The 10th day of month Bahman in Persian calendar, 30th of January, is marked as Sadeh, an ancient Persian festival when, according to ancient Iranians’ belief, King Hushang discovered fire centuries before the arrival of Islam in Iran.
“Sad” in Farsi means hundred and some historians believe the reason to choose Sadeh to name this day is that there are 50 nights and 50 days until the Persian New Year celebration, Nowruz and since fire was discovered on this day, it brings light to the night and turns it into a day, so the night will be counted as a day. As a result, 50 nights will add to 50 days and becomes hundred days till Nowruz.
To honor the holiness of fire, as one of four main elements in nature, Zoroastrian Persians lit a huge bonfire as the sun starts to set and people gather by the fire to say prayers and to appreciate their God for creation of fire.
Sadeh is a national celebration deeply rooted in Zoroastrian religion and is still celebrated in many cities of Iran including Tehran, Karaj, Yazd, Kerman, Isfahan, Shiraz, and many more.
The ceremony of Sadeh has been described in historical books with some varieties in different cities and villages. In Kerman before the sunset two Zoroastrian Priests lit the huge pile of bushes that have been gathered for this purpose as they are singing Zoroastrian prayers and when the entire pile is fired up people hold hands, circle around the fire, and sing anthems and prayers special to this day and event. And as the fire becomes smaller youths jump over it.
Another reason to celebrate this day is because most of cold winter days are passed now. As a symbol of bringing warmth back to the farm lands, farmers take the ashes of Sadeh fire and spring it on their farm lands and plantations.
Sadeh has survived long centuries and many invasions by Mongols, Afghans, and Arabs. It is a valuable ceremony among all Iranians. Today everyone regardless of their religious beliefs celebrates Sadeh to value the spirit of God.
Sadeh ceremony is the celebration of warmth, light, and blessings that fire generously offers to humans.