Tirgan Mobarak! Happy Tirgan! Like all our Persian festivals, at Tirgan, there is a lot of dancing, singing, and reciting poems. It’s tradition to splash water on each other (Ab Pashi) on this day. We also eat certain foods, such as my Soup-e Esfenadj – Spinach Soup for Tirgan. The recipe is super simple! The soup includes fresh baby spinach, potatoes, onions, and oriental spices. It’s vegetarian, as I made it with vegetable stock, but you can also use chicken stock. Add a blob of Greek yogurt, fresh mint, and a few drops of good olive oil to garnish. This creamy, healthy, and delicious soup is on your table in no time.
SOUP-E ESFENADJ -SPINACH SOUP FOR TIRGAN
Today I’m sharing facts about our forgotten Tirgan Festival, an ancient Persian Rain Festival. This day differs every year, usually between the 3rd and 4th of July. This year the Rain Festival takes place on the 4th of July. The festival used to be celebrated all over Persia but has lost its origin over the years. Happily, a Revival has taken place, particularly in the cities of Tehran, Ahvaz, Yazd, Kerman, Shiraz, Isfahan, and even in Toronto in Canada. We celebrate this old summer festival with the wish for the absence of drought and to be rewarded with a healthy harvest.
THE FOUR MAIN FESTIVALS IN PERSIAN CULTURE
Our ancient Persian culture is rich in festivals and rituals associated with them. These festivals take place during the four seasons with family and friends. We celebrate the most famous Feast Norooz – our New Year Festival, and the Feast of Renewal in Spring. Tirgan, the Rain Festival, is celebrated in the summer, and we splash water on ourselves. Mehregan, the Feast of Love, and the Autumn and Harvest Feast celebrate in autumn. And in Winter, we celebrate the longest night of the year (winter solstice) with Yalda Fest, celebrating the victory of light over darkness.
There are several legends relating to the Tirgan festival. One of them says that the Angel Tir (in English – arrow) appears after a long drought and brings the longed-for rain.
The Rain Festival celebrates in memory of Arash the Archer (Arash-e Kaman-gir), a Persian hero. Another legend says that he is selected to settle a longstanding dispute between the rulers of ancient Iran (Manouchehr) and Turan (Afrasiab). They are both struggling with the drought and battling for their borders. Arash shoots an arrow from the highest peak of the Damavand Volcano, exhausting his strength so much that he dies. His arrow flies for two days until it finally gets stuck in one of the biggest walnut trees at the river Amu Darya. The rain starts, and both countries have a peaceful agreement.
RITUALS OF TIRGAN
Like all Persian festivals, there are special rituals performed on Tirgan.
Tir va Bad ( تیر و باد ) Arrow and wind
At the beginning of the festival, the younger ones tie a bracelet made of seven rainbow-colored ribbons. Then, they wear it around their wrists for ten days. They either climb a high place, such as a roof or a mountain and let the bracelet fly and blow in the wind so their wishes and desires come true. Or they throw their bracelets, tagged with a personal wish, into a river, stream, or the sea. While they do this, they sing this song:
Arrow go, wind come
Sorrow go, happiness come
Pearls may come.
تیر برو باد بیا
غم برو شادی بیا
محنت برو روزی بیا
خوشه مرواری بیا
Ab Pashi ( آب پاشی ) Splash with water
A tradition on this day is to splash each other with water (Ab Pashi). Since water plays a major role at the Tirgan festival, we also spend the day by a river, a spring, or the sea.
Fal-e Koozeh ( فال کوزه )
Fal- Koozeh ( فال کوزه ) is a kind of fortune telling through a clay pitcher. This custom is only for women. A day before the Tirgan festival, a young girl fills a doleh (a green clay pitcher) full of water and covers it with a green silk cloth. She visits people who have a special request or wish. The people place an object in the doleh that symbolizes their wishes. The girl takes the clay pitcher to an Evergreen tree and places it underneath overnight.
The next day, the participants come together after the Ab Pashi (water splashing). The oldest recite a poem or sing a song, and at the end the girl grabs the water pitcher Doleh and pulls out an object. The holder of the object can now interpret the poem or song for himself.
FOOD FOR TIRGAN
Obviously, at Tirgan Festival, we prepare unique dishes. One of the traditional food is Sholeh Zard (Yellow Flame). We prepare this dessert with rice boiled in water, flavored with saffron, rose water, almonds, sugar, and butter, and decorated with pistachios, rosebuds, almonds, and cinnamon.
In addition, we prepare Ashe Reshteh, a thick soup made of beans, herbs, and Persian noodles. Top the soup with Kashk, a sort of sour yogurt, caramelized onions, and garlic.
We furthermore prepare Soup-e Esfenadj, a spinach soup presented to you today.
INGREDIENTS SPINACH SOUP
2 medium potatoes
1 large onion
2 tbsp. butter
250 ml milk (lactose-free)
2-3 bay leaves*
250 g fresh baby spinach
1/4 tsp cumin*
1 tsp chili powder*
50 ml Greek yogurt
1 tsp olive oil*
1 tsp fresh mint or other herbs
PREPARATION SPINACH SOUP
Dice the potatoes and onions. Melt butter in a saucepan and add the potatoes and onion cubes. Cook for 5 minutes with the lid closed at medium temperature until everything is slightly soft. Add vegetable or Chicken Stock and milk. Add the bay leaves and boil once. Turn the temperature back to medium and simmer for 15 minutes until soft.
In the meantime, wash the spinach and spin it dry. Remove the bay leaves, add the spinach, and close the lid for 5 minutes. Season to taste with the spices. Remove the soup from the heat and blend with a blender until smooth.
Place a blob of Greek yogurt on the spinach soup and garnish with fresh mint or other herbs. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and ground pepper.
The items marked with * are affiliate links, referral links. If you buy through this link, I get a small commission. The price stays the same for you and you can easily support my efforts. A big thank you ♥
Soup-e Esfenadj – Spinach Soup for Tirgan
This creamy, healthy, and delicious soup is on your table in no time.
INGREDIENTS SPINACH SOUP
- 2 medium potatoes
- 1 large onion
- 2 tsp butter
- 750 ml vegetable or chicken stock
- 250 ml milk lactose-free
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 250 g fresh baby spinach
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- salt, pepper
- 50 ml Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp olive oil to drizzle
- 1 tsp fresh mint or other herbs
PREPARATION SPINACH SOUP
Dice the potatoes and onions.
Melt butter in a saucepan and add the potatoes and onion cubes. Cook for 5 minutes with the lid closed at medium temperature until everything is slightly soft.
Add vegetable or Chicken Stock and milk.
Add the bay leaves and boil once. Turn the temperature back to medium and simmer for 15 minutes until soft.
In the meantime, wash the spinach and spin it dry.
Remove the bay leaves, add the spinach, and close the lid for 5 minutes.
Season to taste with the spices.
Remove the soup from the heat and blend with a blender until smooth.
Place a blob of Greek yogurt on the spinach soup and garnish with fresh mint or other herbs.
Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and ground pepper.
Save the recipe for later on Pinterest!
Have you cooked this or maybe another delicious recipe of mine? Feel free to leave me a comment below. If you tag your picture on Instagram with @labsalliebe and use the hashtag #labsalliebe, I won’t miss a post and will be happy to leave you a comment as well. Can’t wait to see your creations.
This website is created by me at my leisure, under the proper use of coffee 🙂. If you like my posts, make me happy by donating one or a few cups of coffee!