Amordad News
Today is holy day of Varahram Izad: 14th Azar

Anniversary of the agreement for Iran to join the World Red Cross

Translated by Shabboo Goli

Today is a holy day of Varahram Izad and month of Azar of the year 3759 Zoroastrian calendar, 14th of Azar of the year 1400 solar, December 5, 2021, AD.

December 5 is the anniversary of signing the agreement to activate Red Cross (Red Lion and Sun) in Iran, in 1874, and the adoption of the 1864 Geneva Convention.

146 years ago, during the reign of Naser Eddin Shah, attempts were made for Iran to join the Red Cross. But, despite the Iranian government’s acceptance of the Geneva Convention, until 1301 (1922), when the Red Lion and sun Society was established in Iran, actually no organization was responsible for implementing the clause in the agreement.

In that time, we can only refer to the humanitarian and scattered efforts of people, like Dr Amir Khan Alam, known as Amir Alam, a medical graduate from Europe and one of the founders of a new hospital in Iran, who extended help to the civil war that took place in the years after the victory of the constitutional revolution.

In the summer of 1859, a Swiss merchant named Henry Dunant witnessed a battle between Austrian and Italian and French troops in the village of Solferino in northern Italy. He saw that many of the wounded died without receiving medical treatment, while most of them would have survived if the least of medical care had been provided. After the war, he published his memoirs in the form of a book, A Memory of Solferino, in 1862 and, referring to the condition of the wounded, offered to set up a relief center.

The plan was drawn up during the Geneva International Conference in October 1863 with the support of the participants and the International Working Group on the Swiss Flag, which was a white cross with a red background. They called it the Red Cross. Thus, this symbol became the global emblem of the Red Cross, whose function is to help the victims of war and natural disasters.

Later, in 1876, the Ottoman government chose the Red Crescent sign with a white background. In 1922, the Qajar government decided on the Red Lion and Sun sign for its voluntary organization. These two signs were recognized at the Geneva Diplomatic Alliance in 1929, and since then, Islamic states have adopted the Red Crescent emblem as their symbol. The Red Lion and Sun sign was changed to the Red Crescent after the Islamic Revolution. On July 23, 2000, the Islamic Republic of Iran declared to the Swiss Government that it reserved the right to re-use the Red Lion and Sun sign whenever it wished and requested the Swiss foreign Ministry that the Swiss government informs the other parties of the 1949 Geneva Convention.

16 people died, and 11 were injured when the roof of the waiting hall of Mehrabad Airport collapsed on December 4, 1973. This event was widely covered in the domestic and foreign media of that year and was recorded as one of the most tragic events in our country. This happened while there was no established emergency system to assist the injured in such sudden events. After this tragic event, an emergency medical system, called the National Emergency Organization 123 (at present 115) was established, in cooperation with US.  Thus, Iran became the fourth country to have prehospital emergency services, after US, Canada and Australia, and this was a great honor for Iran. This being the second experience of US in forming a prehospital emergency system, US avoided the mistakes it had made in its first experience in US itself. Therefore, the Iranian prehospital emergency, established in 1975, became a better and more efficient system than the US emergency system.

Varahram is the God of victory and pride. In the religious and ancient Aryan texts, Bahram Izad, in the form of beautiful, strong, powerful, speedy, wise, happy, and soaring like the eagle, spreads justice, righteousness, joy and brings death to its enemies; also strives in bringing peace: the peace that come through the right way and which Ashu Zarathushtra has always praised and wished for its establishment.  Ashu Zarathushtra prays to Bahram Izad for success in his teachings.

The twentieth day of each 30-day month is called the “Varahram” in the Mazdyasna calendar. Varahram Yasht: In praise of “verethraghna” is Izad Bahram, symbol of war, battle and victory, with an Indo-Iranian background. According to the ancient Iranian belief, reciting this prayer brings victory in deeds, and shrines called “Shah Varahram Izad” have been built in some villages and town to recite and pray Varahram Yasht in the hope of success in such a holy place. This Yasht has 22 kardeh and 64 verses in praise of Izad Bahram, the God of victory. This Yasht is one of the most beautiful Yashtas of Avesta with melodic songs. In Varahram Yasht, it is written that Varahram is created by Ahura, a powerful and benevolent and has a great power of sight. He crushes the attacks of all enemies, whether the witches, the fairies or the cruel Karpons. He refreshes the whole world and brings peace, and fulfills wishes as well.  Varahram also strengthens fertility, gives strong arms and health and courage. Azar Bahram is the third biggest fire temple in Iran. gAzar Borzin Mehr is in reevand, Khorasan.

Zoroastrians of today, like our ancestors, gather in the Shah Verahram Izad shrines, on Verahram day, and pray for the victory and honor of their families and all the people of “the seven nations”. Varahram is the god of victory and success. One of the rituals of this day is cooking Aush, siroug, and sharing confectioneries and chickpeas.

Shah Varahram Izad shrines are located in Khorramshah Yazd, Zineabad Yazd, Sharifabad Ardakan, Amiriyeh of Tehran, Tehran Pars, Karaj, Kerman, and Ahvaz. Zoroastrians now gather at the shrine of King Verhram at least once a month on the day of Verhram to worship Ahuramazda. Most pilgrims to the shrines wear sadra kusti and white cap or scarf. The symbol of this day is the hyacinthus flower.

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