(Persia Digest) - “Sizdah be dar” is part of the Nowruz celebrations in Iran which takes place on the 13th day of Farvardin. It dates back to at least 4000 years ago. Following the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, this day was named as “Nature Day” in the official calendar of the country and is a national holiday.

Some people believe that they must spend the 13th day outdoors to get rid of its curse and bad omen. In reality, no day on the ancient Persian calendar is considered cursed and previous generations have left no evidence behind that “13” is an unlucky number.

History has it that the twelve days of celebrations in Nowruz are for the twelve months of the year. The thirteenth day was spent having a picnic in nature to end the biggest and most important celebration of the year on a happy note.

The 13th day of every month on the Iranian calendar is called “Tir ruz”, belonging to the rain star. Thus, it is believed that “Sizdah be dar” is celebrated for the victory of the rain yazata over the demon of drought, Apush. This day has been celebrated since before the days of Ashu Zarathushtra (1800 BCE). People spent the day in nature and alongside brooks, singing and dancing and wishing for rain from Divinity.

“Sizdah be dar” has its own particular customs, including tying knots in the grass, throwing the sabzeh sprouts in the river, eating lettuce and oxymel, and cooking special dishes, especially “Ash reshteh”. On 13 Farvardin, the Nowruz sabzeh were thrown in the running rivers, hoping that the seeds would continue to grow. To this day, it is still believed that the sabzeh must be left out in nature to impregnate nature and grow. Single girls must also tie knots in it for the good fortune of finding a husband.

This article was first reported by Persia Digest (PD) on Apr 2, 2018.

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