-->
-->

Mehrgan -Mihragan-Jashn-e Mehr

Mehrgan -Mihragan-Jashn-e Mehr

Postby Parvaneh » Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:22 am

Name : Mehrgân (alternatively: Mihragān, Persian: مهرگان‎) or Jashn-e Mehr (Persian: جشن مهر‎ Mehr Festival)


Description: Mehregan is one of the two most ancient Iranian festivals known, dating back at least as far as the earliest Aryans (Iranians).

The word "Mehr" (in Mehregan) in the Persian language means kindness. Mehr represents knowledge, love, light and friendship.

Mehregan is an Iranian festival celebrated in honor of Mithra, the divinity of covenant, and hence of interpersonal relationships such as friendship, affection and love.

The festival falls on the 196th day of the Iranian year (10th Mehr. 2nd Oct.).

There are many accounts about the origin of Mehregan.

Avestan texts divide the Iranian year into two equal parts or seasons. The first season was summer and the second was winter.

The coming of the two seasons would be celebrated through Norouz and Mehregan.

It was celebrated on the 16th of the seventh month, Mehr, at the time of harvest and beginning of winter. This feast would be celebrated for six days, starting on the 16th (Mehr Rouz) and ending on the 21st (Raam Rouz).

The first day was called Mehregan-e Khord and the last day Mehregan-e Bozorg. On these days, farmers carried out their harvest and prayed to God for it.

The ancient Iranian calendar had 12 months and each month contained 30 days. Each day had its own name and 12 days in each month had the month’s names as Farvadin, Ordibehesht, Khordad, etc. The name of the 16th day of the month was Mehr, so they celebrated it as Mehregan. Since, in the new Iranian calendar, the first six months of the year have 31 days, Mehregan arrives six days earlier, i.e. 10th of Mehr.

The seventh month in the Persian calendar is named Mehr and is dedicated to the Goddess of Light -- Mithra or Mehr. Her followers believed that she defeated evil and darkness, a scene that is often depicted with a triumphant lion residing over a bull. (Mithra is also a common noun in the Holy Book Avesta meaning contract).

Mehr day is mentioned as the day when the first male and female, namely Mashi and Mashiane, were created.

Ancient Iranians believed Mashi and Mashiane asked God to change them from plant to human, and their wish was granted on such a day.

They also believe Fereydoun’s victory over Azydahak (Zahhak in Ferdosi’s Shahnameh) happened on this day. Hence, Mehregan is a day of victory when angels helped Fereydoun and Kaveh gain victory over Zahhak. They imprisoned him in the Damavand Mountain where he died from his wounds six days later.

In a non-Zoroastrian context, where Mehr-Mithra is no longer worshipped, Mehregan remains a celebration involving family and friends. However, it is today recognized as a harvest festival.

The festival symbolically ends with bonfires and fireworks, but should not be confused with Sadeh, which likewise celebrates with bonfires but occurs at the end of the calendar year.

In Al-Biruni’s 11th-century book of instructions on the art of astrology, the astronomer observed that some people gave preference to Mehregan over Norouz just as they prefer autumn over spring.

The association of Mehregan with the polarity of sprint/autumn, sowing/harvest and the birth/rebirth cycle did not escape Al-Biruni either, for he noted that “they consider Mehregan as a sign of resurrection and the end of the world, because at Mehregan that which grows reaches perfection.”

Mehregan was celebrated in an extravagant style at Persepolis. Not only was it the time for harvest, but it was also the time when the taxes were collected.

Visitors from different parts of the empire brought gifts for the king, which contributed to a lively festival.

During pre-Islamic and early Islamic Iran, Mehregan was celebrated with the same magnificence and pageantry as Norouz. It was customary for people to give gifts to the king. Rich people usually gave gold and silver coins, heroes and warriors gave horses while others gave gifts according to their ability, even fruits.

