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Christmas and its Ancient Persian Tradition

December 19, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm PST


A Lecture by Scholar and Ethnologist, 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.

Park in the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Center parking lot and enter through the gate in the back. Do not go to the front door, enter through the gate in the back, show proof of vaccination, and wear a mask.

Farima Berenji

Farima Berenji is an award winning, internationally acclaimed performing artist, instructor, choreographer, and dance ethnologist. A master instructor and performer in Persian and Sufi dance, she specializes in ancient, sacred, classical, and folkloric dances of Persia and Central Asia. 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. Farima is the founder and artistic director of the Simorgh Dance Collective, founder of Dance of the Soul, she is the advisory council member of Mosaic America, a member of the International Dance Council (CID-UNESCO), Eastern Arts, National Folk Organization, and the first Iranian-American woman TEDx lecturer and performer in the field of dance. Recognized as one of the few world scholarly experts of ancient and mystical dance ethnology, she travels worldwide to record, research, lecture, perform, educate, and to inspire dynamic creativity and rejuvenation through dance and movement. Read more…


December 19, 2021
11:00 am - 12:30 pm PST
Event Category:


Center for Creative Living
Farima Dance


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