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Chahrshanbe Suri, the Iranian Fire Festival to Purify the Souls

Chahrshanbe Suri, the Iranian Fire Festival to Purify the Souls
Photo by Shiva Shamshiri | TasteIran

Every year at mid-March, while the Persian New Year approaches, it is time to perform a ritual of purification and good luck in Iran, and many neighbouring countries. Such customs have been at the centre of the Persian culture, thanks to a beloved tradition: Chaharshambe Suri/Soori, the Fire Festival.

The name of this festival comes from the word "Chaharshanbe", which is namely "Wednesday" in the Persian language, and the word "Suri", which refers to red, or ruddiness. It is, in a way, "The Red Wednesday", but is better known as the "Fire Festival". Since centuries people have been celebrated on the evening of the last Thursday of the Persian Solar Year, a few days before the Persian New Year's Eve, "Nowruz". In 2019, Chaharshanbe Suri is expected on the 19th of March.

Chaharshanbe Suri is indeed all about getting rid of the ending year's misfortune and bad luck while hoping for a bright and joyful New Year. But where do these rituals and beliefs find their roots?

Chaharshanbe Suri, fire festival of Iran
Special table of Chaharshanbe Suri, Shiva Shamshiri | TasteIran

Driving the devil's eye away

The fire has been a sacred