Persian Culture & History

Farvahar Symbol

Farvahar

by Mason Balouchian

FarvaharIranians were originally Zoroastrians. The appearance of Zoroaster as a prophet or philosopher, and his date of birth still remains a mystery. According to Persians, however, he was born in 630 BC.

The fundamental belief of Zoroastrians is based on entities called Ahura Mazda, the light of universe, and Ahriman, the symbol of darkness. Their holy book  is called Avesta that includes profound teachings based on Good thought, Good speech and Good deed—the essence of all Goodness in the universe.  The book was written by Zoroaster himself. From linguistic point of view, the alphabet is said to be so complete that could even transfer the sound of running water. The teachings of Zoroaster have been so profound that according to some Roman and Greek texts, Plato was considered the reincarnation of Zoroaster. There are a great number of Iranians who still follow the principles of this religion. A majority of them live in Yazd, a southern province, where they form 10% of the population. They live in Isfahan, Tehran and other parts of Iran as well.

Zoroastrians believe that four elements must be kept from pollution. Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Fire, the symbol of purity and light is kept in Fire Temple. Farvahar, the symbol of Ahura Mazda, is usually displayed at the gate of Fire Temples. From a Zoroastrian point of view, the head, an old man, represents wisdom and good thought. The right hand is pointing to the right path. The ring in the left hand indicates loyalty to the creator,  Ahura Mazada. The ring in the middle represent the universe and eternity. The wings symbolize the Divine Wisdom who rules the universe. They divide into in three sections which represent Good Thought, Good Speech and Good Deed. The tail is the symbol of Ahriman or the Devil always following man, and its three sections correspond to bad thought, bad speech and bad deed. The two bands stand for the right and evil path, and that the world is based on goodness and evil–the man is free to choose.

Zoroastrians have many festivals  and celebrations. Three major celebrations are: Noruz, the beginning of spring (21st of march), Mehregan, 16 days in the month of Mehr (end September) that is a festivity for farmers and Yalda that is celebrated the first night of winter as the longest night of the year.

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