Mehregan is an ancient Zoroastrian and Persian festival of autumn. (October 2, 2023).
The Mehregan festival is dedicated to the Zoroastrian deity Mithra (Mehr in the Persian language). Mithra is venerated as the god of friendship, love, and affection. Outside of Zoroastrianism, Mehregan is regarded as a traditional autumn harvest festival.
The festival emerged during the pre-Islamic era. In contemporary Iran, it is one of the few pre-Islamic festivals that are still celebrated by the general public. Mehregan is celebrated 195 days after Nowruz, Iranian new year that occurs on March 21 in the Gregorian calendar.
On the occasion of the festival, participants wear new colorful clothes. It is customary to set a festive table and decorate the tablecloth with dry marjoram. On the table, there typically are fruits, vegetables, nuts, sweets, and rosewater. Lotus seeds and silver coins are placed in dish of marjoram-scented water.
Before feasting, the whole family stands in front of the mirror and prays. Then sherbet is drunk and sorme (kohl) is applied around the eyes as a good omen.
Our Iran tour group will be in Yazd on October 2, the center of the Zoroastrian community!