Chahārshanbe Suri (Persian: چهارشنبه سوری) is a fire jumping festival, celebrated in Iran. It is the celebration of ancient fire worshippers (although in fairness,some Zoroastrian Priest themselves vehemently reject this practice!). Loosely translated as Wednesday Light, from the word sur which means light in Persian,or more plausibly, consider sur to be a variant of sorkh (red) and take it to refer either to the fire itself or to the ruddiness (sorkhi), meaning good health or ripeness, supposedly obtained by jumping over it is an ancient Iranian festival dating back to at least 1700 BCE of the early Zoroastrian era. Also called the Festival of Fire, it is a prelude to Nowrooz, which marks the arrival of spring. As for Nowrooz then it is sanctified in the heretical Twelver Shi’ite sect as one of the greatest day of mankind (!), they have fabricated a number of narrations and their top scholars – amongst the dead and living – all approve Nowrooz and declare it holy:
Nowrooz is the holiest day according to Zoroastrianism (Majoosism) of the year for them out of seven major holidays. The seven motif is straight from their beliefs, with Ahura Mazda co-existing with six other gods who in turn form a unity of seven, so no surprise the holiday centres now with setting out a table of seven things also called haft seen).
Amongst the traditions of Chahārshanbe Suri day is to make special ajeel, or mixed nuts and berries. People wear disguises and go door to door knocking on doors as similar to Trick-or-treating. Receiving of the Ajeel is customary, as is receiving of a bucket of water. Ancient Persians celebrated the last 5 days of the year in their annual obligation feast of all souls, Hamaspathmaedaya (Farvardigan or popularly Forodigan). They believed Faravahar, the guardian angels for humans and also the spirits of dead would come back for reunion. There are the seven Amesha Spenta, that are represented as the haft-sin (literally, seven S’s). These spirits were entertained as honored guests in their old homes, and were bidden a formal ritual farewell at the dawn of the New Year. The festival also coincided with festivals celebrating the creation of fire and humans. In Sassanid period the festival was divided into two distinct pentads, known as the lesser and the greater Pentad, or Panji as it is called today. Gradually the belief developed that the ‘Lesser Panji’ belonged to the souls of children and those who died without sin, whereas ‘Greater Panji’ was truly for all souls.
Bonfires are lit to “keep the sun alive” until early morning.The celebration usually starts in the evening, with people making bonfires in the streets and jumping over them singing
“zardi-ye man az toh, sorkhi-ye toh az man”.
The literal translation is, “my yellow is yours, your red is mine.” This is a purification rite. Loosely translated, this means you want the fire to take your pallor, sickness, and problems and in turn give you redness, warmth, and energy (i.e. it’ an invocation and invocation is worship). There are Zoroastrian religious significance attached to Chahārshanbeh Suri and it serves as a cultural festival for Iranian peoples: Persian Jews, Persian Shi’ites (Persian Sunnis from the south, Baloch, Turkmen and other Sunnis do not celebrate it at all), Assyrians native to Iran, Persian Armenians, Kurds, and Persian Zoroastrians.
As you can see it has purely pagan elements and it proves the monotheistic stance of authentic Islam, namely that Zoroastrianism is a polytheistic religion where fire is not ‘just’ (as if revering fire is not already bad enough) revered but actually worshipped. Of course many Iranian nationalist Anti-Islam and Anti-Arab/Turk bigots (because not all Iranian nationalists are racists or opposed to Islam), Zoroastrians and (not really suprising) many Shi’ites will object and claim that Zoroastrianism is actually purely monotheistic and even Chahārshanbe Suri has been ‘misunderstood’ by Sunni Muslims (orthodox Muslims) . What they will try to do is to waterdown the aforementioned polytheistic invocations/chants by claiming that they are not meant to be understood in a literal sense. God knows whom they try to fool, others, themselves or both?! Revering a ancient Zoroastrian custom where:
1) Fire is (to say the LEAST) revered
2) Fire is literally being asked for BLESSINGS
3) Fire is the CENTRAL FOCUS of this ZOROASTRIAN custom
Yet they claim that it is not worship of fire! They say it’s just an ancient Persian custom and part of the Persian identity (as if every part of ones culture must be good and revered!) and their is no harm in it (yeah, right …). Well, the excuse they bring forth is not a new one, in fact many polytheistic religions THAT CLAIM monotheism (such as the Catholics or Twelver Shias) claim that they actually do not worship others besides God, and this is merely due to the fact that they believe in a God (well, Satan as per Bible and the Qur’an also believed and actually spoke to God, doesn’t make him a believer at all!). All of them excuse their blatant worship of others beside God with ‘intercession’ and other concepts which in reality have nothing to do with the practices of the polytheists.
