The bad things into the fire, the good things to me

The Festival of Fire is a prelude to the Iranian New Year. On behalf of the Iranian refugee group, the refugee initiative "Welcome to Gransee» invites all citizens warmly for an auspicious jump over the fire in the garden of Hospital Global, Ruppiner Str 8 in Gransee on Tuesday March 15 at 7 pm.

  Iranisches Feuerfest


"The fire was high, one and a half meters or so", says Marjan. This is her first memory of the Iranian Festival of Fire. Five or six years old, she must have been then. The Iranian woman who lives with her sister Mojdeh and her brother in law Mohamad since three months in Gransee, cannot commit this important holiday this year with her family and friends in herhometown of Isfahan. That is why they want to celebrate this auspicious custom together with their new neighbors in the garden of the Hospital Global, Ruppiner Str 8 in Gransee. The refugess initiative "Welcome to Gransee» therefore cordially invites all people from Gransee and surroundings on March 15 at 7 pm. Torsten Gaeth kindly installs an atmospheric illumination in the garden.

According to the tradition of Chaharshanbeh Suri which is the Persian name of the Festival of Fire (literally translated: Red Wednesday), the people get together with their families and neighbors, set bonfires and leap over them. While jumping they sing the verse "Zardi one az to, sorkhi to az man", which means as much as: My yellow (pallor, disease, worries) should burn in the fire, the fire should give its red (heat, power, health, happiness peace) to me. The Red Wednesday is the prelude to the festivities around the Iranian New Year, Nowruz (= New Day, now: new, ruz: day), celebrated at equinox in spring on 20 or 21 March. Every year on the eve of the last Wednesday before Nowruz the Festival of Fire takes place, this year on 15 March.

Nowruz and Chaharshanbeh Suri are not only celebrated in Iran, but by more than 300 million people in the Balkans, the Black Sea region, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East. In 2010 the General Assembly of the United Nations therefore proclaimed the International Nowruz Day and the UNESCO had already put the Nowruz traditions in the list of "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" in 2009.

As tourists, we often travel to the most remote regions to admire the masterpieces of world heritage. On March 15, however, the journey is not far to experience the custom of the Iranian Festival of Fire together with our new Iranian fellow citizens. With melancholy Marjan, Mojdeh and Mohamad will then send their good wishes to their families and friends in the distance. At the same time they firmly hope that the fire allocates them this year with much force for their way into a new future.


Photograph: © Pejman Akbarzadeh, Wikimedia Commons, look here