Thursday, April 2, 2009
13th day of Spring
Today is Sizdah-Bedar, which literally means 'Getting Rid of 13'. The tradition of leaving the house on the thirteenth (Sizdah) day of Farvardin (the first month of spring), the last day of the Norouz period, and spending that day outside with joy, laughter and pleasure with family and frineds has been in practice since ancient times in Iran. This is the last phase of the celebrations of the New Year ( Norouz). This joyous celebration has its roots in the Zoroastrian belief that laughter and joy symbolize the throwing away of bad thoughts.
On the last day of the New Year celebrations, the 13th of the first month Farvardin, it is the custom of Iranians to pass as many hours as possible outdoors. All people leave their homes to go to the parks or local plains for a very festive picnic. It is a must to spend this day in nature and the occasion is called Sizdah-Bedar.
This day was not celebrated in this manner before Islam and might be several rituals in one. It is possible that this day was devoted to the deity Tishtrya (Tir), protector of rain. In the Zoroastrian calendar each day is named after a deity and this particular day in the month of Farvardin is named after Tishtrya. In the past there were outdoor festivities to pray to this deity in hope of rain that was essential for agriculture. The act of throwing away the Sabzeh (Remember Sabzeh was one of those 7 elements in Haft-Sin Table) from Haft-Sin into rivers and running waters on this day also indicates veneration for a water deity. The act symbolically represents an offering made to such a deity.