At twilight on March 16, Iranian citizens, particularly youths, flooded onto the streets in different provinces, celebrating Chaharshanbe Suri [Fire Festival] despite the State Security Forces’ (SSF) heavy presence and officials’ prior threats.
In other words, the people used this traditional ceremony to vent their anger at the entire ruling system. Previously, the Iranians were celebrating the eve of the final Wednesday of the Persian Calendar year by lighting small bunches of fire and jumping over them. They believed that they burn the darkness and symbols of illness, poverty, and misery to start a prosperous year on March 20 or 21.
However, fearing people’s gatherings, the theocratic regime imposed severe restrictions, prompting public ire. For many years, the Islamic Republic had banned Chaharshanbe Suri, reckoning it is among pre-Islam superstitions. Nevertheless, in flagrant defiance of the regime’s oppressive measures, the people continued celebrating the Fire Festival.
On the other hand, authorities’ repression turned the Chaharshanbe Suri into an anti-establishment protest. In this respect, Iranian citizens set photos of the regime’s iconic figures and the Revolutionary Guards’ (IRGC) facilities and vehicles ablaze as a sign of their desire for overthrowing religious fascism.
In this respect, on the eve of the final Wednesday of 1399 solar year, Iranian citizens once again took to the streets and vented their anger over the regime’s crimes and suppression.
“Following the call by the Social Headquarters of Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI) inside Iran to turn Chaharshanbe Suri (Fire Festival, held on the eve of the last Wednesday of the Iranian Calendar) into a flame of freedom against the religious dictatorship, the youth and supporters of the MEK in Tehran, and other cities of Iran torched Khamenei placards and effigies. They also distributed MEK’s statement addressing the Iranian youth and people in different cities with the message of protest against the dictatorship,” stated the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
According to the MEK, these activities took place in many cities across Iran, including Tehran, Isfahan, Karaj, Shiraz, Saravan, Rudsar, Aligudarz, Ahvaz, Khorramabad, Lahijan, Mashhad, Hamedan, Shahrekord, Kashan, Tabriz, Shahriar, and Qazvin.
Honoring the martyrs of the recent uprisings and those executed by the regime, especially the rebellious youth in Sistan and Baluchestan, the statement by the Social Headquarters of the MEK inside Iran emphasized, “By leaving Iranians to the mercy of the Coronavirus that has taken massive lives (due to the regime’s policies), the regime’s Supreme Leader [Ali Khamenei] thinks he can use the staggering death toll as a barrier to prevent the inevitable people’s uprising … Burning pictures, banners and effigies of Khomeini, Khamenei and Rouhani will bring joy, happiness, and hope to the people of Iran … We welcome the new year in this way during the Fire Festival.”
“On the night of the final Wednesday of the year, we prepare to welcome the New Year, the year of regime change and freedom in #Iran, by the Feast of Fire celebrations,” posted NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi on Twitter.
In the tradition of Resistance Units, the people of #Iran set fire to the evil omen of the ruling clerics. The Fire Feast is harbinger of Iranian people’s uprising and their new day (#Nowruz) of freedom. #IranProtests pic.twitter.com/iihObsj5jG
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) March 16, 2021