Mehregan Festival in Iran Date in the current year: October 2, 2016

Mehregan Festival in Iran Mehregan is an ancient Zoroastrian and Persian festival of autumn. It is still celebrated in present-day Iran, falling on the 196th day of the year in the Persian calendar (October 2 in the Gregorian calendar).

The Mehregan festival is dedicated to the Zoroastrian deity Mithra (Mehr in the Persian language). Mithra is venerated as the god of friendship, love, and affection. Outside of Zoroastrianism, Mehregan is regarded as a traditional autumn harvest festival.

The festival emerged during the pre-Islamic era. In contemporary Iran, it is one of the few pre-Islamic festivals that are still celebrated by the general public. Mehregan is celebrated 195 days after Nowruz, Iranian new year that occurs on March 21 in the Gregorian calendar.

On the occasion of the festival, participants wear new colorful clothes. It is customary to set a festive table and decorate the tablecloth with dry marjoram. On the table, there typically are fruits, vegetables, nuts, sweets, and rosewater. Lotus seeds and silver coins are placed in dish of marjoram-scented water.

Before feasting, the whole family stands in front of the mirror and prays. Then sherbet is drunk and sorme (kohl) is applied around the eyes as a good omen.

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Mehregan festival in Iran, holidays in Iran, folk festival, Persian festival, Zoroastrian festival