I love the New Year’s festivities in Iran. Last night was the last Tuesday evening of the Iranian year (why it’s celebrated is beyond me…). This day is celebrated with fireworks and bonfires. The tradition is to jump over a fire while saying: Give me your red and take from me my yellow. Our hosts lit 6 small bonfires that we jumped over 3 times each. We were joined by children, a teenage girl who took off her chador when convinced that she should join us in leaping over the flames, a few old men, us middle-aged foreigners, & young and middle-aged Iranians. It was great fun. “Play with fire.” That’s the message.
“We wanted to put a tire on the bonfire to remind us of the days of the revolution,” one of the older men joked. “But we didn’t want to scare the foreigners.”
“Oh they wouldn’t be scared,” our Iranian friend assured the men. “They would just be angry with you for further polluting the air.” This got a hearty laugh.
There were easily 10x more fireworks than last year. “If anyone wanted to bomb Iran, tonight would be the night,” K joked. “No one would notice.” All of our foreign friends expressed fears of Molotov cocktails, but I have never seen anything of the kind. “Where did you get that idea?” Iranians told them. I asked my Iranian friends about it but they just looked at me like I was crazy. “Foreigners think we are violent.” “Iranians told them about the Molotov cocktails,” I tell them.