Sunday, April 21, 2024

Bottoms up: Try this for good health

| December 30, 2020 1:00 AM

Persian culture harkens back eons, befitting a modern-day nation with deep roots in the cradle of civilization.

The Persians — better known as Iranians these days — celebrate the New Year with a splendid tradition known as Nowruz. According to the Persian calendar, the end of their year is in March.

Our year comes to an end tomorrow, thank goodness. An aspect of Nowruz that we're suggesting North Idahoans might emulate today is a form of fire jumping — something many Persians do on the last Wednesday of each expiring year.

Nobody is recommending you build a bonfire in the backyard and test your vertical jump at some peril to your unmentionables, if not your life.

No, for this ritual, known as Chahar Shanbeh Soori, a lit candle on the living room floor and a lively step over the flame is called for.


Fire jumping is believed to guarantee good health for the coming year. Seeing as how the pandemic and its related ills, physical and emotional, have left millions sick or worried about their health and the health of others, perhaps there is no better ritual to exercise today than this one.

If you're game, address the flame while stepping over it with the words from an accompanying Persian song:

Give me your beautiful red color

And take back my sickly pallor!

The ritual is also a way to shed anger and other bad feelings, leaving them behind like ashes in the dying year. Perhaps that's key to being healthy going forward.

Just be mindful that the flame doesn't burn too high or your step doesn't stoop too low. Nobody wants to cap this rotten year in the ER with a scorched bottom.