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Azerbaijanis mark second Tuesday of Novruz

03 March 2015 [10:30] - TODAY.AZ

/By AzerNews/

By Amina Nazarli

Last week we talk about Su Chershenbesi, or Water Tuesday, the first of the four Tuesdays of Novruz Bayram, which symbolizes life, purity and freshness.

The second Tuesday of Novruz is Fire Tuesday, or as it is known here, Od Chershenbesi.

Od chershenbesi, a symbol of warmth and home hearth will be celebrated on March 3 this year.

Novruz celebrations begin a month before the actual holiday. The four Tuesdays named after these elements and called Su Chershenbesi (Water Tuesday), Od Chershenbesi (Fire Tuesday), Torpaq Chershenbesi (Earth Tuesday), and Hava or Akhir Chershenbesi (Wind or Last Tuesday).

The four Tuesdays are associated with the arrival of the new year and nature's rebirth.

According to popular folk belief, if in the first Chershenbe, water flows again - snow on the slopes begins to melt and rushes to near-by rivers, then Fire Tuesday marks the gradual arrival of heat. Nature revives under the rays of heavenly fire and the sun.

Fire Tuesday honors fire, which means warmth and comfort. Ancient legends associate fire with the Sun and light.

The fact that the second Tuesday is symbolized by fire comes as no accident. Since ancient times fire has been viewed as a main symbol of life, a source of heat, warmth and comfort.

For Azerbaijani ancestors, fire was more than just a natural phenomenon. Perhaps that is why in the Turkic languages the word "hearth" also means the native house or edge.

Od Chershenbesi is marked by the lighting of bonfires. Traditionally people jump over large bonfires, leaving behind their troubles and sorrows, wishing the new year to be prosperous and joyful.

Novruz, a holiday marking equality and fraternity, is celebrated as the symbolic revival of nature.

People say "A good beginning makes a good ending". So, it is very important for Azerbaijanis to celebrate this festive holiday with a clean house and a richly-set table. The table must be set with at least seven dishes.

As part of the table setting, families will display a khoncha, a big silver or copper tray with semeni placed in the center, candles and dyed eggs for each family member around it. On this day, the groom will give his bride a khoncha with sweets and golden and silver adornments. The bride's family also has to send gifts to the groom's house.

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