Sade Celebration

One of the important and ancient celebrations in our country, which is said to have an even longer history than Nowruz, is the Sade celebration. This celebration marks the discovery of fire! Ferdowsi in Shahnameh recounts that one day, King Hushang, while hunting, threw a stone towards a snake. The stone collided with another stone, and the sparks that resulted from this collision ignited a dry bush!

The snake was not killed, but from the secret of this stone, fire emerged and prevailed, And since that time, people have been taking care of that fire.

They say Sade comes from that “sod” meaning a hundred, and, in fact, it is the hundredth day from the beginning of winter. Ancient people used to count from the onset of cold weather and the first day of Aban (tenth month) to the tenth of Bahman, marking a hundred days from the start of winter. On the other hand, they also believed that since fire came and illuminated the nights as well as the days, people began counting nights along with days from that time, and this way, there were 100 days left until Nowruz!

People believed that during the months of Dey and Bahman, Ahriman (evil spirit) becomes more powerful than ever. For this reason, there were celebrations and rituals to ward off Ahriman, such as the grand “Chelleh” night and the small Chelleh night, or the Sade celebration. On the night of the tenth of Bahman, people would light a large fire, which they had previously gathered the wood for, either in the city or village square or on a mountain height. They would gather around it, perform rituals, sing songs, and engage in festive activities.

This celebration is a communal and collective one, and in some areas, it is so vibrant that schools are closed on the day of the celebration! Farmers collect the ashes from the fire, believing that it brings blessings to their lands. Fruits, sweets, and beverages abound in the celebration, and people gather in groups around the fire, singing:

Sade to Sade, Sī to Goleh, Panjah to Nowruz!

Wishing you a joyous Sade celebration!

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