Dancing around the fire in the street.
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There wasn't much about the slowly-panning scene around us that said anything other that civil war. Bodies hung out of cars lighting various explosives and tossing them under the neighboring car. Young men ran around between varying sized groups keeping a cautious eye on the regular clothed police. Our journey dragged on as roads would be cut-off by further pick-ups supported by batoned men in military uniform, "the road's closed, turn around, hey Mr. where are you going, come back here!".
Iranians choose to celebrate this night by gathering outside to leap over fires, throw fireworks at one another and to dance to any available sound systemThe last Tuesday of the Iranian calendar is known for celebrating the last Wednesday, we call this night Chaharshanbe Suri, meaning Red Wednesday, seen as marking the arrival of spring and revival of nature. Iranians choose to celebrate this night by gathering outside to leap over fires, throw fireworks at one another and to dance to any available sound system. For me the night simply marked my premature graduation into a latter stage of adulthood, [sound of banger at my feet], "damn kids, I knew they were going to do that", I grumbled as I stood on a street corner cold and lost.
"Where are we?", I asked my friend as I assessed the ideologically-challenged terrorists advancing. The taxi driver had dropped us off at a similarly named road, my friend was wounded and we were a long way from back-up. It wasn't a good start to the evening.
It seemed that little had changed in the passing of time as we descended on the gathering: shrieking humans circled a fire or gyrated to unofficial national anthems while dodging the incessant barrage of arsenal. In the observance of ancient practice there was a lack of observance with contemporary practice as citizens freely danced in the streets with conscious disregard for the enforced moral codes. Hair would fly around as carelessly as the fireworks and an odd sense of defiance and unity warmed up the cold and fragile night.