Fire, the greatest god power and the winter festival of sadæ


In the Zoroastrian sacred calendar, the 40th sunset after winter solstice is celebrated as the great festival of fire or sadæ. Sadæ is the joyous celebration of “chilliest, coldest” winter nights with huge bonfires and much joy.

In Zoroastrianism, fire is the primal force of Will Power and Genius, the bursting forth of life forces, and pure energy, the visible manifestation of Godhood. Ancient Zoroastrianism can best be defined as “sacred alchemy,” for its rituals and Sacred Verses are concerned with transmutation of the mundane into enchanting and finding the universal, curative elixir.  

Fire rites are at the center of this ancient Indo-European faith and fire is revered as a Yazata “god being/god force” that is independently hallowed. Fire also serves as a means for worshipping other Brilliant Immortals and hallowed god powers. According to the Zoroastrian sacred lore/Avesta, the ceremony offered to the fire not only goes to the fire, but also to the Gods, whose visible sign fire is, átarš.ciθrə̄s.ča yazatæ yazamaidæ.

In Zoroastrianism, there are 5 kind fires that shine/burn in the essence of “men, beasts, herbs/plants, clouds, and minerals.” Fire is in all things, in waters, earth and air. It is in minerals, herbs and beasts; it is in men, stars and Immortals.

 Zoroastrian veneration of fire has its origins in cult of “eternal hearth fire” and goes back to the very dawn of the Indo-European history.  The word for Fire “Āthar” means “hearth, heat,” and is related to Hittite hās, hāssan, “hearth, heat,” Latin āra “fire altar,” and ancient Greek aíthō “ignite, kindle.” All these words come from reconstructed Proto Indo European *hāhs.

Old English æled, Old Norse eldr, Norwegian eld/ild, Icelandic eldur, and *ailidaz all meaning “fire” come from the same Proto Indo-European root.

In the Zoroastrian eschatology, during the splendid, new creation of the worlds, “Frashö-kart,” a fiery flood of molten metal will cover the earth, and mortals will undergo a final judicial, fiery trial. The worlds will be purged, purified, and transmuted through fire. Because of its alchemical transmutation properties, fire is called the prodigy or son “puthra” of the supreme Wise God, Ahûrá Mazdá.


 The title of mazišta- yazata “the greatest, most magnificent god” is given to fire in the Zoroastrian sacred poetry. Fire shares this title of mazišta- yazata “the greatest, most magnificent god” only with Mithrá, the “Mediator of Immortals and Lord of Reciprocity” and the “Supreme God of Mind Powers” Ahûrá Mazdá himself. In the sacred literature of the Zoroastrians or Avesta, we read concerning the Supreme Titan/God Ahûrá Mazdá that he is the “most magnificent, greatest of the hallowed gods,” yö mazištö yazatanám, (See Yasht 10.76.)  


Bonfires of Sadæ reminds us that while we aare in the midst of the coldest, chilliest days of winter, spring and life forces will burst forth. The worlds entire will also be transmuted by fire before the eternal spring of frašö-kart. The Gods within will be unleashed and the elixir of immortality will give unbounded health and energy to the followers of light.  ardeshir

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