Tirgan is a major Iranian festival with a history that spans thousands of years. It is held on the 13th day of the month of Tir in the Iranian calendar (equivalent to the 4th of July). In ancient times, it was a ritual to celebrate Tishter, the goddess of rain. In Iranian mythology, it signifies the day when Arash, a national hero, acted to end the long wars between Iran and Turan and to settle a border that was acceptable to both countries. The two parties decided that Arash should ascend to the summit of Mount Damavand and shoot an arrow; wherever the arrow landed was to be the border between the two countries. Arash put all his strength into the arrow and, by sacrificing his life, broadened the Iranian border, giving peace and tranquility to his countrymen. It is interesting to note that his bow and arrow were presented to him by the Goddess Sapandarmazgan, the guardian of productivity and vitality. The myth clearly presents the Iranian love for peace and preservation of the environment. For thousands of years, Iranians have celebrated the occasion with happy festivities and games, instead of mourning for the hero. One tradition for youngsters is to throw water at each other, washing away the pain and sorrow brought to human life by Ahriman.
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