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Christmas and its Ancient Persian Tradition

December 17, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm PST


A Lecture by Scholar and Ethnologist, Dr. Farima Berenji

We have always known of Christmas on December 25th, with a traditional decorated tree, candles, and gifts. Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ yet its rituals and traditions far precede that time. Unquestionably, our ancestors adopted the rituals from an ancient Iranian pagan religion known as Mithraism, a form of nature worship based on the Sun God/Goddess Mithra.

On the darkest night of the year (December 20 or 21) legend has it Mithra gives birth to “Light” causing each day thereafter to grow longer until the Summer solstice. In this lecture learn of the remarkable parallels between ancient Mithraism beliefs and rituals to those of Christmas today.

Hosted by the Center for Creative Living, the program starts at 11am with a song, prayer, meditation, and announcements. Farima will be introduced and speak 30 to 40 minutes. A sacred dance performance will follow in honor of light.

Park in the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Center parking lot and enter through the gate in the back. Do not go to the front door.

The program will be broadcast on Zoom. Please join or register using the following invitation:

Join by Zoom
Meeting ID: 217 611 8333
Passcode: 812753

Please remember to send a donation to the Center for Creative Living so they can keep the doors open. More details…

Farima Berenji

Farima Berenji

Farima Berenji

Farima Berenji has an MA in Anthropology/Archaeology, MA in Iranian dance ethnology both from Cal State Hayward, and an M.Msc. and a PhD from the University of Sedona in Iranian metaphysics and mysticism, specializing in Iranian mystic traditions, Sufism, and women’s mystic rituals. She is an award winning, internationally acclaimed performing artist, choreographer and has been recognized as one of the few world scholars of ancient and mystical Iranian dance ethnology. She is honored to be the first Iranian woman to direct a Persian dance company to perform during receptions for President Obama and President Biden, the EU, and the UN. Farima is the founder and artistic director of the Simorgh Dance Collective, Assistant Director and Program Director of Eastern Arts, founder of Dance of the SoulTM, advisory council member of Mosaic America, a member of the International Dance Council (CID-UNESCO), National Folk Organization member, and the first Iranian-American woman TEDx lecturer and performer in the field of dance. She has excelled in artistic and innovative forms of cultural preservation and has been recognized by the international press. Recognized as one of the few world scholarly experts of ancient and mystical dance ethnology, she travels worldwide to research, lecture, perform, educate, and inspire dynamic creativity and rejuvenation through dance and movement. Visit her online at http://farimadance.com.
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December 17, 2023
11:00 am - 12:30 pm PST
Event Categories:
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Center for Creative Living
Farima Dance


Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Community Center
938 The Alameda
San Jose, CA 95126 United States
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