Tuesday, 25 February, 2020

Happy Mehrgān!

‪‎Mehrgân (alternatively: ‪#Mihragān) or Jashn-e Mehr (Mehr Festival) is a ‪‎Zoroastrian and ‪Persian (‪Iranian) festival celebrated since the pre-Islamic era to honor the Yazata of “Mehr” which is responsible for friendship, affection and love. It is also widely referred to as Persian Festival of Autumn.

As mentioned above, Mehrgān is a name-day feast. These name-day feasts are festivals celebrated on the day of the year when the day-name and month-name dedicated to a particular angel or virtue intersect. The pre-Islamic Persians (Iranians) had 30-day months, which means that each day in each month had a different name. 12 of the days are also names of the 12 months. The day whose name corresponded to the name of the month was celebrated. It was a celebration of life, the season, God, and joy.

Concerning Mehrgan, the Mehr day in the Mehr month also corresponded to the day farmers collected their crops. They thus also celebrated the fact God had given them food to survive the coming cold months. Today, only two of these name-day continue to have a wide following in (predominantly) Islamic Iran. These are Mehrgan, dedicated to Mehr, and Tirgan, dedicated to Tishtrya/Tir.

For this celebration, the participants wear new clothes and set a decorative, colorful table. The sides of the tablecloth are decorated with dry wild marjoram. A copy of the Khordeh Avesta (“little Avesta”), a mirror and a sormeh-dan (a traditional eyeliner or kohl) are placed on the table together with rosewater, sweets, flowers, vegetables and fruits, especially pomegranates and apples, and nuts such as almonds or pistachios. A few silver coins and lotus seeds are placed in a dish of water scented with marjoram extract.

Mehregan is celebrated on 16th of the month of Mehr (October, 8th).

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