Thousands of Zoroastrians across #Iran gathered earlier this week to celebrate the mid-winter festival of Sadeh, which marks 50 days and 50 nights since the winter solstice, and 50 days and 50 nights until the Nowruz festival that marks the beginning of spring.
In Tehran, Kerman, and other cities, thousands of worshipers and passerby gathered to celebrate the festival with bonfires, dancing and parades. For Zoroastrians, fire and water are both associated with ritual purity, and religious festivities are linked to the changing of the seasons. Many Iranian festivals widely celebrated in the country today, including Nowruz and Yalda, are originally Zoroastrian, and the Persian calendar is also based on the seasons as well.
Zoroastrianism is an ancient religion that was the state faith of a number of pre-Islamic Persian imperial dynasties. Today there are hundreds of thousands of Zoroastrian spread across the world, primarily in Iran, India, Central Asia, the UK, and the US.