Sepandarmazgan, Spendarmad, Sepandarmaz,Esfandgan,Mardgiran
اسپندگان ، سپندارمذگان،اسفندگان
Espandgan also called Sepandarmazd Feast is one of ancient
Iranian Festivities celebrated in the month of
Esfand, the 12th month of
Persian Solar Year. Espandgan is ancient Persian mothers' day or women day.
According to the old
Zoroastrian calendar, each day of month has its own name and 12 days have the same name as month names. When day name is the same as the name of the month, then a feast is held. In this case, the month of Espand, the 12th month coincides with the day of Espand (Espand-rooz), the fifth day of Espand.
In the ancient calendar, the first 11 months had 30 days each but in the Official
Iranian Calendar also known as
Jalali Calendar, the first 6 months have 31 days. This has created confusion because traditionally Espandgan falls on the 29th day of
Bahman in the official calendar (February 18th) but some modern scholars say that Esfand, 5th (February, 24th) is more appropriate. Like many other issues, it does not seem that Iranians will ever agree or reach a conclusion on this, because priests, and politics are involved; moreover traditionalism, and modernity have always been in disagreement.
Celebrating both days and even better, a 7-days carnival between two dates will be more appropriate as such occasions are meant for peace and unity.
Espandgan is the celebration day of mother earth, motherland, and an occasion to show love and affection towards mothers and wives; an Iranian version of
Valentine's Day. Espandgan is dedicated to the guardian angel of mother earth: Sepanta Armaiti, Spandarmad in Middle Persian.
According to the Persian scholar Abu Reyhan
Biruni, on Sepandarmazdgan, women rested and men had to bring them gifts and comfort them. In the section about Persian calendar, Biruni writes in his chronology of ancient nations (Asar-ol-Baghiyah) that:
“On the 5th day or Esfand-Rooz, there is a feast for conforming names of month and day. Isfandarmah is dedicated to caring for the earth, along with the good, chaste, and beneficent wife who loves her husband. In the past times, this was a special feast of the women, when men used to present them precious gifts. This custom is still flourishing in
Rhagae, and in other districts of Fahla. In Persian it is called Mardgiran (identifying real man)". Furthermore, Biruni notes that on this day, common people eat pomegranates, dried fruits, nuts and seeds.
Traditionally, on Sepandgan, ladies sat on the throne and gentlemen had to obey them and bring presents and gifts to them. In this way, men were reminded to acclaim and respect women. Sepandarmaz is another name for mainyu (earth) meaning Holy, Humble and Passionate. Sepandarmaz is also
Guardian Angel of Earth. It is the symbol of humbleness. It means modest toward the entire creation.
Mother Earth has all qualities of a real lover; Earth spreads beneath our feet, it's the symbol of modesty and love. We may find creatures that are unpleasant and repulsive, but Earth unlike us, embraces all creatures and loves them the same way; like a mother who loves all her children, even when they are ugly. In ancient Persian culture, mother is symbolized by Sepandarmaz or earth.
Espandgan is an occasion for Iranian lovers to show their affection to their special ones and be thankful for what mother earth has been restlessly offering.
One thing's for sure; Iranians had lots of occasions to celebrate and party to keep morals high.