- A. About The Tirgan Festival
1. Celebrating Tirgan, an ancient Iranian festival
Toronto will this time embrace “Once Upon a Time” to celebrate “Tirgan”, an ancient Iranian Summer festival: A four-day summer artistic and cultural festival with 150 acclaimed artists and literary figures presenting performances, lectures, exhibitions, and workshops in music, dance, literature, film, visual arts, and theatre.
The year 2006 brought to life the highly successful Persian festival, Under the Azure Dome, and marked our first collaboration with Harbourfront Centre. This year festival, Celebrating Tirgan, takes our past experience to new heights by commemorating Tirgan, an ancient Iranian celebration observed in the month of July. Our theme is 'exploring diversity’.
There are also specific programs for youth and children as well as food and shopping.
“Once Upon a Time” strives to display a panoramic view of Iranian artistic and cultural expression. Everyone is invited to join to celebrate “Tirgan” and to marvel at the elegance, charm, and diversity of Iranian art and culture.
We will present Iranian art and culture through a four-day festival in Toronto, a city that rightfully prides itself in welcoming diversity. We are making a deliberate effort to include contributions from various ethnic groups in Iran in as many art forms as possible. Celebrating Tirgan will showcase internationally acclaimed as well as local artists and performers of Iranian descent, who celebrate Iranian heritage through music, dance, theatre, cinema, literature, and visual arts. The festival also features Iranian cuisine and special arts and crafts presentations made available by vendor kiosks. This is going to be an engaging, educating, and entertaining experience for a wide range of audiences.
- B. History of This Event
JASHN-E TIRGAN (The Rain-Summer Festival) The festival of Tiragan is observed on July 1st, and it is primarily a rain festival and it is one of the three most widely celebrated feasts amongst Iranian peoples. Tir in modern Persian,Tishtar in Middle Persian or Pahlavi; and Avestan Tishtrya, is the Yazad presiding over the Star Sirius, brightest star in the sky, and of rain, and thus Tir Yazad especially invoked to enhance harvest and counter drought . Besides an Afrainagân or Jashn dedicated to Tir, there appear to have been many customs associated with Tiragan.Tiragan is also associated with the legend of the arrow (tir), (a referral to 'Arash of the swift arrow, and in modern Persian, known as Arash-e Kamangir) was the best archer in the Iranian army. When Manouchehr and Afrasiyab determined to make peace and to fix the boundary between Iran and Turan, it was stipulated that Arash should ascend Mount Damavand, and from thence discharge an arrow towards the east; and that the place in which the arrow fell should form the boundary between the two kingdoms. Arash thereupon ascended the mountain, and discharged towards the east an arrow, the flight of which continued from the dawn of day until noon, when it fell on the banks of the Jeyhun (the Oxus).
The following Tirgan story is also from the Persian culture: It is related that when the wicked Afrasiyab, the Tur, ruled over the country of Iran, it did not rain, at that time, for 8 years. Afrasiyab, the Tur, asked the wise and the astrologers why it was not raining. Zu Tahmasp answered: "You turned faithless, because Faridoun had allotted to you Turkestan (only) and entrusted it to you whereas he had allotted Iran to us and given it to us. You turned away from that covenant and set it aside. It is for this reason that, owing to this sin of yours, it does not rain." Afrasiyab asked how this could be ascertained. Zu Tahmurasp said: "I shall throw an arrow from here, and where my arrow falls, there will be the boundaries (of your territory)." Afrasiyab accepted it and entered into a compact thus: "I shall consent to have as the boundaries (of my territory) that place where your arrow settles and I shall go out of Iran." When this compact was entered into, it was on the day Tir of the month Tir that Zu Tahmasp uttered the name of God and threw the arrow from the country of Iran and that arrow fell in the country of Turan by the command of Lord Ohrmazd. When that arrow settled in the country of Turan, Afrasiyab took this witness that the rains did not come on account of his faithlessness. Then Afrasiyab arose from that place and went out of Iran with his army and settled in the country of Turan. The intelligence of this spread on the day Govad and heavy rains poured down on the day Govad. Then they assented to institute a festival in the country of Iran on the day Tir of the month Tir and up to now the Dasturs of Iran write a Nirang (formula) and tie it on the hands of the faithful and remove it from their hands on the day Govad, throw it into the sea on that day for the reason that the glad tidings of the return of Afrasiyab to Turan had reached on the day Govad. It is for this reason that this nirang is untied from the hands and thrown into the sea so that all calamities may sink into the sea.
- C. Why Do Most People Celebrate It?
The people celebrate this celebration because Iranian often celebrate Tirgan to ask for rain after a prolonged summer. So, this celebration showed gratitude to the God.
Today, some Iranians celebrate this occasion with dancing, singing, reciting poetry and serving spinach soup and sholeh zard. It has also been observed that during these celebration children and adults rejoice by swimming in streams and splashing water around on each other. The custom of tying rainbow-colored bands on their wrists, which are worn for ten days and then thrown into a stream, is also a great way to rejoice for children.
What Do They Do Usually in The Event?
What Do They Do Usually in The Event?
In order to appeal to a wide range of audience,
we propose to showcase performances
ranging in various styles of Iranian music
including traditional, folkloric, jazz, classic, fusion, pop, rock, and electronic.
Emphasizing on our internationally
acclaimed artists, we are including styles
from authentic to fusion and contemporary.
The contrast between these styles will offer
an engaging and provocative opportunity to muse, enjoy, and learn all at the same time.
Theatre is an art form that is very much alive
and thriving in Iran. The audience will enjoy a
combination of ancient traditional and contemporary works.
We plan to have world-class Iranian directors
and cinematographers. They will bring with them screenings
of their work, and the festival will provide lectures and workshops.
The works of over forty Iranian artists will
be displayed, ranging in various forms and styles.
Additionally, we will include an exciting contest
where ten of Iran’s top artists will make up our judging panel.
They will select the best works in photography and
graphic design submitted by young local artists.
Poetry and literature are prominent aspects of the
Iranian culture that have a far-reaching
impact on different artistic expressions
including music, dance, and painting.
Panel discussions, lectures, and book readings
will be presented by renowned and highly acclaimed Iranian literary figures.
We intend to bring professional Iranian artists
that will entertain and educate children.
In order to appeal to all ages, there will be an
assortment of entertaining activities in areas of dance,
music, puppet shows, and storytelling.
To create a traditional ambiance, we will
be decorating both indoor and outdoor venues.
Our goal is to display various urban architectural
spaces that will represent ancient and modern Iran.
Tirgan Magazine is a publication designed specifically
for this year's Iranian Summer Festival.
One of our main objectives is to serve as an
entertaining information source that intertwines
events taking place at the festival with thouht-provoking articles.
Tirgan Magazine prides in presenting modern and
original ideas about the Iranian culture, in addition
to reaching out and relating to diverse communities worldwide.
Taste of Iran
Iranians have very diverse opinions on social,
cultural, and political issues, but their love for
Iranian food is unanimous. They take a great deal of
pride in their cuisine, which offers a variety of regional
meals that are very different in terms of staple and spice.
Taste of Iran features a wide range of cuisine that
consists of regional food and drinks, served by a number
of successful Iranian restaurants in Toronto.
Market & Crafts
The festival plans to have several shops in the market section.
Such shops include arts and crafts, jewelry,
hand-made carpets, English and Iranian literature,
sweets, dried fruits and nuts, spices, and Iranian musical instruments.