Insider news & Analysis in Iran

By INU Staff
INU - On Tuesday, March 15, people throughout Iran celebrated the annual Fire Festival by setting up bonfires and exploding firecrackers. In various places public trash bins were set ablaze to show opposition to the ruling clique. Pictures of the Iranian regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani were also set on fire. In some districts anti-establishment slogans were chanted by the people. The state-run Fars News Agency reported that there have been 130 cases of uncontrolled fires, including trash bins and vehicles that were set ablaze.

According to the Persian tradition, in the evening of the last Tuesday of the year people jump over bonfires and explode firecrackers and sonic booms to welcome the new Persian year. The Iranian regime has been against this tradition for the duration of its rule.

According to reports from Tehran and other cities, the Fire Festival was celebrated in Tehran, Tabriz, Esfahan, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, Karaj, Boroujerd, Ahvaz, Urmia, Yazd, Marand, Ardebil, Nayshabour and elsewhere.

The many districts in Tehran, including Narmak, Majidieh, Nezamabad, Vali Asr, Shariati, Falakeh Aval Tehranpars, and Falakeh Dovvom Tehranpars the youth set up extensive fire plays. In sections of Falakeh Aval Tehranpars pictures of Khamenei and Rouhani were set on fire. Also near Milad Tower (the tallest tower in Iran) pictures of Khomeini and Khamenei were set ablaze.

In southern Tehran in Naziabad district, a number of the youth exploded sonic grenades and chanted anti-regime slogans. In several districts in the city of Karaj, the youth exploded sonic grenades. In the city of Shiraz the youth put up a fire in the street closing it down and clashed with the security forces. In Tajrish, northern Tehran, people chanted “death to Khamenei”, “death to the principle of velayat-e faqih” and “death to Rouhani” as they jumped over the bonfires.

In Tabriz, fire festivities were held in various districts and some of the youth put up placards reading “death to the principle of velayat-e faqih” (or absolute clerical rule) and “Year 95 [new Persian year 1395] is the year of the regime’s overthrow” in a number of streets.

In the past years, the Iranian regime has considered the Fire Festival a superstitious anti-Islamic ceremony and has been strongly against this tradition, but the state-run Javan Online News Agency reported on March 4 that this year there is a campaign to replace putting up fires and exploding firecrackers with offering sweets to each other when the youth come and knock on our doors.

This news agency added that it is incorrect to deny an ancient tradition if it is not carried out correctly, and this method has not been effective in the past years and has only aggravated the society. By undermining true Iranian traditions people – and initially the middle class – will go after foreign traditions and these traditions will replace Iranian and Islamic ones.

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