century meant that the power of the devil was declining. In this celebration, they set fire to the symbol of Ahuramazda to weaken and destroy the demonic forces. Collecting firewood for this celebration has been a religious duty. In this celebration, vermin and harmful animals, which were the symbol of the devil, were set on fire.


13-Esfandgan and Farvardgan

Sepandarmazd is the fifth day of the ancient March, 29 Bahman.

Sepandar Mazd is the guardian of the earth, and since the earth, like women, plays a fertile and fruitful role in human life, the celebration of Esfandgan is held to honor virtuous women. Zoroastrians celebrate this day as Woman’s Day and Mother’s Day. The word Sepandar Mazd is mentioned in Avesta Spante Armayei and means humility and patience.

Farvardegan: This celebration was held on March 11, the symbol of the year and was for the dead. Because the Iranians believed that the dead would return from heaven to earth in the last ten days of the year, so they celebrated for their happiness.


Other Monthly celebrations

During the Sassanid period and before that, the fasts of each month had a special name. The names of the twelve months are taken from the names of these days. For example, the nineteenth day of each month was called April; The first month of the year was April. So on the nineteenth day of the first month, the feast of Farvardingan or Ferdog was held. In the same way, a monthly celebration was held 12 days a year because the names of the day and the month were the same.


Gahanbaar celebrations

In the book Zand Avesta, it is narrated from Zarathustra that God created the world in six times. In the past, these six occasions were celebrated. Each of these celebrations lasted five days and the last day was the most important day of the celebration. On this day, everyone had to spend as much as they could.

The six occasional celebrations were as follows:


Gahanbaar  Mediozerm was held on the 15th of Ordibehesht, on the occasion of the creation of the sky.

Gahanbaar Medioshem, on the 15th of July, it was held on the occasion of the creation of water.

Gahanbaar Peniyeshahim, on the thirtieth day of September, it was held on the occasion of the creation of the earth.

Gahanbaar Iasram occasionally was held on the thirtieth day of October, on the occasion of the creation of plants.

From time to time, on the 20th of January, it was held on the occasion of the creation of animals.

Gahanbaar Hamsopthmidia was held on the last day of the year to mark the creation of man.

Celebrations of fire

Some Aryan festivals began with a fire. These festivals were popular among the Indo-Persian, Hindu and European tribes, Romans and Greeks. According to Zoroastrians, light, fire and sun are the manifestations of Ahuramazda. The monthly festivals of Azargan and Shahrivargan were also old fire festivals.

Souri celebration (Chaharshanbeh Souri)

The Souri festival is an old custom that was celebrated at the end of the year. This celebration was held on the occasion of the beginning of the celebration of Farvardegan or the celebration of Gahanbar-e Hamspatmidia It was believed that during the Feast of the Ascension, the spirits or spirits of the dead returned from heaven to their land and homes for ten days and lived among the survivors. On Syrian day, fires were lit on certain roofs and places. This fire was a guide for the spirits to find their homes. The Syrian Wednesday, which is held today on the last Wednesday of the year; He did not have a specific day before the arrival of the Arabs. In ancient times, the divisions of the moon were counted on a daily basis and the Iranians did not use the week. The week and the order of the days have become popular with the arrival of the Arabs in Iran.