AT A GLANCE
What: Persian Festival of Autumn (Mehregan)
When: Saturday, September 9 and Sunday, September 10, 2006
(11 am to 10 pm)
Attendance: Over 20,000 (estimate)
Admission: $20 (presale) $25 (at the door)
Kids under 10 free, Free Parking
MEHREGAN FESTIVAL - A CELEBRATION OF TRADITIONS
Festival of Autumn, a community festival is put together by hundreds of
volunteers who donate their time and talents to its success. The 11th annual
event celebrates Persian culture with music, dance, artwork, crafts, traditional
Persian cuisine, traditional tea house, and costumes. The festival represents
Iranian-Americans' interest in our heritage and commitment to share that
heritage with the community. Iranian-Americans pride themselves on maintaining a
commitment to education, business, and social causes in the tightly woven
community of over 500,000 in
The event is sponsored
and organized by NIPOC, Network of Iranian-American Professionals of Orange
County (www.nipoc.org), Khayam
Persian School Foundation, (www.persianschool.org
), and other Iranian cultural and student
CELEBRATING CYRUS THE GREAT KING OF PERSI
This year's festival is dedicated to the famous Persian King, Cyrus the Great. Cyrus the Great was the founder of the
The cylinder of Cyrus is widely referred to in modern times as the "first charter of human
Rights". The United Nations translated and published it into all of its official languages.
The cylinder decrees the normal themes of Persian rule: religious tolerance, abolishment
of slavery, freedom of choice of profession, and expansion of the empire.
The festival grounds
are decorated with artifacts reminding the visitors of history and the
contribution this king has made to human kind. As you walk into the Mehregan
Festival, you will see the images
of the old Persian Empire,
FOOD, FUN, ENTERTAINMENT - PERSIAN STYLE!
At Mehregan, there are plenty of activities for young and old including traditional music, dance, arts and crafts, ancient sports, pop music, and, of course, the exotic Persian food.
bridges lives. Those born in
Mehregan is a harvest festival often
compared to Thanksgiving in
PROVINCES: ONE NATION MANY CULTURES
Iranian-Americans born in each of
the provinces welcome visitors into an arc of tents featuring the textiles,
tastes, and spices of each region. The smell of cumin fills the air in the
PERSIAN ENTERTAINMENT: MODERN AND TRADITIONAL
Entertainment is a key feature of Mehregan. This year, three stages are setup for various modern and traditional Persian Music featuring the hottest stars. On the Main stage Popular Persian singers will entertain the crowd while on the
Center Stage Folkloric dancers and performers (Raghs-e Mahali) will perform.
One area which is always
the crowd's favorite is the Tea House (Chai Khane). This area which is
decorated by several tables covered with Persian rugs reminds people of the old
tea houses in
CHILDREN AT MEHREGAN
Kids under the age of 10 are admitted free to Mehregan Festival. Children coordinators, Mrs. Hoori Ghahremani and Ms. Nora Valenzuela, have planned many great activities including: Arts, Drawing, Coloring, Pottery, Air Brush Tattoos, Face Painting, Story Telling, and Calligraphy (Names in Farsi & English), Crafts (making kites, pinwheels, etc.), Balloon Arts, and Kid's Music & Dance.
Art & Essay
Festival, in partnership with Tebot Bach (a literary non-profit
organization) is conducting a
drawing and an essay contest in
Young people are our future and a
special section with a large tent is dedicated to them. The tent is called "Cyrus Lounge"
this year, to go along with the overall theme of Mehregan of Cyrus the
Great. The outside will have a
grand entrance with columns and arches to resemble ancient
POETRY AND ART AT MEHREGAN
Poetry has always been a part of Persian Culture and Literature. In western countries, many are familiar with the works of great poets such as Omar Khayyam and his Rubaiyat, as well as the great Rumi, among many others. At this year's festival, our "Poetry That is Life" exhibit features "The Translation Project", which is a non-profit project dedicated to bringing contemporary Iranian literature to the world stage in multiple languages and media. Performing our contemporary poetry in both Persian and English is the founder of The Translation Project and award-winning translator, Niloufar Talebi, along with the great tar master Sahba Motallebi in a dramatic presentation of poetry and music. In addition, we are screening The Translation Project's long-awaited DVD of short film based on contemporary Iranian poetry, Midnight Approaches.... This project has won four major US translation awards. For more information and a preview of the films, visit www.thetranslationproject.com
Every year Mehregan hosts an art exhibit featuring Iranian artists displaying professional works of the Persian culture. This year's exhibit, under the direction of Reza Sepahdari, will include young new artists displaying their talent among the masters. The exhibit is sure to engage the interests of all ages.
SITE DÉCOR - CELEBRATING NATURE
There is a lot of symbolism to the Persian Festival of Mehregan. As you walk into the site, you will walk through a path that takes you back over 3000 years. Every area of the site is decorated in all colors of autumn. Décor created by Ms. Mitra Azar, uses the colors of sun, yellow to orange to red as well as lavender (reflective of Cyrus era).
Sun means Mehr and Mehregan is the celeberation of the sun and the welcoming
of winter ahead. The ceremony of
Mehregan lasted 6 days. Ms. Azar craftully designs a special Mehregan's table
called Sofreh-e Mehregan (Here is
acknowledge the generosity of Dr. Shahnad Kim who has invested much time in
researching and creating many posters which are an invaluable source of
information relating to the significant contributions made by many of
We invite everyone to visit the Mehregan Sofreh and experience its rich heritage and get in touch with the 'Real Iran'.
BUSINESS EXPO AT MEHREGAN
Iranian-Americans have achieved prominence in every aspect of business and the professions, from high-tech to education and the arts. They are founders or have leadership roles at many Fortune 500 companies. They work at well known entities as eBay, Google, CNN, UCLA, MIT, and NASA. Many Iranian and American owned businesses use Mehregan Festival to exhibit their products and services. This large tent holds over 100 exhibit booths featuring many products and services from elegant Persian rugs to modern technology.
Mehregan Persian Festival is organized by many volunteers who have worked very hard for over five months to organize this great event. The team is called the 'Mehregan Organizing Committee'. In addition there are several teams that are assigned a specific task such as youth, children, provinces, etc. A number of non-profit civic and educational institutions help various programs and activities. Overall, more than 200 volunteers work hard for the success of this great festival. We are grateful to all of them. Team names and members list is available at www.nipoc.org/mehregan
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