Artwork by Mahbube Ebrahimi

Sizdah Be-dar: The Iranian April Fool’s Day

What is Sizdah Be-dar?

Sizdah Be-dar is an Iranian holiday that takes place every year on the 13th day of Farvardin, the first month of the Iranian calendar. On this day people spend time picnicing outdoors and it is an official holiday in Iran known as the Nature’s Day. Sizdah Be-dar, that comes after Nowruz, is the Iranian version of April Fool’s Day and it is practiced every year on the first or the second day of April.

A ritual, that is performed at the end of the picnic, is to throw away sprouted greens people have from Nowruz in a river or a lake. It is also said that if young girls tie the leaves of the greenery, before throwing them away, and make a wish to find love, they will meet soon the love of their lives. On the other hand, touching someone else’s greens or bringing it back home is considered bad luck.

Sizdah Be-dar is one of the best days of Nowruz! People spend it in the heart of nature after 13 days of the Persian New Year’s celebrations. They go to parks or the mountain and enjoy spring! Like all the other days of Nowruz, they cook delicious food and have a feeling of happiness.

Unfortunately this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot meet each other in order to celebrate together with our friends. Personally, I feel lonely and really sad that I cannot celebrate Sizdah Be-dar with my family and friends this year. But, we have to be patient, during this hard times until we have the chance to celebrate it again.