Take for instance the Catholics who (also) claim that they ‘merely’ seek ‘intercession’ from their saints whenever they call upon them. The reality is that they actually WORSHIP their saints by invoking them DIRECTLY asking them for all sorts of things that one only asks from the creator and not the creation. Same with the Shias and their clergy. They also claim monotheism and ALSO invoke THEIR saints (a dozens Imams including a few thousand Imamzadehs/descendants of the Imams all over Iraq/Iran etc.) and when being accused of polytheism and saint-worship they (too) will quickly respond by saying that what they actually do is seeking ‘Tawassul’ (intercession).
Of course all of these polytheists lie for they are not even sincere in their claim of intercession (which means to ask someone to ask God,), all of them – Catholics and Shias, Zoroastrians and other polytheists alike – usually ask their Saints/Imams (and fire!) for ALL sorts of needs, they invoke them for things that no one even ever asked from the living Prophets in their times!
Those who possess intellect and an iota of Tawhid (monotheism) in their hearts will easily recognise the polytheistic similarities of all fake religion (including those that claim Islam), including the heresy of playing with bonfire in public (!) and seeking blessings (!) from it. No philosophical interpretation can justify such silly acts, let alone present them as praiseworthy traditional customs. Invoking other than God the creator is polytheism because invocation IS worship and no TRUE monotheistic religion would ever advocate the invocation of other than the creator (God/Allah), let alone the invocation of fire!
Seeking blessings from fire, going to fortune tellers and they practice fortune telling as well among each other … this is what this pagan festival is all about, all under the pretext of preserving Persian heritage and culture, like as if everything in ones culture is worth to be preserved and praised. If so, then those who practice this pagan feast should also adopt other pagan Persian customs (and also praiseworthy, non-pagan ones, if they are at it …) amongst them are:
– The exposure of the dead, particularly to scavenging (vultures!) birds on a so called ‘Dakhma’ (large towers!). Thanks for Islam and Omar Ibn Al-Khattab who brought Islam to Iran the Persians learned what everyone else in the world knew, i.e. BURY your dead. This nasty custom is still causing trouble all over the world (Vanishing vultures create burial crisis for Bombay’s Parsees)
– The Maknaa of the women. Maknaas are HUGE veils that used to cover the ENTIRE body (plus head) of Zoroastrian women. Zoroastrian women themselves (especially in worship) NEVER expose their bodies or head (in fact they dress looks just like an average Muslim Hijab and they are NOT forced even in the Shia Republic of Iran to cover themselves, they do it because it is part of their religion, just as it is in Islam!), quite contrary to wannabe Zoroastrian Iranians in the west i.e. a bunch of confused (99% former Shi’ites, you will barely find Iranian Sunnis leaving Islam in flocks as it is the case with Shias) westernised bigots who hate every single teaching of Islam (like the Hijab) not knowing that by doing so they actually oppose Zoroastrianism (which is part of ancient Persian culture) itself! Here a quote from a Zoroastrian website:
Makna: It’s made of beautiful fabrics and delightful and alive colors with 1 m width and 3 to 3.5 m length.It covers the whole head and it extends upto abdomen and hands in front and upto feet in rear in a way which covers the whole body and makes no trouble for doing issues.
