Iran: 11 dead and more than 3,500 wounded during the Festival of Fire

At least 11 people died and more than 3,500 others were injured in Iran overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday during National Fire Day, an official said Wednesday.

A ritual inherited from pre-Islamic Persia, the “Chaharchanbei Suri” festival is celebrated every year on the night of the last Tuesday to Wednesday of the Iranian year, which ends on March 20.

“Since February 20, 26 people have died in accidents related to Chaharshanbeh Suri,” including at least 11 people on the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, the country’s chief of emergency services, Jaafar, told state TV Mayadvar.

More than 3,550 people were injured that night, according to the same source.

According to tradition, participants jump over the fire to purify themselves and drive away evil spirits by shouting: “I give you my yellow” (the color of disease) and “I take your red” (the color of life).

Twenty years ago, the party turned into an outlet for young people with a great fanfare of pyrotechnics and fireworks in public, despite the warnings of the authorities who do not see a good eye on this holiday, which is considered by the vast majority of “heathens”. Shiite clerics.

The official IRNA news agency quoted the national police chief, Ahmad Reza Radan, as saying on Tuesday that his forces considered the holiday a “social and unsafe” event, while warning “those who block the streets and disturb the residents.”

No information was provided regarding any possible arrests.

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