Chahar Shanbeh Soori
By MortazaviBlog on Mar 15, 2006
The first time I celebrated Chahar Shanbeh Soori in the U.S. was in March of 1979 in the mountains of upper Ojai, California. I had just arrived here with a good friend of mine from high school, and there were also a number of other Iranians who were attending Happy Valley School in upper Ojai. So, we got together, produced a request for the school administration and with the permission and attendance of the local fire department, and good use made of some dried palm leaves and tumbling grass, made some amazing Chahar Shanbeh Soori fires, and the fun of jumping right through the fire followed.
Last night, while watching the Persian (Jam-e Jam) news from IRIB during dinner, it struck on me that it was indeed Chahar Shanbeh Soori again. I called some friends to find out whether any events were happening locally. They located a place in Mountain View, and asked whether I'd also take their daughter along. With my daughters, I had three girls in the car, and by the time we got there, there was some rain but the fires were still on, and the girls jumped through happily. One guy had brought some firecrackers, which are also a mainstay of the festivities. (The fire technology for this event could have been better, and safer. There is certainly some work that needs to be done in this area to make this annual event more fun.)
In the meantime, our guest (an 8-year-old) and my 8-year-old got together on the side of the festivities and quickly started a singing chorus of Persian songs. I was totally amazed. This was on their initative and they held a hat before them for people to chip in with quarters and dollars. They sang very well, to the amazement of the women who were quietly watching on the sidelines, but all they got was two dollar bills, both from me, which they returned after they were done with their fun.
A slide show of Chahar Shanbeh Soori in Tehran. There may be others on Flickr.