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A Jolly Day in Nature at the end of Nowruz Holidays: Sizdah Bedar 2020 (Thirteen Outdoor)
What is Sizdah Bedar?
Sizdah Be-Dar, literally translated as Thirteen Outdoor, is an ancient Persian tradition, celebrated on the 13th day of Farvardin (April 1). On this day, which marks the end of Nowruz Holidays (Iranian New Year Holidays), Iranian families leave their houses and swarm into parks, gardens, fields and plains, the better if their place of refuge includes a river or stream, to spend this special day in nature.
Actually, Sizdah Be-Dar is a day of celebrating nature. By spending the 13th day of Farvardin in nature, Iranians welcome and embrace the spring and also avoid the curse and misfortunes associated with the number thirteen.
How to Spend Sizdah Be-Dar?
At home, Sizdah Be-Dar begins with disassembling the Haft-Sin (To read about Nowruz & Haft-sin click on this link), since Nowrouz is over and people should go back to their daily lives. Of all the elements making the Haft-Sin, people take the Sabzeh (or green sprouts) with themselves to let it go in a stream of water.
When in nature, families spread a piece carpet to establish a comfort zone for themselves and then the fun begins. Some people sit together, chat, drink tea, eat pastries or ajil (a special mixture of nuts) and enjoy a calm day. Others, sing songs, dance and play different games. Exploring the nature is also part of the scheme of things in this special day of nature.
Sizdah Be-Dar Food
No specific food is required to be taken out on this day, so the menu is open. People either make their food and take it out with themselves or prepare it during their Sizdah Be-Dar day.
However, a favorite on this day is Ash-e Reshte, a noodle soup prepared with spinach and parsley, kidney beans, brown lentils, whey (kashk) and Iranian noodles or Reshteh. The noodles are believed to symbolize good fortune for the New Year.
In addition, a traditional snack, Kahoo Sekanjebin, was very common among the celebrants of the Sizdah Be-Dar until some years ago.
Sizdah Be-Dar Rituals:
- Releasing sprouting greens: At the end of the picnic, people release their Sabzeh or green sprouts in a river or stream of water, hoping for a new year washed clean of any misfortunes.
- Knotting the greenery: it is a custom to be followed by young single people, especially girls. Before releasing the Sabzeh into running water, girls tie the blades of sprouts together while making a wish to find their suitable husband and companion in the coming year.
And, in this manner, Sizdah Be-Dar or the Nature Day continues until the evening. Then, the happy rejuvenated families go back home to rest, since tomorrow morning is the day when they should begin an active year to make all their wishes come true.