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Nature Day 2023: Date, History, Activities and Five Facts

Nature Day, or "Sizdah Be-dar" in Persian, is an Iranian public holiday honoured on April 2 during standard years and April 1 during leap years.

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Nature Day

Nature Day 2023: Nature Day, or “Sizdah Be-dar” in Persian, is an Iranian public holiday honoured on April 2 during standard years and April 1 during leap years. This year’s date is April 2. In Iranian culture, it is celebrated on the thirteenth day of ‘Farvardin’ — the first month of the Iranian calendar — to commemorate the end of the ‘Nowruz’ celebrations, and is generally regarded as a day for Iranians to relax and enjoy themselves in their preferred open spaces. Nationwide, picnicking predominates, adults and children are enthusiastic, and planning for the day begins well in advance.


Nature Day in Iran has its origins in Zoroastrianism. About 4,000 years ago, ‘Sidaz Be-dar’ was celebrated in ancient Iran to honour ‘Teshtar,’ the deity of rain, in the hope that the prayers offered on that day would convince the god to vanquish the demon of drought and send rain. Over the past few centuries, the day has lost its religious significance and is now viewed primarily as a cultural celebration.

“Sizdah Be-dar” simply means “eliminating the number 13.” In Iran, as in many other cultures around the globe, the number 13 is regarded as ominous. This phobia is known scientifically as triskaidekaphobia. Iranians believe that by having picnics in parks and the countryside on the thirteenth day of ‘Nowruz’ celebrations, they will cast away all their misfortune and begin the remainder of the year with good fortune. The final event of the day’s festivity is commonly believed to fulfil this function. At the conclusion of the picnics, observers discharge green plant shoots that have been growing since the beginning of the “Nowruz” celebrations, typically in rivers and streams.

In addition to releasing green plant shoots into rivers on April 1st, a version of the western ‘April Fool’ known as ‘Lie of the Thirteenth’ is observed and typically involves performing pranks on others. Other enjoyable activities on this day include singing, dancing, chatting, playing games, and for the young singles, tying knots in the grass in the hope that it will bring them spouses, a practise with strong links to an Iranian religious legend. On this day, typical Iranian dishes include Sekanjabin (a drink prepared from vinegar and honey) and Ash-e Doogh (yogurt syrup).

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Prepare those delectable dishes

Almost no Nature Day celebration is complete without a healthy quantity of “Sekanjabin.” Be sure to prepare or acquire some.

Have a picnic

In fact, this is what makes the day worth commemorating. Go on a picnic with your family and do whatever you please. However, don’t neglect to release those young plants into the river.

Prepare for the coming year

Since Nature Day concludes the “Nowruz” festival, do not rely solely on your good fortune. Prepare for the outstanding remainder of the year.

Five interesting facts about the Persian calendar are provided.

A ideal calendar

It is believed that the Persian calendar is many times more accurate than its Gregorian counterpart.

Each month has the same number of days.

The first six months on the calendar have 31 days, while the last six have 30 days, with the exception of the final month, ‘Esfand,’ which can have either 29 or 30 days in leap years.

Compatible with the seasons

The division of the 12 months into groups of three corresponds precisely with the division of the four seasons into the year, i.e., each season falls within three months.

Corresponds to astrological signs

Its month corresponds perfectly with the zodiac signs, such that each sign occurs within a single, complete month.

The schools reopen on the same day.

In contrast to other nations, all Iranian schools reopen on the first day of the month ‘Mehr,’ whereas other nations have various school reopening dates.


Year Date Day
2022 April 2 Saturday
2023 April 2 Sunday
2024 April 1 Monday
2025 April 2 Wednesday
2026 April 2 Thursday