In the Zarathushthrian calendar,the 16th of the month Mehr (2nd of October) is called, Mehregan.
The Zarathushthrian calendar is a solar calendar in which a year is made up of 365 days and each of the 12 months has 30 days.Every month has a name and so does each day.
When the name of the day is the same as the name of the month, it is considered to be auspicious. Such days were celebrated by the ancient Aryans. In relation to Mehrgan, the 16th of each month is known as Mehr and when it occurs in the month of Mehr (Mehr rooz and Mehr mah), the celebration of Mehrgan takes place.
There are other reasons to celebrate Mehregan:
In the book ‘Bondaheshn’ it is written that Misha (the first man or Adam) and Mishaneh (the first woman or Eva) were born on the day of Mehregan.
Mehr which is the name of God in Mithraisim, was born on Mehregan and it is called Mitrakana in Mithraisim.
Mehregan was celebrated in six days in ancient times,starting from 16th until 21st of month of Mehr (Raam day).
Farmers celebrated the gathering of the harvest, before the onset of winter.
According to a legend ,on this day, King Fereydoon gained victory over Zahak.(see life history of king Fereydoon in Shahnameh).
Celebration of Mehrgan in modern Iran
Today, Mehregan is celebrated by Zarathushties in Iran and India.
In North America as well as some European countries, Iranian immigrants, even those who are not Zarathushties, celebrate Mehregan as a national and cultural festival.
Zarathushties prepare a Mehregan table, known as Sofreh Mehregan on the evening of Mehregan, a few hours before the celebrations begin.
Here is list of items we could see on a Mehregan table:
3. Avesta (Zarathushthrian holy book)
4. An image of Zarathushthra
5. Lork (mixture of dried fruits)
8. Fresh fruits
10. Red or white wine
The Ceremony begins when a fire is lit by a Mobed and Mehr Yasht is recited. At the end of the prayer,everyone is wished good health and happy life.The music begins and there is much singing and dancing. Aash-e-Reshte, a delicious, rich soup, is the meal normally served on this occasion.