Posted 03/08/2017

Norooz - Sizdeh Bedar

Norooz - Sizdeh Bedar

Sizdeh Bedar (or, in English, ‘getting rid of the thirteenth’) is a picnicking ceremony in Iranian culture that marks the end of the celebration period for Persian New Year, or Eid e Norooz. 

The origins of Sizdeh Bedar come from the years-old superstition  of ‘the unlucky number “13”.  Therefore, on the 13th day of the new year, people would flock to  local parks, gardens, and forests to enjoy the wonders of spring and ward off any bad luck that might come their way. The purity of nature and the freshness of spring help to do away with any evils of the thirteenth and also provide an opportunity to finish off the festivities of the new year in a pleasant way and in the company of friends and family. 

Even now, Iranians all over the world celebrate by taking parks in numbers of hundreds and thousands. Families and delicious meals, play takhteh (backgammon,

a traditional Persian  celebration marks a time for Iranians to celebrate their relationship with nature and with their family and loved ones. 

A tradition associated with Sizdeh Bedar is that of the ceremonial disposal of the sabzeh. Sabzeh is a dish of wheat, barley, or lentil sprouts, which is grown and displayed during Norooz in the Haft Seen, as a symbol of fertility and spring.

During the two weeks of Norooz celebration, a family’s sabzeh is said  to absorb the bad luck, illness, and hardships the family will face inthe upcoming year.  At the end of Sizdeh Bedar, Persian families throw out  their sabzeh in order to be rid of these pains and burdens.

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