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Meheregan Celebration, The Persian Festival of Autumn
It’s the religion of nature and sun. Its message is good words, good deeds, and good thoughts. Its lesson is to become like the nature, always changing for good, being generous, and be like the gorgeous sites of our beautiful planet. Its prophets are the spring and the autumn; it is the Zoroastrian religion.
The autumn starts with the month of Mehr in Persia and its 16th day (Mehregan) is the celebration of light, friendship, kindness, and love in ancient Avestan calender. Mehr is the symbol of Sun in Persian culture and the Sun is said to be the eye of Mitra, the goddess of light.
195 days after Nowruz is the Persian festival of the autumn. It is the Thanksgiving Day for the Iranian farmers. In older days Mehregan was harvest day and some of the crops were sent to the king as a gift.
On Mehregan friends and family gather to celebrate the beginning of the beautiful fall season. On this day people go to visit their loved ones specially the ones that have been missed for a longtime to enjoy the beauty of this vibrant-colored season together.
Mehregan is as important as Nowruz for Persians and it has its own unique traditions. Violets, sweets, rose water, candles, flowers, and fruits especially apple and pomegranate are set on a violet colored tablecloth to start the fest. Almond and pistachio are among the requirements to make this tradition as Persian as possible. Violets characterize Mehregan as the symbol of light, love, and friendship that dates back to the ancient days of Persia. Espand (rue seeds) will be thrown in the flames to be safe from the evil eye on this happy day. Ceremony begins with saying a prayer in front of a mirror. Hugs and kisses are exchanged after handful of noghl (sugar plum) is thrown over each other’s heads.