TREES IN ANCIENT IRAN

Translated by: Haleh Hadiyan

 

Tree Planting Tradition in Iran To Commemorate Tree Planting Day, 15 Esfand(6th March) Since long ago in Iran planting trees and other vegetables has been of particular interest and importance. Just as you see the symbol of the tree of life or Sarv(Cypress) in the ancient images and ruins like the Hakhumaneshian main masonry in Persepolis. Because it is evergreen, Sarv has always had a particular importance in Iran. There is a 4000 year old Sarv, also called the Zoroastrian Sarv, in nearby Abarghood (Yazd).

In addition to the images and masonry you can also see in textiles a kind of tree or plant symbol of a curved Sarv, later called the Tarma. Trees have a special place in other Iranian art forms like Miniature. In Avesta they believe one of the 6 processes of creation to be the creation of plants.

In the ancient Zoroastrian belief the Gaahanbar(face) ayah Sherem celebration sometimes equals the 4th process of creation and is at the time when god created plants and vegetables. Therefore narrative celebrate in these 5 days and thank god for the creation of plants. Planting vegetables and trees has been prevalent since old times in Iran. Such as on the birth of a new born baby, each Zoroastrian person had a duty to plant a young tree, mostly a Sarv, naming it after the baby. As the sapling grew into a tree, so would the child into a grown up. Tree planting is one of the New Year ceremonies which has been prevalent among Iranians since ancient times. About 25 days before Norooz(new years day) 12 pillars, out of the mud bricks around the court yard, would be erected and on top of each pillar a kind of cereal grain would be planted.. on the 6th of Farvardeen month or Khordaad Rooz(day), while singing and playing their instruments, they would take the crop. The pillars would stay up until the 16th. By looking at the growth of the grains they would augur that which ever had grown taller and fuller would give a better harvest that year.

In Avesta , Foroogh or the guardian angel of plants on earth is Khordaad Emsha Sepand. Khordaad being the Avesta diction, Hayah Orotaat meaning eternal life, and plants are a symbol of that and a sign of life and being eternal.

 

 

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