Charshambeh Soori is a pre-Persian New Year event that is celebrated by all Iranians, regardless of religion or faith. The ancient festival dates back 2,500 years and is rooted in Zoroastrian tradition. It takes place on the eve of the last Wednesday of the solar calendar, and is also known as the Festival of Light and Fire. During Charshambeh Soori people take turns jumping over a series of 3 small fire pits, chanting “sorkhee toh az man, zardee man az toh” to the fire. The meaning of the phrase is “give me your warmth, light and energy, and take away my sick pallor and problems”.
Friends, family, and neighbors celebrate together in the streets and embrace the the festivities. Some light fire crackers and sparklers while others stand back and enjoy the show. Soon it will be the Spring Equinox and Persian New Year, also known as Norooz, and the beginning of 13 days of new year celebrations.
Moshgol Gosha, or Ajeel, is a customary mix of nuts, dried fruits and berries that is served on not only Charshambeh Soori, but also at most Persian gatherings as well. Moshgol Gosha is equivalent to what we know as trail mix and can be customized to your preference. A typical example is pictured above, and can include standard nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts, as well as pistachios and toasted chickpeas. Include raisins, dates, figs, cranberries or one of my favorites, mulberries. You can even experimented with tiny chocolate chips if you want!
Moshgol Gosha is typically presented in a large bowl alongside Persian cookies, fruit, and tea. The host usually scoops the mix into small bowls and serves them individually to their guests.
In some traditions, when a person receives good fortune or witnesses a miracle, they distribute small bundles of moshgol gosha tied in lace and ribbon to their friends and neighbors as a blessing and good will.