Also called the festival of rain, Tirgan is celebrated to honor the blessings of nature when the generous rain frees the land of Turan from a seven-year long drought and cultivates crops. On the other hand, some historians consider the astronomical symbol of the month Tir (early July) as representing writers. Therefore, people used to celebrate this month to commemorate the value of writers. Tirgan is mostly celebrated by Zoroastrians in Mazandaran, Yazd, Khorasan and Farahan. The festival is marked by communal gathering, dancing and splashing water and many other rituals. To give you a fair idea about the festival of Tirgan, we talk more about the customs in what follows:
Zoroastrians of a specific district choose a middle-aged unmarried girl one day before the festival. She is given a pottery vase which is filled with water from a spring and covered by a silk fabric. People who have a wish in their hearts put small objects such as rings, coins and pins into the vase. The girl takes the vase under an evergreen tree and leaves it for one day. At the day of the festival, she brings the vase to the elderly and recites poetry in a loud voice. At the end of each poem, she takes out an object from the vase by chance and the owner associates her/his wishes to the content of the poem. May their wishes come true!
Locally called Tir-o-Bad bracelet, the colorful bracelets are woven by seven ropes with different colors. Some people wrap these rainbow colored ribbons around their wrists for ten days, exactly nine days before the day of the festival. Then, at this very day, the people go to high places and leave the bracelets to the wind stream while asking their wishes by singing particular poems. The wind will carry their wishes to the right place and right people!
Water has been considered as a blessing in Iranian culture. It has been regarded a sacred element and a symbol of light and joy, which shouldn’t be polluted. Splashing water is a part of the Tirgan festival and people either go next to streams or carry a container full of water to splash water at each other. This is the only day that people smile at you when you suddenly surprise them by liters of water!
The night before 13th of Tir , people gather at the house of the oldest member of the family and the host cooks a lavish meal comprising of meat, rice and 13 other nutritive ingredients such as spinach, plums, raisins, beans and lentils. People celebrate with fruits and wheat to commemorate the blessings endowed to the ground by the rain. They also serve a traditional dessert made of saffron and rice pudding (Shole Zard). Enjoy the feast for free!