Gifts over 10,000 gold coins given to the royal court were registered. At a later time, if the gift-giver needed money, the court would then return twice the gift amount.

Kings gave two audiences a year: at Norouz and Mehregan.

During the Mehregan celebrations, the king wore a fur robe and gave away all his summer clothes.

No matter what the origins, Persians all over celebrate this festival in the fall signifying the season of harvest and thanksgiving. Friendships are renewed and families are visited.

The festival is also a reminder of the cornerstone of the religion of Prophet Zoroaster -- good words, good deeds and good thoughts.

The people of the community, as a tradition, gather to celebrate and welcome the coming of spring and winter. Celebrations end with bonfires and fireworks and rejoicing on this merry occasion.

The Iranian Zoroastrians are celebrating this auspicious occasion on Friday, October 2.

At present, participants wear new clothes and set a decorative, colorful table for celebrating Mehregan.

The sides of the tablecloth are decorated with dry wild marjoram. A copy of Khordeh Avesta (Little Avesta), a mirror and a sormeh dan (an antimony container) are placed on the table together with rosewater, sweets, flowers, vegetables and fruits, especially pomegranates and apples, and nuts such as almonds or pistachios.

A few silver coins and lotus seeds are placed in a dish of water scented with marjoram extract.

A burner is also part of the table setting for kondor/loban (frankincense) and espand (Syrian rue seeds) to be thrown on the flames.

At lunch time, everyone in the family stands in front of the mirror to pray. A cool fruit drink is served and then--as a good omen--antimony is rubbed around the eyes. Handfuls of wild marjoram, lotus and sugar plum seeds are thrown over each other’s heads while they embrace one another.

Until at least the mid-1960s, the Zoroastrians of Yazd would still have a ritual slaughtering of a sheep on this day. The animal would be slaughtered between dawn and noon, and then slowly grilled on a spit until evening when the meat would then be eaten in a communal meal.

In the evening, bonfires are lit and prayers are recited for receiving divine blessings. Fireworks are also set off, following which families sit down for a lavish dinner.

http://www.iranreview.org/content/Docum ... stival.htm

Pictures:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
Parvaneh
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4429
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:11 am
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 43 times

Re: Mehrgan -Mihragan-Jashn-e Mehr

Postby Parvaneh » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:21 pm

Mehregan or Jashn’e Mehregan is a Zoroastrian and Iranian festival celebrated in honor of Mithra, the divinity of covenant, and hence of interpersonal relationships such as friendship, affection and love. Mehregan falls on the 196th day of the calendar year.


There are many accounts to the beginning of Mehregan:
Avestan texts divide the Iranian year into two equal parts or seasons. The first season was summer and the second was winter. The coming of the two seasons would be celebrated through, Norouz and Mehregan. It is celebrated on the 16th of the seventh month (Mehr) at the time of the harvest festivals and beginning of the winter. This feast would be celebrated for 6 days, starting on the 16th the "Mehr Ruz" and ending on the 21st known as "Raam Ruz". The first day was called "Mehregan'e Khord" and the last day "Mehregan'e Bozorg". In these days farmers had taken their harvest and they could pray God for it and relax.
Ancient Iranian's calendar had 12 months and each month contained 30 days. Each day had its own name and 12 days in each month had month's names as Farvadin ,Ordibehesht, Khordad,...and Iranians celebrated the day which its name was like the month's name, such as 19th of Farvardin and 2nd of Ordibehesht and 4th of Khordad...The name of 16th day of month was Mehr, so they celebrated this day as Mehregan. Now in our new calendar 6 first months of year have 31 days so Mehregan has come 6 days earlier, at 10th of Mehr.
Mehr day is mentioned as the day when the first male and female, Mashi and Mashiane were created from Gayo-maretan . Ancient Iranians believed, Mashi & Mashiane asked God to change them from plant to human shape, and God accepted their wish in such a day.
Fourth, Fereydoon's victory over Azydahak (Zahhak in king's letter) happened on this day. Mehregan is a day of victory when Angels helped Fereydoon and Kaveh become victorious over Zahhak. They imprisoned him in the Damavand Mountain where he died from his wounds 6 days later.

