Sizdah Bedar 2011 (1390)
Sizdah Bedar 2011 (1390)Millions of Iranians spend outdoors on the final day of celebrations for the New Year holidays. The term sizdah bedar literally means "out with the thirteenth". To Iranians, the number "13" symbolizes evil and bad luck.
The annual "Sizdah Bedar" picnic is based on an ancient Iranian tradition that encourages people to avoid any ill omens at home by going outdoors on the 13th day of the new year. This day inaugurates a happy New Year. Friends and neighbours usually organize a picnic in the countryside at which noodle soup or dishes of rice in sauce are eaten. People go and see the streams and rivers swollen with melted snow. The young play traditional games and sports and girls have special tradition. No conflict should be initiated on this day.
Since ancient times, Iranians have enjoyed their yearly trek to the outdoors, when families set off for green and open spaces.
In Iranian tradition, the first 12 days of the new year symbolize order in the world and in people's lives. The 13th day marks the return to ordinary daily life.
Historians believe that the traditions observed during "Sizdah Bedar" date back to the lives of ancient Iranians.
In one of the traditions, young ladies tie together blades of grass in hope of finding their ideal husbands. The gesture represents the bond between a man and a woman. Girls weave together fresh herbs, singing as they do so in a low voice: Sizdah bedar, sal-e degar, khaneye shohar, bacheh be baqal (sizdah bedar, next year, at the husband's house, a baby in my arms).
According to the Avesta, the holy scriptures of the Zoroastrians, celebrating "Sizdah Bedar" helps Spenta Mainyu (the holy spirit) prevail over Angra Mainyu (the evil spirit).
Photographer: Mehdi Amiri, Majid Asgaripoor, Shahin Sepanta, Babak Borzooyeh, Abootaleb Nadri, Hamzeh Karbasi