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Jumping Fire

firejumper1.bmpHow do you get rid of your sins?

Well, if you were in Azerbaijan last week chances are you tried to get rid of your sins by jumping over a fire. The country is celebrating ‘Norvus’ which is the ancient beginning of a new year. Norvus is celebrated on the day spring begins but is preceded by a number of other events. On the Tuesday before the big event the boys on our street spent the day getting ready for the fire. That night, all over the neighbourhood we could see dozens of small fires. It seemed like everyone was out.

Azerbaijan is known as the ‘land of fire.’ Thousands of years ago natural gas would seep out of the the ground and the place was covered in eternal flames. The ancient people were fire worshippers. Norvus is an ancient holiday that predates any monotheistic faiths. So the belief developed that you would jump over the fire. Once to get rid of the sins of the past year and once to cover the sins you will commit in the coming year.100_1207.jpg

Today the practice continues and the celebration continues to grow as Azeris feel it adds to their national identity. It was an interesting sight and holds a fascinating history. But what do you do to get rid of your sins?


2 Responses to “Jumping Fire”

  1. on 25 Mar 2008 at 10:50 amNannie

    Hi David

    John and I enjoy reading your blogs. It is interesting to hear about the different culture and to find out why they do what they do.

    Keep up the good work and MAY GOD RICHLY BLESS YOU AND YOURS!!

  2. on 07 Apr 2008 at 1:31 amTaherah

    hi my dear friends
    we have the same custom as what you see in Azerbaijan too at the last Tuesday of year but we do this just for fun!
    I hope you enjoy seeing our customs since you are living in a country much similar to mine. I enjoyed knowing about your great customs when i was living in your country.
    love you all

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