Chaharshanbe Suri for Kids

What is Chaharshanbe Suri?

Chaharshanbe Suri is an Iranian celebration and the first of Nowruz festivities.


What does Chaharshanbe Suri mean?

Chaharshanbe means Wednesday and the name of the festival translates to Scarlet Wednesday.


Why is it called this?

The color name refers to the fires used as part of the celebration.


When is Chaharshanbe Suri celebrated?

It is celebrated on the eve of the last Wednesday before Nowruz.


How do people celebrate Chaharshanbe Suri?

Families and friends join outside to jump over bonfires, light firecrackers and make loud noises with spoons and bowls. It is a social celebration that brings together friends and family. 


What do fires have to do with it?

At sunset, people often gather brush and build a fire (or multiple fires) in a wide open space which they then jump over. It is common to recite, "sorkhi to az man, zardi man az to," which translates to "my yellow (weakness) is to you and your red (strength) to me," symbolizing an exchange with the fire. 


How else do people celebrate Chaharshanbe Suri?

  • Banging spoons and making loud noises
  • Dropping a pot from a roof to smash
  • Burning incense
  • Eating certain foods, depending on the region
  • Sharing ajil (a mixture of dried fruits and nuts)
  • Telling fortunes


How can children celebrate Chaharshanbe Suri?

  • Build an artificial fire of construction paper logs and tissue paper flames and jump over this
  • Use spoons and pots to make loud noises at sunset
  • Make or partake in ajil as a snack (you can simply create a quick trail mix using a mixture of dried nuts, fruits, seeds and/or chickpeas)

Here is a list of some kid-friendly way to celebrate Chaharshanbe Suri with little ones:

🟠 Make an artificial fire of tissue paper and construction paper logs for the youngest children.

🟠Add a realistic touch with artificial candles to make a flame.

🟠For older children, make small fires contained in disposable aluminum baking pans so the fire is small and easy to clear when jumping.

🟠PRACTICE *before* the fire is built to be sure your child can clear the height.

🟠Hold children in your arms or boost their jump by lifting under their arms if you are not positive they can clear the fire.

🟠Celebrate in the afternoon or on another night if Tuesday evening doesn’t work for your family.


Have fun and be safe!


Learn more with additional resources about Nowruz for children here and find a coloring sheet for Chaharshanbe Suri inside the Nowruz Activities Digital Download.


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