Tonight is a big deal in the Persian community. It is a night that many look forward to with much anticipation because there is much celebration in every household. As a kid I always looked forward to the festivities of Chaharshanbeh Souri. Small bonfires are set up for people to jump over the flames while reciting zardi-ye man az to, sorkhi-ye to az man, which loosely translated means “take my yellow and sickly color in exchange for your red color.” This is an old ritual which always takes place on the eve of the last Wednesday of the year.
This ritual is centuries old and is associated with Zoroastrianism. The purpose of the phrase that is recited is to draw from the brightness and energy of the fire and release everything that is negative and sickly into the fire.
For me Chaharshanbeh Souri has not been the same since I left Iran. With this said, I have very fond memories of spending Charshanbeh Souri at my mom’s friend’s house Khaleh Firouzeh. Her daughter, and my childhood friend, Leyla whom I have mentioned around here before on this post, used to have a great time jumping over the fire together. I can’t say I have done anything as fun since moving to LA. But I have tried not to miss the fun and actually jump over a candle and recite zardi-ye man az to, sorkhi-ye to az man.