No Mayflowers at this Thanksgiving

Thursday, September 14, 2017
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For the second year Mehregan, the ancient Persian festival of thanksgiving was celebrated at the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy on Sunday, September 12. The Untermyer Gardens, once considered the “Most Spectacular Garden in America,” has been recently restored, and contains perhaps the finest Persian garden in the Western Hemisphere.

The newly restored Untermyer Gardens Conservancy includes six gardens. The waterfalls of the Temple of Love were finished in 2016, and there are almost 1,000 plants in the Temple of Love alone. The daffodil meadow below the Temple of Love has 5,000 flowers, and the lights in the Walled Garden for the Grand Holiday Illumination number 80,950.

Celebrations of Mehregan date back to early Persian times to celebrate the transition from summer to winter. This weekend’s festival was highlighted by a performance by Sattar, a renowned Persian singer, known for his international hit “Shahre Gham.” Festivities also included the reading of a Persian poem, an illumination provided by a giant bonfire, and the burning of esphand, which pops and crackles as it burns, releasing an aromatic smoke.

In attendance for the Mehregan celebration were Isreal UN Ambassador Danny Danon, Morocco UN Ambassador Omar Liale, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, former Governor Jon and Sharon Corzine, Nazee and Joseph Moinian, Diana and Frederick Elghanayan, Mitra and Nader Damaghi, Darius and Victoria Sakhai and Jed Manocherian, Jennie and Pierre DuPont V and Stephen Lash.


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by Kelly LaffeyPhotographed by Billy Farrall