Iran, March 12, 2018 - On the eve of the last Wednesday before Nowrouz (the Persian New Year), Iranians across the nation celebrate Chaharshanbe Suri, a Festival of Fire that has been practiced for thousands of years. Chaharshanbe Suri is a day when people of all ages and backgrounds will come together, take to the streets, set up bonfires and jump over them, dance, and overall have a great time.
On the eve of the last Wednesday before Nowrouz , Iranians
Chaharshanbe Suri is a day when people of all ages and backgrounds will come together
This year, the festival will be commemorated on March 13th.
During recent weeks, officials of the regime have spoken out against the upcoming festival, in an attempt to prevent people from observing it. Their reaction comes as no surprise, as the regime has always demonstrated its opposition to such events.
Fear of nationwide retaliation
During Friday prayers in Isfahan, Ayatollah Tabatabai Nejad said, “It's not a joy to upset God, we must be aware that one cannot be happy with dancing and sins.” Abdul Rahman Khodaei, the Representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei in Sanandaj said, “The use of firecracker materials and the creation of noise is not in the Iranian people's culture, especially in Kurdistan, and creating such an unpleasant move is far from the dignity of Iranian families.”
IRGC officials have threatened people with arrest if they disrupt public order and any warehouse caught selling explosive material could be shut down.
The question is, why won’t the regime ever permit Iranians to freely practice this ancient tradition? Why do they threaten people with arrests and punishment?
While the regime is notorious for cracking down on parties and people gathered to have a good time, the Chaharshanbe Suri celebrations have a political component that the regime detests even more.
The Iranian people use the Fire Festival to express their loath and hatred towards the regime. During previous festivals, Iranians protest and chant anti-government slogans such as “Death to Khamenei” and “Death to Dictator” while jumping over the fire. Another popular practice is the burning of Khamenei’s pictures.
With discontent against the regime at an increased high among Iranians, this Chaharshanbe Suri will again be the scene of people demonstrating their wrath against the regime and here’s why:
The Iranian people are furious
1) A nationwide uprising erupted in late December 2017 and protests continue till this very day. The cause of the uprising is due to tough economic conditions and hardships the people of Iran are faced with, but is also as result of the decades-long of oppression. Therefore, they took to the streets in massive numbers to demand their rights and this Charshanbe Suri they will be doing the same.
One of the latest protests was held in Isfahan on March 9th, 2018, where thousands of farmers gathered to demand their right to water.
The Iranian people have clearly shown they want regime change, and nothing less.
The call for protest
2) The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), Iran’s main opposition group, has called for anti-government protests on this day.
According to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), “The People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran’s command inside the country has called for mobilization in connection with Chaharshanbeh Suri.”
Not only will this Chaharshanbe Suri be a celebration of an ancient tradition, but it will also a day where the people will yet again show their hatred against the regime.
Iranians look forward to this day, while the dictatorship ruling Iran is extremely fearful.