For me, Sizdeh Bedar is a very important celebration because it’s an old tradition. On that day, my family and I go to Jamshidieh park, which is north of Tehran. We meet up with other families there to sign, dance, eat, and play.
It’s a way to celebrate nature, but also, in a way, to resist against the regime. Normally, in Iran, it is illegal to sing and dance. But the authorities can’t stop us on this day, when millions of Iranians engage in these activities all at once. Even though there’s a big police presence, including notably anti-riot police, the regime prefers to avoid any confrontation.
Sizdeh Bedar is very different than Chaharshanbe Suri. [Editor’s Note: This is a celebration that takes place on the last Tuesday of the year. On that day, Iranians put up decorations and lights and build big bonfires in public squares, over which they take turns jumping.] Chaharshanbe Suri is officially banned. However, many people still celebrate it, and this sometimes leads to clashes with the authorities.