Red Wednesday celebrations in Iran: 9 dead, 1900 injured

At least 9 people lost their lives and nearly 1900 people were injured during the celebrations of Çarşema Sor (Red Wednesday) in Iran.

The Iranian state does not officially recognize the Çarşema Sor celebrations and the Shia clergy deems it "pagan".

The National First Aid Services Spokesperson Mujtaba Halidi told AFP that "three people died during the celebrations, one in the capital," on Tuesday night.

Halidi reported that 1894 people, mostly men, were injured throughout the country.

Since February 19 death toll has risen to 9 including the recent deaths during the Çarşema Sor.

Red Wednesday celebrations, known as " Çeharşanbe Suri" in Persian or "Çarşema Sor" in Kurdish, are held on the last Wednesday before Newroz. This is also the last Wednesday of the year according to the Iranian calendar, in which the new year begins on March 21st.

Celebrations take place by jumping over seven fires, accompanied by songs. The songs include the lyrics "I give you my yellow color" referring to the color yellow, which symbolizes diseases caused by winter, and are followed by lyrics "I take your red color" referring to the color red, which is the symbol of being healthy.