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18th of February, the First Women’s Day in the World as designated by Zoroastrians


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 18 February 2004



18th of February, the 5th day of the Iranian month of Esfand, is the day of Esfandgan celebrations for Zoroastrians, and it is said that the whole month and especially this day mark commemoration of women, the oldest of its kind one in the world.

In Zoroastrian religion the day belongs to the Emshaspand, Sepandarmaz who is the symbol of love and humbleness in the spiritual world and the guardian of the earth in the material one.

In the ancient Iranian tradition, women set aside the house chores and put the responsibility on the shoulders of their men for just one day. The men were also supposed to offer their women gifts.

To mark the day, the family would wake up earlier, cleaned the house, and celebrated the day by cooking Aash - a kind of Iranian soup like stow - with special Zoroastrian bread.


Some Iranian scholar like Pourdavud believe the feast should be celebrated on the fifth day of the month of Esfand (February 24th), and the current date accepted by by Zoroastrians of Iran and India is a mistake which occurred in recent decades and they demanded to be rectified.



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