Ready for the Persian New Year: Iranians in Truro jump over fire


Published on March 17, 2017

TRURO, N.S. – Holding hands and chanting a rhyme, Rojman Khomayezi and Shiba Khomayezian jumped over three small bonfires.

The Truro couple, originally from Iran, smiled broadly and laughed while the crowd of other participants and onlookers cheered.

“We sing to the fire: ‘Zardi ye man az to, sorkhi ye to az man’ – it means ‘My yellow is yours, your red is mine,’” says Rojman. “People believe the fire takes their yellow energy, the old energy, their sickness and all bad things from the past year, and the fire gives its red energy, vitality, life, good energy.”

About 50 people came out for the Festival of Fire in a quiet corner of the campus of the Dalhousie Agricultural College in Bible Hill Wednesday.

A group of people with Iranian background are sharing their Persian New Year’s traditions with the Truro community this year; they have organized an egg decorating party (last Tuesday), the Festival of Fire, and a dinner and dance tonight, Friday night.

[RELATED: Persian New Year: Iranians share traditions with Truro community, March 14]

Published on 17 March 2017

Negar Sharifi Mood and Shiba Khomayezian jump over a fire a traditional Iranian festival of fire in Bible Hill last Wednesday. The Chahar shanbeh soori is rite of preparation before the Persian New Year – which is celebrated at the same moment as spring begins: 7:29 a.m this coming Monday.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 17 March 2017

Flora Riyahi and Dr. Hossain Farid jump over a fire at traditional Iranian festival of fire in Bible Hill last Wednesday. The Chahar shanbeh soori is always the Wednesday before the Persian New Year.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 17 March 2017

Dr. Younes Miar and Shima Borzoui jump over a fire at traditional Iranian festival of fire in Bible Hill last Wednesday.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 17 March 2017

Tara Winship jumps over a fire at traditional Iranian festival of fire in Bible Hill last Wednesday.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 17 March 2017

Flora Riyahi and Dr. Hossain Farid jump over a fire at traditional Iranian festival of fire in Bible Hill last Wednesday.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 17 March 2017

Rojman Khomayezi and Shiba Khomayezian jump over a fire at traditional Iranian festival of fire in Bible Hill last Wednesday.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 17 March 2017

Esther Bejanro and Alaa alhussein jump over a fire at traditional Iranian festival of fire in Bible Hill last Wednesday.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

Published on 17 March 2017

Ghoreishi Nejad jumps over a fire at traditional Iranian festival of fire in Bible Hill last Wednesday.

Photos by Jonathan Riley

The Festival of Fire or Chahar shanbeh soori is always the Wednesday before the Persian New Year which is celebrated at the first moment of spring – this year that is Monday at 7:28 a.m.

The Chahar shanbeh soori literally means Red Wednesday and dates back to at least 1,700 BC when and the Zoroastrians used the tradition to purify themselves for the New Year.

After everyone had their fill of fire jumping, they went inside for a bowl of soup called Ash Reshteh, a thick soup traditionally prepared to warm up the jumpers after a night outside in the cold.

“I won’t miss the Persian New Year so much this year,” said Rojman. “It is fun to celebrate with so many people and to share our culture with people.”

jonathan.riley@tc.tc