BY Mahdavi Nasim

New Year celebrations in Iran, one of the oldest in the world, is distinguished from some different aspects with the other similar ceremonies. For many people the timing of the New Year is remarkable. The New Year is exactly in accordance with the spring equinox which symbolizes the end of gloom and coldness of winter. Welcoming the spring, it heralds a new era of prosperity, the expression ‘Nowruz’ means ‘the new day’.

In the Iranian myths, the establishing of Nowruz goes back to the victory over a bloodthirsty tyrant ruling Iran who was overthrown after the insurrection of the oppressed people and was detained in the Alborz Mountains.

Another feature of the Nowruz ceremony is its credits in a vast geographical region. People celebrate Nowruz in Iran, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Turkey (by Azeris and Kurds).

In old time people believed that the combination of the four main elements had formed the nature, fire, soil, water, and air. Among ancient Iranian, fire had a specific place and was respected, due to its purifying character and the fact that never gets polluted.   

The New Year celebration starts with a fire festival, which in Persian is called ‘Charshanbe Souri’, during which people set up the fire, leap over it and sing songs and through them desire for potent and sound, the ‘your reddish on me, my Pallid on you’. 

It sounds like everything is running well. As there is a deep-rooted beautiful ceremony, in a right time of a natural event. It must be cherished because makes stronger solidarity and affection among people of different nationalities and ethnic groups in a trouble stricken part of the world. But the reality is very far from our expectation.

In 1979, after Khomeini hijacked the leadership of the anti-monarchy revolution of the Iranian people,  democracy, and justice, he found the pure Iranian national culture a rival of his backwardness ideology, which was a hurdle on his way to establishing his desire political system as his own fundamentalist thought. So from the onset, Khomeini and other clergymen close to him took an anti-nationalism stance, tried to eradicate the ceremonies of Nowruz and particularly ‘Charshanbe Souri’. To do that, the clerical tyranny ran a vast campaign against all the symbols of the Iranian national culture so that Khomeini blatantly stated: “nationalism is in contrary to Islam.”

Following Khomeini, many other reactionary mullahs, like Morteza Motahhari, ruled against national festivals, particularly ‘Charshanbe Souri’. They brazenly used labels such as heathen, superstitious or even stupidity regarding the people who were loyal to their glorious and proud culture.

People not only did not take a blind bit of notice to the Mullahs but as well attempted to take advantage of the pure national Iranian culture as a strong means to defeat mullahs either ideologically or politically.

In this way, the New Year festival, for years, has become one of the gravest challenges for the tyranny regime ruling Iran, and the fire festival, ‘Charshanbe Souri’ has a remarkable place in this challenge.

 ‘Charshanbe Souri’ is a ceremony that, due to the literally fiery content in its essence, has always been an appropriate bedrock for national solidarity and uprisings and rapidly becomes one of the stages for the people to express their hatreds toward the religious dictator regime of Iran and its repressive forces, especially by the young people.

In fact, aftermath of the Iran-Iraq war and when it was possible for the people to sum up the catastrophe event and find a space for social respiration, the best social opportunity and the most practical, that was found against the evil power of the clerical and repressive mullah’s guards was the Traditional ceremony of ‘Charshanbe Souri’ containing a great dynamism for revolt. A ceremony that had a good.

The Regime’s officials admit that after each ‘Charshanbe Souri’ celebrations, the views of the Iranian cities and towns’ streets and squares are like battlefields in spite of being all the security forces on the Full Alert state.

Yet, this coming New Year’s ‘Charshanbe Souri’ is more different from those in the past and the regime is worried about the flames of the uprising more than before.

Just a couple of months ago national-wide anti-regime protests swept the country with dozens of martyrs and 8000 detainees, and until now it has been reported that at least 14 people were tormented to death in detention centers.

If in the past years the regime was worried about a potential danger, this year, because of the background of the nation-wide uprising, Mullahs are fearful and feel a real and perceptible volatile danger, Chiefly because of the calling on for a nationwide uprising by the main opposition group’s headquarter inside Iran, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK), which is the core organization of the Paris base Nacional Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

Khamenei and the senior officials of his regime have acknowledged how the PMOI/MEK fomented and organized the recent blaze of protests across the country. Even Hassan Rouhani asked his French counterpart, French President Emmanuel Macron to limit the activities of the NCRI, led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president elected by the Iranian resistance. Rouhani’s request was dismissed.

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