Happy Sepandarmazgan! سپندارمذگان
(The Persian Valentine's Day)
Unlike Saudi Arabia which bans the color red in public during Valentine's, Iran is flushed
with red in February as well as March for the Persian New Year. Photo by Sharto
Sepandarmazgan is an Iranian and Zoroastrian festival that was
celebrated on the 5th day of the month of Isfand.
It is the celebration day of love towards mothers and wives, and
also a celebration of earth in ancient Persian culture. This day is
dedicated to Spenta Armaiti, Spandārmad in Middle Persian, the
Middle Iranian language/ethnolect of Southwestern Iran that
during Sassanid times (224-654 CE) became a prestige dialect
and so came to be spoken in other regions as well.
Sepandarmazgan is the celebration day of Love, Friendship and
Earth in ancient Persian culture. The word Spandarmazgan in
modern Persian is taken from Middle Persian Spandarmad or
Spandarmat which in turn is based on the Avesta language
Spənta Ārmaiti, the feminine angelic spirit of the Earth.
This day is registered on Bahman 29th in the Iranian Calendar,
only 3 days After Valentine's Day. The original date for this
ceremony was Esfand 5th, which corresponds to 24 February in
the Gregorian calendar. The popular revised date of Bahman
29th (18 February), is due to the reorganization of the Iranian
calender, once by Omar Khayyam in the 11th century, and once
again in the first half of the 20th century. Thousands of Iranians
observe the celebration day every year.
Persians have a rich culture with many great feasts based on
natural occasions that have been mixed up with happiness & Joy.
In the feast of Sepandarmazgan, Earth was worshiped and women venerated. On this day, Women and girls sat on the
throne and men and boys had to obey them and bring them presents and gifts. In this way, men were reminded to acclaim
and respect women.
Sepandarmaz is another name for mainyu (earth) meaning Holy, Humble & Passionate.
Also Sepandarmaz is Earth Guardian Goddess. It is the symbol of humbleness, it means modesty towards all creation.
These are the qualities attributed to Earth that spreads beneath our feet, thus the symbol of modesty and love. As human
beings, there are creatures that we find unpleasant and repulsive, but Earth is not like us. She embraces all creatures the
same and loves them equally; like a mother who loves all children alike. In our ancient culture, mother is symbolized by
sepandarmaz or earth. Have you ever seen a Love more sacred than Mother’s Love to her children?
Why is the fifth of Espand called Sepandarmazgan?
In ancient Persia today known as Iran, each day of the month had a name, and all months had 30days. For example, the
first day was called Ahuramazda, the second day; Bahman which is the first attribute of God, the third day was called
Ordibehesht meaning truth and purity which again are attributes of God. The fourth day is called Shahrivar, meaning ideal
kingship that belongs to God who rules the whole universe. The cryptic meaning of this word is that in the same way that
God rules over the heavenly bodies, we should rule our bodies with good thoughts, words and deeds. This brings us to the
fifth day Sepandarmaz. Another rule here was that whenever the name of a day coincided with that of the month, a feast
was held. So we have the feast of sepandarmazgan on the sepandarmaz day of the month of Esfand (originally Spand or
Espand). Similarly, the 16th day of any month is called Mehr and we have the feast of Mehrgan on the 16th day of the
month of Mehr which was one of the most important feasts of the past. The day of Aban in the month of Aban is the day of
another feast called Abangan, and was used as an occasion to appreciate and worship water and the day of Azar in the
month of Azar, called Azargan was the feast of appreciation of fire and so forth.
And after the Persian calendar is changed The six first months have 31days and the last five months have 30 days and
only Esfand has 29 days that will change to 30 days in a four years period and Sepandarmazgan moved from 5th of Esfand
29th of Bahman, *18th Feb*.
Happy Sepandarmazgan …
Happy Love & Friendship day…
Happy Valentine !
Sourced in part from Wikipedia