Persian Festivities

Introduction
Johns are the Middle and New Persian forms of Avestan Yasna,meaning "an act of worship,” and a religious service is an essential part of every festival. Since every jasan is essentially a holy occasion, those taking part should be in a state of physical and ritual cleanliness, for dirt and pollution belong to the evil creation and prevent prayers and worship reaching the divine beings. They should also seek to banish from their thoughts any "demons” of anger, grief, resentment, or the like, and try rather to entertain contentment, cheerfulness, and charitable feelings towards all, such as are pleasing to the yazatas. Thereafter it was a pleasant duty to be as merry as possible, since in Zoroastrian doctrine joyfulness is a positive virtue, a weapon to defeat sorrow and care. Feasting, the friendly and enjoyable sharing of food and drink forms a prominent part of Zoroastrian festivals.

Persian New Year Celebration
Norouz is a strong testimony to Iranian rich civilization, national characteristics and history. It proves how a nation with its irreversible determination to endure, and even flourish, through periods of devastation, political chaos, hardship and oppression. For centuries, Persians have applied the Norouz spirit to every dark challenge that has come their way. This spirit has made Norouz far more than just a New Year celebration over the course of history. Norouz is a relic of ancient times. A memory of old tales and epics, a celebration of rebirth and rejuvenation. According to Zoroastrians, the month of Farvardin (the first month of the Iranian solar calendar) refers to Faravashis, or spirits. which return to the material world during the last 10 days of the year. Thus, they honor the 10-day period in order to appease the spirits of their deceased ancestors. The Iranian tradition of visiting cemeteries on the last Thursday of the year may have originated from this belief.

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