Mehregan, The Autumn Festival
The Event
On October 11 and 12, Iranians in Southern California came together to celebrate Mehregan, one of the oldest and happiest Persian celebrations. Four non-profit Iranian organizations, based in Orange County California, were responsible for planning, organizing and execution of this program. NIPOC, ICCOC, Khayam Educational Group and ICCU worked together over six months to make this celebration a truly successful gathering. This was the fourth year that Mehregan was celebrated in Orange County. Mehregan in Orange County, California has become a tradition that is now even recognized by the local City officials in Southern California.
The Scene

The celebration commenced on Saturday, October 11, 1997 in Orange County, about 50 miles South East of Los Angeles. The place selected for this event was a charming park surrounded by trees and lots of green areas. The peaceful setting gave one the feeling of being away from the hustle and bustle of the city life in Southern California. Along the path leading to the park entrance, there were three dimensional mock ups of Perspolis’ columns. At the entrance of the park, there was a large size mock up of the Nation’s Gate in Perspolis. A walkway through the trees lead to a village by a small pond. The Village had many small huts, each representing a different region of Iran. There were also displays of various Iranian traditions. A short distance away, there was a mock up of the monument in Tehran’s Azadi (Freedom) Square (formerly known as Shahyad).

Tea Room was to the left of the village. This was a big open air amphitheater style structure covered by a see through tent. One could see the tall trees surrounding the tent. Inside, the seats and the grounds were all covered with Persian rugs. Next to the stage in the middle, was an area where Persian tea was brewed in large samavars (tea pots) all day long. The quaint ambiance of the Tea Room was very pleasant and inviting.  Next to the Tea room was an area dedicated to the businesses who cater their services to the Iranian Community. Manou & Associates and Iran Online were among the businesses who promoted their services there. To the left of this area was a playground for kids and youngsters. The main ground was further down at the bottom of the hill. This was the stage for the Iranian Marshal Art.

The eating area was next to the main ground. Kabob, barbecuded corn (balal), Persian ice cream, refreshments and other treats were sold at the neatly arranged tents that were lined up at the perimeter of the park.  The Main Stage was set up at the end of the park next to the eating area. Over the two days of the celebration many thousands of Iranians came to the park and joined the festivities. Visitors were entertained by various performances in the Tea Room and at the Main Stage throughout the day. Shahram Solati and the Black Cats group entertained the people on Saturday and Sunday evenings respectively. It was obvious that people were enjoying themselves . Both nights the majority of the visitors stayed until the end.

The Accomplishments

This was one of the most successful Persian events that have taken place in U.S. in recent years. The following are just a few of the reasons that have made this event different than others.

These four organization and their members have given us the legacy and the framework for cooperation and safeguarding the best of our culture. They have also reinforced the fact that Iranians are survivors and have overcame many hardships that they had to endure as an immigrant community over the last twenty years.
Our Admiration
This event and others like it continue to help our community to renew its commitment in upholding and protecting our heritage and ideals. We at Manou & Associates Inc and Iran Online congratulate and thank the four organizations and each one of their members who took it upon themselves to undertake such a worthy project. We are fully aware of all the personal, physical and financial sacrifices that each one of you have made to make this event so successful. We admire your efforts and commitment and wish you all continuing success.

Iran Online