Mehregan: Celebrating the Persian Harvest Festival
Today is the first day of autumn in Iran. In very ancient Persia, this spectacular season marked the beginning of the New Year. Why? Because this season signifies the start of the agricultural year – it’s regarded as a kind of harvest festival.
The first month of autumn in Iran is called Mehr. Today is the first day of Mehr. But who is Mehr?
Mehr or Mitra is the name of a legendary god in ancient Persia. He is the god of brightness, friendship, and affection. In appreciation of this god, Mehr, Persian people celebrate this day, called Mehregan (1500 years later, they celebrated Mehregan on the 16th day of this month).
But what did the ancient Persians do on this day?
This day had a special color: dark red or burgundy. People wore dark red colored dresses or at least dresses with dark red designs. They spread a kind of cloth called “Sofreh” (Iranians eat their meals on Sofreh). Guess what the color of the sofreh was? Yes, dark red!
They put a lot of autumn fruits, especially red ones, on the Sofreh: apples, pomegranates, grapes, sinjid, etc., and also different nuts (such as pistachios, walnuts, and almonds). They also drank a special drink (an essence of a plant mixed with water or milk) and ate special bread (made of 7 different grains). There were also candles, sweets, and rosewater on the Sofreh. They spent their time celebrating, listening to music, and dancing.
Sounds interesting? Do you want to see a special place for festivals in old Persia? Another old city dates back 3000 years.
The capital city of the Achaemenid Empire was also used as a showplace for festivals. From every nationality, you are welcome to walk in great Persepolis; a UNESCO World Heritage tour at trulyincredibleiran.com; almost all of our tours include this unique historical site.
“We warmly wish you a Happy Mehregan.”