Azerbaijan celebrates Fire Tuesday of Novruz Holiday
Today, Azerbaijan is celebrating Fire Tuesday, one of the four festive Tuesdays before the most-beloved ancient holiday of Azerbaijani people - Novruz Holiday, News.Az reports.
The four Tuesdays in the run up to Novruz symbolize the four elements called Su Charshanbasi (Water Tuesday), Od Charshanbasi (Fire Tuesday), Torpag Charshanbasi (Earth Tuesday), and Hava or Akhir Charshanba (Wind or Last Tuesday).
Fire Tuesday honors fire, which means warmth and comfort. Ancient legends associate fire with the Sun and light.
Fire is the symbol of purification and clarification. It is never put out by water; it burns down by itself.
On all four Tuesdays and on the eve of Novruz, and especially on Fire Tuesday, it's traditional to light bonfires, dance around them, and jump over them to cleanse their souls and ward off evil spirits.
For thousands of years, the Land of Fires – Azerbaijan has been a melting pot of various cultures and religions. All the way through their history, the Azerbaijani people carried on the ancient traditions of their fire-worshipping ancestors.
Fire is somewhat sacred in Azerbaijan, the Land of Fire. There is a Zoroastrian pilgrimage in suburbs of Baku. Azerbaijan historically had reserves of oil and gas that caused flames of fire on the ground and this was interpreted as blessing.
The word “Azerbaijan” itself means the “land of fire”, and fire-related symbolism is an important integral part of Novruz.” Azerbaijan’s Yanar Dag (burning mountain) located at the historical, cultural and natural reserve of the same name, which is always ablaze – in any weather, be it rain, wind, or even snow – it never goes out, is a living proof of this fact. This flame is a sacred national symbol of Azerbaijan.
Novruz holiday is one of the most important and favorite holidays of the Azerbaijani people. It marks the arrival of spring, renewal of nature, and is celebrated on the vernal equinox, March 20-21 – the beginning of the astronomical New Year.