Many celebrations are held each year by Iranians. They are all originated from the history and culture of this pure country which is mainly rooted in the Zoroastrianism. In addition there are stories behind each one. Moreover in each one some special customs are done. One of the most important one is “Tirgan festival” that still celebrates, specially Zoroastrians. Tirgan is celebrated in the 13th day of Tir, the 4th month of solar calendar.
Among Iranian celebrations Nowruz, Yalda, Sadeh and Tirgan are the most important ones. In fact, there are theories about this fascinating festival.
1-At this day the goddess of rain, “Tishtrya”, fought against the demon of dry period, “Apush”. Tishtrya had a shifty appearance or figure. At the first ten days of the month, Tishtrya was like a handsome, young man. then in the middle it was like a bull and finally during the last ten days of the month it became a white horse. It went to a celestial ocean and fought against Apush which had a horrible figure with his black tail and ears. Their battle continued for three days that evantually Tishtrya was beaten by his rival. But finally , Tishtrya could defeat the demon by the help of the great God.
2-Some others believe that it refers to the Iranian hero “Arash the archer”. According to them a war had happened between Iran and Turan, the northern neighbor, as a result of border dispute. This war happened at the first day of the month, first of Tir, and Turan won the battle that Iranian army had to setbeck to Mazandaran, a city to the north of Iran near “the Caspian sea”. The battle lasted for 9 days, then they made a peace treaty, and agreed to choose an Iranian archer to indicate the border. The angel of the earth, “Esfandiarmaz”, ordered to bring a bow and chose Arash. He is the Iranian hero and the best archers. The angle told him that the destiny of the country and war is depend on him, the farer he shoot, the wider his country would be and he had to sacrifice himself for his country. So he showed his vigorous muscles and powerful body to his army and said:” look at my body. I know that as I release the arrow, all my powers will be used up, but I will sacrifice myself for my country”. Then he climbed Damavand, the highest mountain in Iran, near the Capital, and shot the arrow with all his power. Hormoz, the great god, ordered the wind to help him and carry the arrow. It was flying half of a day and finally landed on a nut tree near Jaxartes, which was the biggest in the world. Tragically Arash could settle the border dispute by sacrificing himself.
3-According to mythologists, in the ancient Iran, each day had a special name, related to their deities or something else, and when it was the same with the name of the month, they celebrated that day. So based on this theory the 13th day of Tir, Tishtrya or Tishtar, is a celebration that is named Tirgan.
4-Abu Reyhan Al-Biruni, the famous Iranian scholar and polymath, believes that this day is the day of authors. According to him in this day Mercury, the planet, will appear in the sky which is the symbol of writing. Moreover in this day, authors and writers were accepted in the court of Hushang whom was an Iranian mythical king. Now this day is also named as the authors’ day.
Each celebration has customs, related to their history and philosophy. In addition these customs might be different in distinct areas. “Ab Pashi”, splashing water, “Dastband-e Tir-o Bad”, a bracelet, and “Fal-e Koozeh”, an omen, are some customs related to this festival.
Tirgan is also celebrated near some sources of water to do the custom. In this day people splash water on each other and wish a well rainy year. “Abrizgan”, “Ab Pashan” and “Sarshuran” are its other names.
Dastband-e Tir-o Bad
During the celebrations a bracelet of 7 seven-color bands, threads, called “Tir-o Bad”, ties on the wrists. Then, after about 9 days it will be untied and released in the wind, to carry wishes like a messenger.
The day before Tirgan, a girl is chosen to carry a green jar, full of water, and people put some small objects in it, such as; ring, earring, broche, coin, etc. Then she puts the jar under a tree. In Tirgan day, after Ab Pashi custom, they gather in place in order to find their omen. The girl withdraws objects while elder people are singing. In fact the omen is the song, coinciding with the withdrawal of the object. In this custom usually women participate.
Tirgan is an Iranian festival which celebrated on the 13th day of Tir, July 3. This exiting festivals holds in different dates in different areas of Iran, the most common one is July 3. What is the origin is not clear but there are theories. In addition of having some special customs in this day, there are also special foods such as; Spinach soap and “Shole Zard”.