Saye Kooyi:On Makna had also been another scarf worn which was too large and squared.It used to be folded in triangle(similar to Torkman ladies’ scarves) .It was made of uniform silk in penumbra form or of woolen or silk materials
– The rejection of (at least) the fire jumping of modern Zoroastrian priests themselves:
Zoroastrian Priest Kurush Niknam says: ‘We Zoroastrians don’t lit fire on the streets and we consider it hideous to jump over fire (source)
he further claims that Chahārshanbe Suri has no direct connection to Zoroastrianism (although he admits that it was INNOVATED by Zoroastrians themselves after the Islamic conquest of Persia), stretching it a bit in our opinion, for the veneration and actually worship of fire is all over the Zoroastrian scriptures as we have proven here>>>, but nevetheless, it seems that even Zoroastrians have come to the conclusion that certain pagan Persian custom (including those Zoroastrians believe to be PART of their own religion) must be abondended. Remember they themselves (although they are allowed to even in Iran) have chosen to bury their dead instead of exposing them to vultures on large towers.
Today those (many if not most) who staunchly defend this pagan and dangerous custom are not actually reviving this custom due to their love or adherence to Zoroastrian values – if so, they all would have converted to Zoroastrianism long time ago (which in fact is ANOTHER dilemma since acc. to Zoroastrian priests, including the living ones one CAN’T convert to Zoroastrianism, a bit similar to the religion of the Jews, just worse, since only a born Zoroastrian is a Zoroastrian acc. to Orthodox Zoroastrians!) – rather due to their hatred for the Shia clergy and the Iranian Shia regime. Most of these ignoramuses are nothing but a bunch of extremist nationalists, racists in many cases, westernised puppets and lost individuals who due to their hatred of ‘Islam’ (not knowing that the Muslim world doesn’t even consider Shi’ism and the Iranian regime as a valid form of Islam!) try to champion everything ancient Persian possible, blindded and misguided in their hatred and following of their elders (similar to Shias who follow their clergy i.e. Ayatullats blindly) they actually try to fight fire with fire! And the punishment for this idiociy can bee seen each year, although the advocators of Chahārshanbe Suri don’t really like to expose the dark side of their pagan feast (graphic images following) …
And there are THOUSANDS of such reports EACH YEAR! Just type ‘مصدومان چهارشنبه سوری’ in google and see what is going on inside Iranian hospitals on the day of this pagan festival.
We are sure that this very article will receive loads of attacks (and ironically abuses of the worst kind from those who claim to be superior in culture and religion) from extremist Iranian nationalists and Anti-Islam bigots who usually have the audacity of depriving us (traditional Sunni Iranians, including Persians!) of being Iranian at all! They demand the freedom of criticising Islam (and in many cases insulting Islam and the Final Messenger left and right!) and rejecting it but if we as Sunni Iranians criticise some (not all as you can see in this very article) Persian customs then this will make as according to them Anti-Iranian and Arab (as if being Arab is something bad, there are millions of Arab Iranians!) savages. That’s the dilemma with these folks. As for us, we merely stated the Islamic stance and our stance as Iranian Muslims (Sunnis) in regards to the pagan origin of Chahārshanbe Suri and Nowrooz (the later is also pagan in nature even if some try to argue that it is all about celebrating the new year in spring time as per Persian calender. That’s sweet and nice but this distortion will never change its real origin which too is pagan).
At the end of the day Nobody is forced to stop jumping anyone over fire and seeking blessings (!) from it. This article merely touches upon the Islamic point of view and shes some light on the pagan Chahārshanbe Suri custom which is as wasteful as the cracker of new years eve and obviously much more dangerous. Perhaps this article turns out to be a wake up call to many Iranian (especially) youth who blindly imitate everything Persian (as taught by their mostly apostate Shi’ite environment) no being aware that not Persian is good, neither everything Arabic or western for that matter, good is what is approved by God the creator and Chahārshanbe Suri was, is and will never be good (even Zoroastrian priest oppose it today!) no matter how ancient it is. Finally we strongly recommend everyone to read the following articles: