Zoroastrianism is the oldest religion in the world that originated in Iran (Persia) as early as 4000 years ago. Faravahar (Persian: فَرَوَهَر), also known as Forouhar (Persian: فُروهَر), or Farr-e Kiyâni (Persian: فَرِّ کیانی), is its symbol. The Faravahar icon is one of the oldest monolithic symbols in the world. Obviously, the Faravahar icon indicates that Persian people have always believed in one God. The Faravahar icon indicates that the belief in a single God has been always dominant in Iran (Persia). Many Persian people are proud of the symbol because it shows Iran’s long-lasting effects on Western Asia and Central Asia.
When we talk about Iran (Persia), we should also talk about Iraq and Egypt. The effects of the two civilizations on Iran (Persia) are old and long-lasting. The Faravahar symbol also shows how Iran-Iraq-Egypt relationships have been recognized through the centuries. The use of the Faravahar symbol originates as the winged sun used by multiple powers of the ancient near east, primarily those of Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Egypt. The Faravahar icon also originates in ancient Egyptian symbols related to God and the sun. The Persian adoption of the symbol mainly comes from its prevalence in Assyrian civilization in Iraq.
Obviously the Assyrian image in Iraq includes their tree of life, which shows the God Ashur on a winged surface. Iraq and Egypt are not just ancient parts of Iran. These countries are places where the Persian Empire also shared symbols, civilization and architecture. It is difficult to believe that Iraq and Egypt are in the heart of our Faravahar. How can we believe that our monolithic symbol has passed a long way from Iraq and Egypt? It is like the land of Nabonidus and his God Marduk and the land of Pharaohs have shown their kindness to Iran (Persia). It is like not only the Cyrus Cylinder sends a message but the Faravahar icon also wants to send a message. This message is our unity to revive our civilizations and empires.
Our Faravahar is a common symbol in Iran. It is not related to the Persian religion only. The symbol has been also depicted on the tombs of Achaemenid kings, such as Darius the Great (r. 522-486 BC) and Artaxerxes III (r. 358-338 BC) in Iran. Faravahar was also used on the coins of the Frataraka of Persis in the late third and early second BC centuries. It is not the only survived symbol from the era of Zoroaster.
From the start of the 20th century, the Faravahar icon found itself in public places and became a known icon among Iranians (modern Persians). The Shahnameh written by the great Persian poet Ferdowsi contains the ancient Persian history including Faravahar. The tomb of Ferdowsi which is visited by a number of Iranians every year, contains a large Faravahar icon as well. There are many modern buildings in Iran that display the Faravahar symbol.
Nowadays the Faravahar icon is worn as a pendant by Iranians and has become a cultural symbol that characterizes Iran (Persia). Iran is a country with a democratic basis. Therefore, even Persian Muslims wear pendants decorated with this symbol. Nowadays it is not a Zoroastrian symbol only. It has been cherished by everybody inside the country.
The winged figure in the symbol represents Ahura Mazda (the only single God). It depicts Khvarenah or royal glory to reflect the divine power of Persian kings. It is the support of God for Persian kings to govern the world peacefully.
The Sun Throne is the imperial seat of Iran (Persia), which has visual implications of the Faravahar symbol. The kingdom is in the middle of the throne, which is formed like a basis that is raised from the ground. This heavenly symbol also represents the Persian nation. One of the interpretations of the Faravahar symbol is that it displays human soul, its development and persistency for good conduct.
The Faravahar icon is a national symbol for Iranians which presents their Persian roots. The winged discs has a long history in the art, religion, and culture of Western Asia and Central Asia. It indicates how Iran (Persia) is ancient and long-lasting in Western Asia and Central Asia
The Faravahar symbol in Shiraz, Near the Persian Gulf of Iran
The Faravahar symbol on ancient Persian coins
The Faravahar symbol in Kermanshah, Iran
The root of the Faravahar symbol in Iraq
A building in Iran with the Faravahar symbol
The Faravahar symbol is worn by Iranians
The Faravahar symbol in the heart of Iran`s map
The Faravahar symbol in the heart of our Persian flag
The Faravahar symbol in our Persian hand writing
The Faravahar symbol and its outstanding history