Iran (Persia) has been always the land of festivals and Zoroaster’s traditions. Many Zoroastrian customs are still practiced in Iran (Persia) on a large scale. In Zoroastrianism, happiness is important and is considered as a holy virtue. Thus, this religion has many feasts and celebrations.
Mehregan is a celebration of life, seasonal changings, God, and joy. Mehregan is a way to cherish our ancient roots in Western Asia and Central Asia.
Mehregan (Persian: مهرگان or Jashn-e-Mehr جشن مهر or Mithra Festival) is a Zoroastrian and Persian festival celebrated to honor Mithra.
Mehr is the first month of autumn when children go to school in Iran. Mehr (Jashn-e-Mehr) is also celebrated for opening schools in the first month of autumn.
Mehregan is the Persian festival of autumn in Iran (Persia). Mithra (the God of lightness) is responsible for kindness and love among people in such a festival . This festival is also related to harvesting crops by farmers in the ancient world. It is the time that Ahura Mazda (the only single God) gives people food to survive cold months.
There is a legend behind Mehregan. Fereydun (a Persian king) defeated the evil (Zahhak) and sent him to Mount Damavand in Iran (Persia). This issue is part of a cycle that ties Mehregan with Nowruz (Persian New Year). Dahak (an evil) defeated Jamshid (a Persian king), and Fereydun defeated Dahak, so restoring the balance. Thus, the association of Mehregan is with spring/autumn, sowing/harvest and the birth/rebirth cycle.
In ancient Persia, Mehregan was celebrated at Persepolis. It was the time for harvest and tax collection. Visitors from different parts of the Persian Empire brought gifts for the king. The Persian king hosted royal people from Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and other parts of Persia. It was a time for fun in Western Asia and Central Asia. Persian Kings gave two public speeches a year: one speech at Nowruz and other at Mehregan. That was a message for Western Asia and Central Asia.
Wealthy people gave gold and silver coins to the poor. Heroes and warriors gave horses while others gave gifts according to their financial ability. Rich people helped the poor with many gifts. Gifts to the royal court of over ten thousand gold coins were registered.
In Persia, festivals are in harmony with nature. For this celebration, people wear new clothes and set a table. Zoroastrians put a copy of Avesta (the Persian holy book), a mirror and a Sormeh-dan (a traditional eyeliner or kohl) on a table. Other items include: Persian rosewater, high quality sweets, flowers, vegetables and fruits, especially pomegranates and apples, and nuts such as almonds and Persian pistachios. A few silver coins and lotus seeds are put in a small tank of water on such a table. Other items include Kondor/Loban (Frankincense) and Espand (Peganum harmala).
At lunch time, families stand in front of the mirror to pray. Sharbat (a soft Persian drink) is served and then Sormeh is used around the eyes.
Marjoram, lotus and sugar plum seeds are thrown over one another’s heads while they embrace one another.
In recent years, Mehregan has been revived by the new Persian generation. It is also celebrated in other parts of Persia including Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kurdish territory in Western Asia and many Persian people in India, the USA, Canada and Europe.
Mehregan is a festival that can bring Western Asia and Central Asia together. Mehregan is a golden opportunity to revive the historical identity of Western Asia and Central Asia. The stolen heritage of Western Asia and Central Asia is not forgotten. If we look at the map of Persia on the homepage of the website, we realize what a vast region is civilized. Such a region deserves more. Mehregan is a reminder to restore our civilizations, customs, and traditions and introduce them to the world.
Mithra in Iran
Mithra is scarifying a bull for God.
Persepolis, Shiraz, Iran, a royal Persian palace to celebrate Mehregan
Royal people bring gifts to the Persian king.
A photo of Mehregan table published by Amordadnew
Mehregan Table at UCTI University of Malaysia set by Persian Students
Persian pomegranate as a bold symbol of Mehregan table
Zoroastrians celebrate Mehregan in Iran peacefully.