Sadeh Festival

Also known as: Sadeh Ceremony, Jashn-e Sade, Festival of Sade

Sadeh is one of the most important Iranian winter festivals; it is held fifty days before the Iranian New Year on 10th (Aban) day of the month of Bahman (on or around 30 January in the Gregorian calendar, if calculated from the modern Solar Hejri calendar). 
Briefly put, people gather around at an outdoor location to light a fire and have a cheerful time. 
Although historically the communal festival was not strictly associated with a specific religion, currently the majority of people who continue to host, organize, and celebrate Sadeh are Zoroastrian. However, people from all religious backgrounds and ethnicities are welcome to join.   
The festival is celebrated in a number of major cities such as Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan and Yazd to name a few. Kerman, in the south-east of Iran, is known for hosting the most elaborate Sadeh festivals. Select travel agencies across Iran organize special tours for enthusiasts who would like to take part in or simply see the celebration up close. 
Sadeh Festival is also observed in India, Afghanistan, and more recently Tajikistan.



Traditionally, people would start collecting logs and kindling for a bonfire a day prior to the celebration. 
Zarostrian priests dressed in white are usually the first to set fire to the heap of wood. The fire should burn until it naturally goes out i.e. without human intervention. 
People join hands and form a circle around the bonfire while engaging in dance and song or chanting prayers. Live music is also played in some occasions. 


Historical Values

Sadeh has been celebrated for centuries and Sasanians are said to have predominantly established and celebrated the festival. 
There are many myths and legends surrounding the festival and its name. 
Disagreement is rife as to how the festival got its name. Some scholars say that the name was derived from the Persian equivalent of the number 100 (Sad), while others have rejected this claim. One explanation links the etymology to the idea that the event fell on the hundredth day of the Great Winter (the colder period of the year that starts in October and ends in February).
Furthermore, some have linked the naming to a popular legend in which 100 innocent young men were rescued from the evil Emperor Zahhak and another legend links Sadeh to the day when the number of the children of men on earth reached 100.    
A popular belief links the roots of the celebration to the day when fire was accidentally discovered by an epic Iranian hero by the name of Hushang. He had tried to kill a snake by throwing a stone but it hit the rocks; it happens that both rocks were flints and so a fire started. 
Sadeh was said to be the frostiest bighting night of cold. Little by little after Sadeh, the weather was supposed to become warmer. In some cases this has been linked to the discovery of fire, the warmth and light of which made it easier to get through the remaining days of winter. 
Sade is therefore considered as a celebration of light and energy and casting away dark cold forces. The deeper concept behind this is that good will eventually overcome evil.
In ancient times, farmers would collect and then sprinkle ashes from the fire on their lands, they believed it would bring abundance to their crops by battling the frost that could freeze water and damage the roots of plants.  


  • 99
    Show More ...

      Error 500

      Internal Server Error.