In a non-Zoroastrian context, where Mehr-Mithra is no longer worshipped, Mehregan still remains a celebration amongst family and friends, but it is today recognized as a harvest festival. The festival symbolically ends with bonfires and fireworks, but should not be confused with Sadeh, which likewise celebrates with bonfires but occurs at the end of the calendrical year.

In al-Biruni's 11th century Book of Instructions in the Elements of the Art of Astrology, the astronomer observed that some people have given the preference to Mehregan over Norooz by as much as they prefer autumn to spring. The association of Mehregan with the polarity of sprint/autumn, sowing/harvest and the birth/rebirth cycle did not escape al-Biruni either, for as he noted, "they consider Mehregan as a sign of resurrection and the end of the world, because at Mehregan that which grows reaches perfection."


Mehregan was celebrated in an extravagant style at Persepolis. Not only was it the time for harvest, but it was also the time when the taxes were collected. Visitors from different parts of the empire brought gifts for the king all contributing to a lively festival.


During Pre-Islamic and early Islamic Iran, Mehregan was celebrated with the same magnificence and pageantry as Norooz. It was customary for people to send or give their king, and each other gifts. Rich people usually gave gold and silver coins, heroes and warriors gave horses while others gave gifts according to their ability, even an apple.

Gifts over ten thousand gold coins given to the royal court were registered. At a later time, if the gift-giver needed money, the court would then return twice the gift amount. Kings gave two audiences a year; one audience at Norooz and other at Mehregan. During the Mehregan celebrations, the king wore a fur robe and gave away all his summer clothes.

For this celebration, the participants wear new clothes and set a decorative, colorful table. The sides of the tablecloth are decorated with dry wild marjoram. A copy of the Khordeh Avesta ("little Avesta"), a mirror and a sormeh dan (an antimony cellar) are placed on the table together with rose water, sweets, flowers, vegetables and fruits, especially pomegranates and apples, and nuts such as almonds or pistachios. A few silver coins and lotus seeds are placed in a dish of water scented with marjoram extract.

A burner is also part of the table setting for kondor/loban (frankincense) and espand (Syrian Rue seeds) to be thrown on the flames.

At lunch time when the ceremony begins, everyone in the family stands in front of the mirror to pray. Sherbet is drunk and then—as a good omen—antimony is rubbed around the eyes. Handfuls of wild marjoram, lotus and sugar plum seeds are thrown over each other’s heads while they embrace one another.

Until at least the mid-1960s, the Zoroastrians of Yazd would still have a ritual butchering of a sheep on this day. As for the other name day-feasts also, this would occur on the name-day itself, and for three days afterwards. The animal would be butchered between dawn and noon, and then slowly grilled on a spit until evening when the meat would then be eaten during a communal meal.

http://historicaliran.blogspot.com/2010 ... regan.html

Image
Parvaneh
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4429
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:11 am
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 43 times

Re: Mehrgan -Mihragan-Jashn-e Mehr

Postby Parvaneh » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:04 pm

he prophet, Zoroaster created many feasts and celebrations to pay homage to many deities and yazata (Eyzads) who symbolized all forces beneficial to humans. In addition to the 'Gahambars' dedicated to Ahura Mazda and the six holy immortals, there are other important festivals devoted to the major Eyzads such as Mihr, at Mihregan and Tiri at Tiragan.

The tradition ascribes the foundation of the seven feasts and other celebrations to the prophet himself; but in origin they appear to have been much older. They are pastoral and farming festivals restructured and dedicated to the major deities by the prophet. With the gahambars, the first feast was celebrated in mid-spring, the second in mid-summer, the third was 'the feast of bringing in the crop'. The 'home-coming feast' (coming of the herds from pasture), was followed by the mid-winter feast and Hamaspathmaedaya, the feast of the feasts celebrated on the last night of the year, before the spring equinox. This feast was eventually evolved into No Ruz, celebrating the New Year.

