Chaharshanbe Suri 2023 (Red Wednesday Eve)
Chaharshanbe Suri is ancient Zoroastrian cultural-religious festival celebrated on the eve of the last Wednesday of the solar new year by people of Iranian, Afghan, Kurdish, and Azeri descent. Participants jump over small fires, summoning the fires to "Take the yellow of my sickness, and bring the red of my health!", while others sing and dance around, welcoming the coming new year. There are traditionally fireworks, as well.
Last year, we had 330 people in front of the grandstand of the Memorial Centre, with three real fires for the adults and three faux fires for the children. It was a huge success and the first of its kind in Kingston.
This year, with the difficult circumstances faced by those in Iran, family members here have a strong need for a robust expression of their tradition. This is a unifying event of Iranian culture, and is celebrated in other countries in various forms too.
We are approaching this event with a ten-year mindset, slowly building up the material assets, such as fire extinguishers and tables, so we can ensure this event happens every year with the ever-changing (largely Queen's student) base.
Though we received donations last year, these were only enough to provide a bare minimum of supplies. We want this year and the next to be increasingly larger, always public and always free.
Funded by Kingston, ON (February 2023)