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What is sizdah bedar?

Leyla Shams
March 30, 2018

Are you ready to spend the entire day outside?

Sizdah bedar (literally meaning the thirteenth outside) marks the official end of the nowruz holiday, and launches you into a successful start of the coming year. 

As in many other cultures, the number 13 is unlucky in the Iranian tradition. Spending it indoors is seen as bad luck, so on this day, Iranian families pack a picnic and spend the entire day outdoors. In the west, this holiday falls on Monday, April 2nd this year (2018). 

Things to do on Monday:

  1. Pack a picnic and plenty of activity and games to spend the entire door outside. Make sure to have a comfortable blanket as well. Many families also set up tents so they can have a quick nap (chort) outside if they get tired.
  2. Spend the day visiting, laughing, and eating with friends and family. The joy of the day is supposed to ward off an evil that the unlucky number thirteen might bring along with it.
  3. Knot your wheatgrass with plenty of wishes. Traditionally, unmarried girls (and boys) knot the wheatgrass with wishes of finding a long term partner, but other wishes can be put into the wheatgrass as well. This includes wishes of health and happiness for the coming year.
  4. Throw the wheatgrass into a moving body of water. This represents sending nature back into nature.