Fire Jumping Festival

Chaharshanbe Suri is an Iranian festival celebrated on the eve of the last Wednesday before Nowruz.


Festival of Fire (Chaharshanbe Suri) is held The Last Wednesday of a year (marks the arrival spring). Fire and light hoped for health and happiness through the coming year. This is the ancient festival of Iran, and date goes back at least 1700 BCE. Iranians celebrate an old tradition called “Chahar Shanbeh Suri”.

It falls on the last Tuesday evening of every Persian calendar year. Iranians come out with friends and family to celebrate and enjoy this occasion. As the sun sets, people light up fires and gather around to jump over them. As they do this, they sing "zardi-ye man az toh, sorkhi-ye toh az man” meaning my yellow is yours, your red is mine. In this ritual, they ask the fire to take their paleness and problems and in return give them energy and warmth.

Chahar Shanbeh Suri or “Festival of Fire” is a prelude to Nowruz which marks the arrival of the spring season.

Chahar Shanbeh Suri celebration usually starts in the evening, with people making bonfires in the streets and jumping over them. Some believe jumping over bonfires is a way of taking away negative energy, sickness, and problems and in turn getting fulfillment, warmth, and energy. Chaharshanbe Suri Suri serves as a cultural festival for many Iranians.

Ancient Origin of the Chaharshanbe Suri

The festival has its origin in ancient Iranian rituals. The ancient Iranians celebrated the festival of Hamaspathmaedaya (Hamaspaθmaēdaya), the last five days of the year in honor of the spirits of the dead, which is today referred to as Farvardinegan.

They believed that the spirits of the dead would come for reunion. The seven holy immortals (Aməša Spənta) were honored, and were bidden a formal ritual farewell at the dawn of the New Year.

Many different traditions are followed on this night in different cities of Iran. Jumping over the fire and buying a special mix of sweet and sour nuts is done in almost every city of Iran. It is believed that eating these nuts on Chaharshanbe Soori will make your wishes come true. One of the fun activities is done after fire jumping on this night and is similar to Trick or Treat of the Halloween night. Men and women cover their faces to not be recognized and go to their neighbor’s door making noise by hitting on a bowl with a spoon to notify the house members. When the house members hear the noise, one of them comes to the door, gets the bowl, fills it with Ash (Persian soup) or candy and brings it back to the person. The trick is not to be known by the house member. It is known as Ghashogh Zani in all cities.