Sizdah Bedar is an Iranian festival held annually on the thirteenth day of Farvardin (the first month of the Iranian calendar), during which people spend time picnicking outdoors.
Sizdah Bedar (lit. Thirteen Outdoor) also known as Nature’s Day is an Iranian festival held annually on the thirteenth day of Farvardin (the first month of the Iranian calendar), during which people spend time picnicking outdoors. It marks the end of the Nowruz holidays in Iran.
Sizdah Be-dar is celebrated on the thirteenth day of Nowruz, the Iranian New Year. It is celebrated by leaving houses to join nature, and spending the day outdoors.
Originating from ancient Zoroastrianism, Sizdah-bedar symbolizes the victory of spring over winter and a renewal of nature. It is believed that being outside on this day helps to protect against evil spirits that are said to wander the earth on this day.
One of the key activities of Sizdah-bedar is the picnic, where people gather with family and friends to enjoy food, drink, music and dance. Traditional foods include rice dishes, grilled meat, pastries and sweets, and herbal teas.
Another important aspect of the festival is the act of tying a knot on the thirteenth day, called “sizdah-bedar-knot”. This is thought to transfer any bad luck from the past year to the knot, and then casting it away.
In addition to these activities, there are also various games and competitions that are held during the festival, including horse riding, archery, and wrestling. These games were once used as a means of physical training for warriors, but now serve as a way for families to bond and have fun together.
A ritual performed at the end of the picnic is to throw away the greenery (Sabze) collected for Haft-Seen, the customary setting of Nowruz in Iran. Touching someone else’s greenery on this day or bringing it back home is considered a bad omen.
Knotting the greenery Sabzeh gereh zadan) is customary for young single people, especially young girls. They tie the leaves of the greenery before discarding it, expressing a wish to find a partner or a husband.
Lie of the Thirteen (Dorugh-e Sizdah) is the Iranian version of the prank-playing April Fools’ Day which is observed on the first or second day of April in Iran, on the day of Sizdah Bedar. Pranks have reportedly been played on this holiday since 536 BC in the Achaemenid Empire.
SURFIRAN is an Iranian tour operator and travel agency offering tour packages to those interested in Iran. It provides the tourists with services needed to travel to Iran, offers tours across the country, and assists the tourists in obtaining Iranian visas.
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