Fire is a holy symbol for Zoroastrian people. This may be related to the fact that the heat of fire is a priority for keeping people alive. Zoroastrian fire temple has been burning in Yazd city, central Iran since at least 1500 years ago. Yazd comes from the word Yazdan which means God and is a religious and historical city. Zoroastrian fire temple or Yazd Atash Behram and also known as Atashkadeh-e is a 21-meter high building with a large pool as shown in the photos below. On the front of the building, the symbol of God (Faravahar, a winged deity of the Ahura Mazda) is proudly vivid. The primary design of the fire temple originates in the era of the Achaemenid architecture (the first Persian Empire or the Achaemenid Dynasty). Therefore, it is very Persian. This holy place is the central temple of Zoroastrians in Iran and they follow their religion besides this holy fire. The place is open to the public especially tourists and everybody is permitted to view religious ceremonies. This place was built in 1934 as the inscription in the fire temple displays. Association of Parsi Zoroastrians of India funded the project and Jamshid Amanat was in charge of the construction. But the fire itself is ancient and long-lasting.
The holy fire (Behram fire or Victorious Fire) has been burning since about 470 AD during the Sasanid Dynasty (the third Persian Empire). Back then, the fire was in Pars Karyan fire temple in the southern Pars area of Larestan, Iran. After that, the fire was moved to Aqda for another 700 years and then transferred to Nahid-e Pars temple near Ardakan, Iran in 1173. Finally, after 300 years, Zoroastrians moved it to the house of a high priest in Yazd, and the current building of fire temple was built in 1934.
Historians believe that Behram Fire is more than 1500 years old and it has been burning since 470 AD. Obviously there are many stories about Persia in the heart of this holy fire. Generations after generations, and centuries after centuries, dedicated Mogies (Moghs or Persian priests) have protected this holy fire and they have never stopped in showing their commitment to Persia and her heavenly prophet. This is a unique fire but, there are nine Atash Behrams in the world. The other eight are in India. This is because in the era of Islamic invasions to Persia, many of them were forced to escape to India and continue their religion in that part of the world. What makes these ancient fires special to Iranians is that such an ancient heritage is used for religious purposes by sixteen different sources like a lightning bolt. If you come as a tourist to Iran, you should know that the fire temple is located on the Ayatollah Kashani Avenue and is six kilometers away from Yazd Airport. Everybody is welcome to visit the holy fire.
Face veils are used in Zoroastrian ceremonies due to the smoke of fire and white clothes are worn in their religious ceremonies. The holy color is green and marriage is a scared tradition. Iran is the country of God. Iranians have always worshiped God in their outstanding history and they have never worshipped fire or idols. The fire is the symbol of life, warmness and an effective tool for humans to continue living in the world.
Zoroastrians use their Surdeh and a Kusti, or cord to pray. To wear it, they tie the Kusti around the Surdeh three times for all of the goods. Our Persian life is based on family and praying God at home not only for a better life in this world but in another world. This is partly because Zoroaster was the man of family and the Day of Judgment. In the past, Zoroastrians did not bury dead bodies. They put dead bodies in the Towers of Silence for animals to eat. Nowadays they bury dead bodies.
Zoroastrians always work for a better community and society. They also give large amounts of money to the poor. Donations are given not only for a better life in this world but also for giving peace to the souls of the dead. Zoroastrians believe in the Day of Judgment, life after this world and praying. Obviously, Zoroaster`s scared traditions, customs, heavenly beliefs and some religious practices are alive in Iran on a large scale. For example, their green color is the symbol of peace, freedom, nature and spirituality in modern Iran.
Iran is very safe, with the friendliest people you have ever met who go out of their way to make sure you are safe and having a good time. If you come to Yazd, you should know that ancient places are diverse and very unique like Markar Clock Tower, Dolat Abad Garden, and Amir Chakhmaq Complex. Furthermore, Shater Abbas Restaurant, Shaghayegh Restaurant, and Sahel Restaurant serve Persian meals which are really unique in the world. Traditional Persian hotels include Morshed Garden Traditional Hotel, Dohad, Vali Traditional Hotel, Lab-e-Khandaq Historical Hotel and Malek-o-Tojjar Hotel. Come and see the oldest country in the world.
Yazd at nights, brilliant, shiny and rich in Persian history, civilization and architecture
A central fire temple (Atashkadeh-e) in Yazd with beautiful Persian architecture
A central fire temple (Atashkadeh) in Yazd, rich in Persian history, art and architecture
The unique symbol of God (Faravahar or Izad) on the top of the fire temple in Yazd
Yazd (now): Face veils to avoid contamination with the holy fire (Atar) in religious ceremonies
Zoroastrians in a religious ceremony, Yazd, Iran
Atar or fire inside a fire temple in Yazd, Iran
The tower of Silence, open to tourists in Yazd, Iran
Two Zoroastrians are reading their holy book (Old Avestan).