Salute to Sadeh

The Jashn-e Sadeh festival celebrated on January 30 each year has been added to the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. As reported in the December 2023 issue of Zoroastrianism Today, the monthly newsletter of the SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) Shapoorji Pallonji Institute of Zoroastrian Studies, Sadeh or Sada (denoting one hundred) marks the end of the coldest winter days with 50 days and 50 nights remaining to spring.   Sadeh celebrations in Iran     Photo: Soodeh Hajikaram   A shared tradition between Iran and Tajikistan, the celebration involves singing, dancing and praying around a fire and offering blessings with dry or fresh fruits. To mark the traditional start of agricultural work for the new season, farmers sprinkle fertilizer on their lands and gardeners prune their trees and bushes. People then meet outdoors to collectively clean water streams and pools, and to repair bridges. The old and the young participate in the preparation of traditional dishes while absorbed in storytelling. The media, social networks, conferences and symposia help in the transmission of Sadeh customs and uniting people from different cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds, reported Zoroastrianism Today. ...

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