Haaji Firuz


Haaji Firuz
by ebi amirhosseini

Arbaab-e khod-am salaamo ´aleykom,

Arbaab-e khod-am sar-eto baalaa kon!

Arbaab-e khod-am be man nigaa kon,

Arbaab-e khod-am lotf-i be maa kon.

Arbaab-e khod-am boz-boz-e qhandi,

Arbaab-e khod-am cheraa nemikhandi?

Haaji Firuz blackens his face, wears very colorful clothes, usually—but not always—red, and always a hat that is sometimes long and cone-shaped. His songs, quite traditional in wording and melody, are very short repetitive ditties.  (Bolukbâši, 1977, pp. 108-9; idem, 2001, p. 38).Occasionally, the Haaji Firuz, whose income depends on his ability and talent to entertain by humor, manages to work other traditional songs into his routine. One of the most popular of these, goes as follows: 

 Beshkan beshkan-e, beshkan!

Man nemishkanam, beshkan!

Injaa beshkanam yaar gel-e daar-e,

Unjaa beshkanam yaar gel-e daar-e,

In siaah-e bichaare cheqad hosele daar-e !! Classical Persian sources that mention many folk entertainers do not refer to Haaji Firuz at all, nor is he mentioned in casual reference in poetry or prose of the classical period. There can be little doubt, however, that Haaji Firuz has virtually replaced all the other New Year entertainers of the past such as Mir-e Nowruzi, Ghul-e biaabaani, Aatash-afruz, etc. In a paper originally published in 1983, Mehrdad Bahar wrote that Haaji Firuz is derived from ceremonies and legends connected to the epic of  Siavosh, which are in turn derived from those associated with the Mesopotamian deities of agriculture and flocks, Tammuz.Following James Frazer,Bahar argued that Tammuz returned from the world of the dead every spring, and his festival, commemorated the yearly death and rebirth of vegetation. In some of these ceremonies during which people sang and danced in the streets, many blackened their faces. From this evidence, Bahar deduced that the Iranian Haaji Firuz with his blackened face must be a survival of the Mesopotamian rite of darkening one's face while participating in the festival of Tammuz (Bahar, 1995a, p. 226). Ten years later in an interview Bahar stated his original supposition more emphatically, and claimed that "Haaji Firuz's blackened face symbolizes his returning from the world of the dead, his red clothing is the sign of Siavash's red blood and the coming to life of the sacrificed deity, while his joviality is the jubilation of rebirth, typical of those who bring rejuvenation and blessing along with themselves" (Bahar, 1995b, p. 231).In a note on translation of the Bundahishn*he speculates that the name "Siyawakhsh" might mean "black man" or "dark-faced man" and suggests that the "black" part of the name may be a reference either to the blackening of the faces of the participants in the mentioned Mesopotamian ceremonies, or to the black masks that they wore for the festivities. He adds that the Haaji Firuz character may be a remnant of these ancient practices (Bahar, 1996, pp. 194-95). Another scholar (Haashem Razi) finds the Haaji Firuz to be a continuation of a New Year's tradition of the Sasanian period, during which black slaves, wearing colorful clothing and a great deal of makeup, would entertain the public with song and dance (Razi, p. 44)**.







Late Dr Bahar;in many occasions,talked about his theory about the mythical character of Haaji Firuz in his classes.For a student of Iranian studies,like myself,he had plenty of historical,liguistics & mythological facts to present.Late Dr Taffazoli & Dr Arfa'ee agreed with him on this subject.



Ostaad Haashem Razi,has many publications on Iran,Zoroasterian subjects,mythology &.....unfortunately for some reasons unknown to me the faculty members of Historical Linguistics ,Tehran university,were not in good terms with him?!so I had to meet him w/o knowledge of them in Farvahar bookstore(In Kaakh st) & satisfy mr thirst for a comparative study of Pre-Islamic studies.His theories were mostly not based on academic studies!.






1-Mehrdad Bahar, "Nowruz, zamaan-e moqaddas,"  1362 /1983, pp. 772-78.

2-Jostaar-i chand dar farhang-e Iran, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1374 /1995, pp. 221-29.

3-Haashem Razi, Nowruz, sawaabeqh-e taarikhi taa emruz, Tehran, 1358/1979.

4-´Ali Bolukbaashi,  Nowruz: jashn-e now-zaa`i-e aafarinesh, 2nd ed. Tehran, 2001.


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ebi amirhosseini

Azarin Jaan

by ebi amirhosseini on

Nowruz-e shoma ham mobaarak!!



Ebi aka Haaji

ebi amirhosseini

MPD aziz

by ebi amirhosseini on

Not misunderstood.To be honest with you,don't like it.


Ebi aka Haaji

Azarin Sadegh

Thank you Ebi Jan!

by Azarin Sadegh on

Very interesting!

To tell you the truth, I always felt a bit uncomfortable by haji firuz. when I was still in Iran, I didn't like this whole "arbaab-nokar" relationship and then since I've moved to the US, I saw it as politically incorrect and racist.

But after reading your blog and the theory of the late Dr. Bahar (That I find fascinating), I hope I wouldn't feel so embarassed by this tradition.

Thanks and Nowruz-e shoma mobaarak!!


Multiple Personality Disorder

Dear ebi,

by Multiple Personality Disorder on

I hope my comment is not being misunderstood.  I thought your blog was great, well written, and well documented.  I was just asking whether you had an opinion about what I asked.

ebi amirhosseini

Dear Friends....

by ebi amirhosseini on

Sepaas for all supporting comments.


Ebi aka Haaji

bajenaghe naghi

ebi jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

thanks for bringing to me a rush of great memories. that was beautiful. 


cute blog

by IRANdokht on

Thanks Ebi jan

we all have lots of happy memories of Hajji Firooz and the innocent times...




by Ano (not verified) on

"How do you feel about having Haji Firooz dancing in the streets of the USA while African-Americans are looking and wondering what is going on?"

I believe Iranians position on this issue is the old Don't ask Don't tell policy! The more you try to explain this to African-Americans the more infuriated they become and rightfully so.

I think as a minimum we can select better photos and costumes in USA. More politically correct and sensitive to African-Americans history and the negative parallels that our Haji Firooz provides. Namely demeaning roles and caricatures in old movies and jokes.


Another gold nugget

by rainbowcountery on


Gosh beda bebin aoostad Arif chea mega ... chea khoob agea...

... Adam ahlea Kalak Nabasha ... Yak rangi wa do rangi 

dorost ta kon


Man ka khaili khosh tip hastem Wali Haji firuz Ham Ma Hasteem





"abraab-e khod-am saambraa'baleykom"!!! :o)

by ThePope on

Haaji; thanks for the info...




by JD (not verified) on

Thanks for the information and the memory.

Multiple Personality Disorder

Very well done

by Multiple Personality Disorder on

How do you feel about having Haji Firooz dancing in the streets of the USA while African-Americans are looking and wondering what is going on?