Nature Day

Nature Day, or in the Persian language, ‘Sizdah Be-dar,’ is a public holiday celebrated on April 2 in normal years and April 1 in leap years. This year, it falls on April 2. In culture, it is celebrated on the 13th day of ‘Farvardin’ — the first month of the calendar, to mark the end of the ‘Nowruz’ celebrations, and is generally described as a day for Iranians to relax and have fun in their individual choices of open spaces. All over the country, picnicking dominates, and both adults and the young feel enthusiastic, and planning for the day starts well in advance. The origin of Nature Day is rooted in Zoroastrianism. About 4,000 years ago, ‘Sidaz Be-dar’ was celebrated in ancient to worship ‘Teshtar,’ the god of rain, in the hopes that the prayers offered that day would make the god overcome the drought demon and send in the rains. Over the past few centuries, the day has been stripped of its religious affiliations and is now seen more as a cultural holiday than a religious one.