Hiromba Traditional Iranian Jashan / Celebration
The word Jashan means Happiness and comes from the avestan word Yaz and yasan or yasht in avestan language has the same basis. Jashan is called the cultural celebrations which have remained steadfast and have been always on the forefront of bringing happiness and keeping alive the happiness among people . Celebrations have had a lot of importance among people for example celebrations like Nauruz, cheleh ….etc which itself is the basis of culture. Culture is a group of celebrations and traditions of a nation which shows the identity of its people where they live. So if the people forget their culture that nation would be without identity. Abu Rehan Beyruni has said:” the biggest loss and damage to a nation is the fact that a part of its culture and civilization be forgotten through a period of time which will result in it being completely forgotten”. Some of the Jashans / celebrations which have to take place during a specific period of time cannot take place due natural occurances which happen . The Hiromba Celebration is one of the oldest and historical Iranian celebrations which takes place annually during the last days of the first month of the year under the supervision of Sharifabad Ardekan and Mazre Kalantar Zoroastrians . Execution and keeping alive the Hiromba celebration is a Zoroastrian group activity showing unity and harmony among its community. This celebration takes place on Ashtad day and Azar month according to the old calendar which is without considering Kabise and which is equal to 26th of Farvardin month.
In the evening of Ard Izad day of Farvardin month according to Zoroastrian calendar which is equal to 25th of Farvardin month Zoroastrians go to Pir e Hirisht one of the zoroastrian holy places near Ardekan city. Many Zoroastrians stay in the rooms called Kheyle “ a resting place” built near and around the Holy Pir e Hirisht. Traditional food having religious background are served with thanksgiving prayers which are recited before eating them.
At the twilight of sunrise(early morning) on Ashtad Izad day equal to 26th of Farvardin month Zoroastrians with oneness and harmony recite the Ushahin Gah and then go to the desert land near the Pir e Hirisht to collect bushes and small pieces of wood which is named “ Ghizel”. At the same time women stay at the Kheyle “ resting places” and prepare lunch which is usually meat soup. Women also prepare breakfast and a special bread called Sirog (special roghani fried bread”and wait anxiously for the men to return who have gone to collect the bushes and wood.
After eating lunch the youth who have come for the first time and the newly wed grooms are picked up and are hit lightly with a cane” just for fun” . Their families and the families who have had a newborn child serve sweets and drinks to the people present.
And after that all go towards sharifabad village.
The Ghizels( men who carry the woods and bushes) carry the Ghizel to the agiyari with donkeys and empty their load in the agiyari open yard. In the evening the young Ghizels and the older people all stand in two rows in front of the woods and bushes, the mobed of sharifabad who is called Dehmobed says the names of the ones who have died recently and then the names of all the departed souls of the Zoroastrians of sharifabad village one by one. Blessings are uttered for the departed souls.
After that the youth who are standing in a row and the ones standing in front of them all stand with their hands on each others shoulders and bend towards the ground and say the word “Hiromba”.This ritual of blessing the departed souls continues until the Dehmobed has finished saying the names of all the departed souls.
After that he sets fire to the collected bushes and woods with the fire that is brought from Atash Behram.
The people present look at the lighted woods and bushes and enjoy the flames which brings relaxation and is a symbol of purity, warmth, love, humility, everlastingness and pride after this lots of Happy moments( like dancing , singing etc) take place until late in the night .
A Zoroastrian woman takes some fire of Hiromba to her house and keeps it burning by using some wood. The next day the Zoroastrian housewife takes some of the fire from the ashes of the last night fire and puts it in the Afringan and uses sukhar ,luban and esfand seeds on it for spreading a good smell for that place.
After this the fire is returned to the Atash Behrram. The Afringans are given to the care taker of the fire. The mobed takes a part of the Atash/fire and puts it on the Afringan as a symbol of unity and collective effort and takes it to the Atash Behram . From the next day of lighting the Hiromba fire lots of Happy events take place for three days and three nights and also the same happens in Sharifabad Village. During these three days groups of Zoroastrians go to the homes of Zoroastrians in sharifabad village and say the names of the departed souls of that family as a sign of respect and also say the word Hiromba. The meaning of the word “Hiromba” has not been clearly explained but it is believed that the word Hiromba has come from the word Hirbod. Hirbod means the one who teaches so part of “Hir” means “Learning” and “om” meaning “mine” and “Ba” meaning “be or tobe” so Hiromba can be said to be “learning for me”. The philosophy behind this word is that one has remembered the departed soul and has not forgotten them.
Mr.Shahriyar Hirbod the writer of “Jashan dar vedaye kohan” has written about the word Hiromba and described it in three parts ‘Hir” meaning “Righteousness” and “Brightness”, “om” is the name of one of the Izads who has power and strength and “ba” meaning “to be” so Hiromba can be described as “the righteous power that prevails “ or “Righteousness is always full of brightness” or “ there should be brightness in this house”.
With the attack of the Arabs the Zoroastrians migrated on a large scale to far off places, the High Priest “Mobed Mobedan” lived in Torkabad village , near Ahmadabad village and Sharifabad Village. After the Torkabad Village was destroyed its settlers and the settlers of Ahmadabad village also came to Sharifabad village. Sharifabad village is the only village that is still performing this celebration. Due to the covid 19 virus disease the Hiromba Celebrations could not be performed this year. Wishing that these difficult times would pass and we have been able to respect our ancestral celebration.