Avestan texts (the Zoroastrians' holy book) divide the Iranian year into two equal parts or seasons. The first season was summer or 'Hama' and the second was winter or 'Zayana'. The coming of the two seasons would be celebrated through No Ruz and Mihregan. The later is the festival dedicated to Mihr Izad. It is celebrated on the 16th of the seventh month (Mihr) at the time of the harvest festivals and beginning of the winter. It has been the second most elaborate celebration after No Ruz. The festival is called 'Mithrakana' in Avesta and means "belonging to Mithra".

Mihr has been Mithra in Avesta and Mitrah in Phahlavi. It is the yazata of the convenant and of loyalty. It has come from the word mei, meaning exchange. In Avesta he is the protector of "Payman e Dousti" (contract of friendship). In modern Persian it means love and kindness. He is the lord of ordeal by fire (walking through fire to prove innocence, story of Siavash in Shahnameh) and presides over judgment of the soul at death. Ancient Greeks identified him with Apollo.

This feast would be celebrated for 6 days, starting on the 16th ' the 'Mihr Ruz' and ending on the 21st known as 'Raam Ruz'. The first day was called 'Mihregan e Khord' and the last day 'Mihregan e Bouzorg' (lesser and major Mihregan). The oldest historical record about Mihregan goes back to the Achaemenian times. The Historian, Strabon (66 - 24 BC) has mentioned that the Armenian Satrap (governor) presented the Achaemenian king with 20,000 horses at the Mihregan celebrations.

Other Greek sources mention that the kings would dress in purple, dance, drink and this was the only occasion they could get drunk in public. Alcohol a luxury and expensive item was consumed communally. The celebration is also mentioned in Talmud, the ancient Jewish texts.

The festival is not specific to Iranians and has been celebrated by many cultures in Asia Minor and throughout ancient Mesopotamia. However what has been celebrated in Iran with it's uniquely Iranian characteristic is based on the ancient Zoroastrian texts. In Bundahishn (Foundation of Creation), an ancient Zoroastrian text, Mihr day is mentioned as the day when the first male and female, Mashi and Mashiane were created from Gayo-maretan (Kiomarth, the first prototype of all humans). It is also believed that sun's first appearance, and Feraydon's victory over Azydahak (Zahak in Shahnameh) happened on this day. Azydahak is a mythological king in Avesta who wants to destroy all humans and is defeated by the legendary prince, Feraydon who later becomes the king.

According to the legend on this day several Eyzads descend to earth and helped Feraydon over the next six days to defeat and eventually imprison Azydahak on the 21st of the month on top of the Damavand Mountain. After this victory, Feraydon ordered all believers to wear 'Kosti' (special ceremonial belt Zoroastrians wear) and the prayers 'Ouj' were recited for the first time.

In Sassanian times there were plays and re-enactment of this legend accompanied with prayers and songs at the Royal courts. Ancient Iranians believed that it was in Mihr day that humans were given urvan (ravan in modern Persian, meaning soul) and the earth was enlarged on this day to provide more land for the growing population. Moon (Mah) which was a cold and dark object for the first time received light from sun on this day and began illuminating at night. Mihr is also the protector of the light of the early morning. This light is called havangah in Avestan texts and is referred to the first ray of light appearing just before dawn. Zoroastrians would get up at this time and pray to Mithra to keep protecting this light against forces of darkness. In mystical Persian literature we know these prayers as 'Da ye verde sobhgahe'(prayers of early morning).

