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New old tradition
A taste of Chaarshanbeh Suri in California

By Yasaman J
March 15, 2001
The Iranian

I have wonderful childhood memories of Chaarshanbeh Suri. So I decided to give a taste of it to my son Roshan here in California, far away from Iran.

After some thinking and planning I invited a few of his little friends and their parents. We started the evening by coloring hard-boiled eggs. Easter being around the corner, it was not too hard finding the coloring kits.

"Are we coloring eggs for Easter?" the kids asked.

"No! These are for the Haft-Seen."

After coloring the eggs and finishing three large Pizzas, we went to our backyard to jump over the fire. We placed small pieces of firewood inside aluminum dishes on the concrete floor and started the fires.

At first the kids were hesitant to jump over the fire. But they got bolder as the flames got stronger. Everyone stood in line and jumped over the fire. It was very sweet to hear the kids shouting "Zardi man az to... " -- even in an American accent.

After the fires were out, we gave each child a pot and a spoon. The parents stood at the doors opening to our backyard.

"What are these pots for?" asked the confused but excited kids.

"It's sort of like Halloween. You go banging spoons and get treats."

And banging spoons they did. Very loud and clear. I am sure our neighbors appreciated it.

Parents gave each of the kids a feast full of chocolates and candy. The kids enjoyed it a lot. One of them wanted to go banging spoons in the neighborhood and was told that others do not know about Chaarshanbeh Suri; it is a special day only for a few lucky kids like them.

We said our goodbyes and the last family drove away. I thought this was a lot different from what I did when I was a kid. But Roshan now had an idea of how much fun Chaarshanbeh Suri could be. Who knows, maybe in a hundred years my great grandchildren will think of this as the American Chaarshanbeh Suri! After all, old traditions were once new ideas.

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