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March 7, 2005


Ghaashogh-zani ("spoon hitting"), is one of the popular customs of Chaharshanbeh Souri on the evening of the last Tuesday of the old year. Small groups of children, teenagers and young adults get together carrying a pan with a spoon and wearing a chador (it is important that they are not recognized; even disguise their voice if necessary). They walk to neighborhood houses at night and at the entrance, they bang their spoons on the pans to annouce their presence. When residents open the door, they usually pour a handful of nuts or candy in the pans. Halloween in the U.S. is very similar to this Iranian custom.

Also from, thanks to Mehran Azhar:

In ancient Iran, people placed various meals on rooftops in order to entertain and welcome the arriving FARVARS. This ritual dates back to Abu Reyhani's era and is still practiced in Fars rural villages. The ritual of spoon beating is a symbol representing the welcoming of these newly arrived guests from the skies who are hungry and thirsty and need water and food and offerings must be made to them. Spoon and the copper plate symbolize food and offerings during religious rituals is an old custom of all tribes worldwide.

Parties and religious celebrations have always been in practice everywhere especially in Iran. Since FARVARS are invisible creatures, untouchable and not recognizable, their allegories must also remain unrecognizable. It is for this reason that boys wear large veils and girls cover their faces in an effort to remain unknown.

Beating spoon on metallic plates is an indication of requesting food offerings. It is up to families to be generous to these unknown visitors. In this ritual those who have offered food will demonstrate and show the descending FARVARS desire for food. This will bring auspiciousness and good luck and the families in need will receive food for themselves and for their heavenly guests during the New Year and will take the food to their homes. Insofar as these food offerings are specially donated to heavenly beings and belong to them, will make the poor families happy. The donors of the food will also be blessed by the FARVARS and their problems will go away.

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