To my Persian friends Happy Mehregan.
To those of my followers unfamiliar a bit of history…
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. … 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.
The rituals of Mehregan have gone through various changes over the past thousands of years; and been held differently in different regions of Iran.
In ancient era, people came together during Mehregan in purple clothes. Each of them held a felicitation letter (or greeting card, as it is called today) in hand as a gift to present to others.
The felicitation letters had a sweet smell and were wrapped up in a nice way. During the festival, a tablecloth full of autumn foods and drinks was unfolded. People played music and performed group dances after eating and drinking. They sang songs and danced together. They also added some flammable plants like saffron into the fireplace to make the fire more blazing.
At the end of ceremony, the Iranians made a circle by taking each other’s hands as a sign of reaffirming pledges together.
Visiting each other (based on an Iranian culture, it is the younger ones who pay visit to the elders) is another part of Mehregan rituals. They also named the babies born during the month with the word Mehr as a prefix coming before their first name; like Mehryar, Mehrshid, Mehrnoush, Mehrpad, Mehrdad, Mehrban and so on.
Today, Mehregan Festival is not marked in the ancient form described in historical books of fourth, fifth and sixth centuries. Neither is it celebrated by the government or private and unofficial entities.
These days, the festive is held only as a family festival among Zoroastrians in the southern provinces of Yazd and Kerman. In some Zoroastrian-populated villages of Yazd, people sacrifice a ship for Mithra. They also hold gatherings in public places singing songs and saying prayers. Mehregan tablecloth is unfolded as in the past; and people reaffirm pledges of friendship to each other at the end of the ceremony.
So to my Persian friends and supporters have a wonderful celebration…