Today we are headed back to my favorite city in Iran: Yazd, the city of Zoroastrians. According to my tour guide who was Zoroastrian, there are about 10-12,000 Zoroastrians in Iran and about 2,500 in Yazd. We first headed to the Ātashkadeh, Fire Temple, one of 20 in this city. This particular temple was chosen as the one for tourists to visit because it's big, new, and located close to the main avenue on Kashani St. There are 3 doors: Zoroastrians enter through the wooden door and tourists through the main door. The building is surrounded by myrtle and cypress trees which play a role in the Zoroastrian traditions.
Fire is a symbol of purity in Zoroastrianism, and inside the temple behind a glass wall is a flame that's been burning since 470 AD. It was transferred from its original location to a cave in Aghda where it was kept for 700 years. It was then transferred to this site in 1940 and has been kept burning under the supervision of several attendants. In Zoroastrian tradition, one shouldn't use from living things, therefore the the wood is taken from dried tree trunks.
|Supply of wood|
The symbol of Zoroastrianism is the Faravahar. The old man in the symbol is representative of the wish for mankind to possess experience, wisdom, and maturity. The raised right hand shows regard to Ahura Mazda, Great God, and that one is following and seeking help from Him. The ring in the left hand shows respect for promises. The stretched wings have three rows meaning that man should always fly upward toward progress by good words, good thoughts and good deeds and never give into adversity. The central circle is indicative of the circle of life and eternity of the universe. The results of man's actions will return him to this world and in the other world, they will enjoy the reward. The two threads attached to the waist represent Sapanta Mainu (good) and Angra Mainu (evil) and that we should attempt to leave behind Angra Mainu and progress toward Sapanta Mainu. The tail is the opposite of the wings and represents evil words, evil thoughts, and evil deeds. It shows that these three should be eliminated and one should try to fly up toward goodness and progress.
Outside the temple to the left is an exhibit with explanations of customs, ceremonies, and traditional clothes.
|Traditional ceremonial clothes|