In the 'Yasht' section of Avesta (chapters dedicated to prayers) the 10th Yasht is devoted to Mihr and the whole chapter deals with the two most important characteristics attributed to Mithra, truth and courage. Mihr Yasht makes it quite clear that Mihr and sun are two different entities. Mihr is portrayed as a truthful and brave king with one thousand ears and ten thousand eyes. He is also the protector of warriors, and it has been this aspect of its' personality that made this deity popular with the Roman Military and Mithra was eventually evolved into a major Roman cult and Mithraism spread all over Europe.

The celebrations described by the Muslim historians and observers attest to the glory and significance of the occasion. Huge bon fires were set with feasts, songs, music, dancing and prayers. For Zoroastrians today the occasion is a communal one. In Jasn-e Mihr Izad, they all join together for observance and prayer. Till recently each family gave a contribution of grains, lentils and the like to the fire-temple. Animal sacrifices are made by some and the remains are mixed with lentils, herbs and a substantial meal (ash-e khirat) is prepared. Once cooked, the meal is distributed freely to all local people including the non-Zoroastrians. Different kinds of food and delicacies are prepared. These are shared by all including dogs, which are venerated amongst Zoroastrians.

The festival prayers are performed by the Mobads (priests) and gifts such as pure oil for the sanctuary lamps, candles and incense are presented to the local shrines. Esphand a local popular incense is burnt and sweet smelling flowers and herbs are dedicated to the temples. Contrary to the ancient times, there is no rigidly prescribed pattern of behavior for approaching the shrines, but many still touch the doorsill before entering in a graceful gesture of obeisance, while uttering prayers and invocations. Iranian Muslims still follow the same procedure once approaching a mosque.

Because of the sanctity of this feast, its ancient communal rites are elaborately celebrated at the 'Atash Varahram'; the holiest fire in Iran. The greatest observance is the lighting outside this temple of a huge fire just after the sunset. At home, a special table is laid with the fire vase or an incense burner, a copy of the 'Khordeh Avesta' (Zoroastrian Holy Book), a mirror for self-reflection, water (the source of life), coins (prosperity), fruits, flowers, sweets, wine and various grains. Elders or priests recite appropriate prayers, especially 'Mihr Niyaish' (prayers to Mihr) to signify the occasion. A poem is read to glorify the festival. Food is consumed and those present dance to the tune of music until late in the night.

Music was always a part of all ancient celebrations and Sassanian court was famous for its musicians and composers. Musical pieces were written for all occasions. Mihregan Khord and Bouzorg are the names of two 'maghams' in Persian music. They are mentioned by Nezami, Farabi and other writers in the Middle ages, but did not survive and are not in the present day 'radif' in Persian music.

For the ancient Iranians Mihr symbolized truthfulness, bravery and courage. These attributes were re-enforced and venerated through prayers, rituals, feasts, celebrations and acts of charity. Though most modern Iranians have heard about Mihregan, but unlike No Ruz it is not celebrated by all and is mainly regarded as a Zoroastrian festival. In the recent years there has been a revival of this joyful and merry occasion both in Iran and outside and more Iranians are participating in this festival. Also since, school year starts on 1st of the Persian month Mihr, on about 23 September, in Iran, Mihregan is celebrated as a time to rejoice learning and knowledge to make the festival more acceptable with the Islamic authorities.

http://iranchamber.com/culture/articles ... hregan.php
Parvaneh
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4429
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:11 am
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 43 times

Re: Mehrgan -Mihragan-Jashn-e Mehr

Postby Barbara J. Stephens » Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:26 am

Nice to know about this festival.The dry fruits i really liked them.When i visited the last year.I,m not attending this festival because its on 196th day of the year but i traveled to Iran after this festival.But now when i visit Iran.i would like to go in the days of this Festival to enjoy it and see the Iranian culture on this day.I,m also a history lover.So its a great source of information for me.I like it.
Have you ever been travel to new york knoxville in bus http://www.getbusticket.com/new-york-ny-to-knoxville-tn.html with this bus service?
Barbara J. Stephens
 
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:45 am
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 8 times


Return to Iranian Ceremony

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron