16 March 2010

The fire festival

In Iran, the next flashpoint between the regime and the people could occur as early as tomorrow. The day is "Red Wednesday", the traditional pre-Islamic Iranian fire festival, which always falls on the last Wednesday before the Iranian New Year (March 23). The Islamic regime has always frowned on the festival because of its pagan origins (it dates back to 1700 BC), but this year Supreme Leader Khamenei has denounced it far more strongly, doubtless because the theocracy fears that the gatherings of people it brings out could turn into anti-regime rallies.

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