European Centre for Zoroastrian Studies

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Esfandgan Celebration & Commemoration Women
18 February 2006
LONDON, (CAIS) -- 18th of February, the 5th day of the Iranian month of Esfand, is the day of Esfandgan celebrations.

In Zoroastrian religion, the whole month and especially this day marks commemoration of women, the oldest of its kind in the world.

In Zoroastrian religion the day belongs to the Amesha Spenta Spandarmaz/Spandarmad (Av. Spenta Armaiti) holy devotion, the symbol of love and humbleness in the spiritual world and the guardian of the earth in the material one.

In the ancient Iranian tradition, women set aside the house chores and put the responsibility on the shoulders of their men for just one day. The men were also supposed to offer their women gifts.

To mark the day, the family would wake up earlier, cleaned the house, and celebrated the day by cooking Âsh - a kind of Iranian soup like stow - with special Zoroastrian bread.

In West the idea of a Women's Day (March 8th) first arose at the turn of 20th century, which in the industrialized world was a period of expansion and turbulence, booming population growth and radical ideologies.

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