Persian New Year Fire Jumping Festival
Jump over a bonfire for “Chaharshanbeh Souri: Festival of Fire” to shake off the darkness of winter and welcome the brightness of spring, a Persian ritual passed down since ancient Zoroastrian times.
In Iran (and parts of Afghanistan and India), it is customary for people to create bonfires in front of their homes throughout the neighborhood and jump over them as the sun is setting. Since the Persian Center owns it’s own ‘home’ at 2029 Durant Ave., it is thrilled to host this event for Iranian-Americans and all who have an interest in the culture.
As people jump over the flames they shout, “Shorkhi-e to az man o zardi-e man az to!” which means, “Give me your beautiful red color and take back my sickly pallor!” By engaging the non-Persian community in the fire-jumping festival, the organization hopes to allow a glimpse into beautiful Persian traditions and the culture of the Iranian-American community in the US.
2019 Persian New Year Festival & Fire Jumping
Tuesday, March 19, 2019 | 6-10 pm (rain or shine)
Persian Center, 2029 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, CA
Inside the Persian Center, a traditional altar holds green grass, live goldfish, food and other items representative of spring called the “haftseen” or seven ‘s’s as each item on the table begins with the letter ‘s’.
Persian music, food, and craft vendors, cultural organizations, and children’s activities add to the nighttime experience. This is a free, family-friendly, non-alcoholic event held outdoors at night, rain or shine.
The Persian New Year Festival is called Chahar-Shanbeh Souri, which literally means ‘Eve of Wednesday’ because the festival is always held on the last Tuesday of winter, just before the Vernal Equinox or first moment of spring.