The Ancient Scythian Festival of Sakaia

The Classical Greek sources mention a Scythian festival, named Sakaia, borrowed by ancient Persians and performed even in Babylonia. During the festival, a servant was elected as king for two to five days; the elected servant who was called ''zoganes'', was allowed to do as he was pleased and was entertained by the royal concubines.
But at the end of the period of the licence the masquerade king was dethroned and whipped. The participants who accompanied the carnival king, used to drink and dance. The festival was celebrated at vernal or autumnal equinox.
Interestingly, the Persians who attended the festival dressed in the Scythian garb.

The exact same festival is survived throughout Kurdistan. 
On of the characteristic of the New Year festival (Newroz/Newroj/Gulus) in Kurdistan is the election of the false “amir” (ruler), whom the participants choose from among themselves to rule over them for three to five days. During this time he engages in the most extravagant behavior, making wild promises of long life and wealth to all his “subjects” and, in the general spirit of fun, fining those he judges guilty of “crimes”. (read here)

The festival is even known among the Yezidi Kurds, and Kurds of the Transcaucasus and Khorasan, observed by the archaeologist and iranologist Jean-Jacques de Morgan.
The festival is not nowadays common among other Iranic-speaking nations.

Names of Corduene Kings

Corduene was a kingdom in ancient Kurdistan, often been neglected by scholars. Among their notable kings were Zarbienus and Manisarus, whose etymology of names discloses the nature of the Iranic dialect they spoke: a middle Scythian dialect, the same as neighbouring Adiabene to the south of the kingdom.

Zarbienus, also recorded as Zarbiene, and Zarbien, (early-mid 1st c. BC), made overtures to Appius Claudius, when the latter was staying at Antiocheia, wishing to shake off the yoke of Tigranes. He was informed against, however, and was assassinated with his wife and children before the Romans entered Armenia. When Lucullus arrived he celebrated his funeral rites with great pomp, setting fire to the funeral pile with his own hand, and had a sumptuous monument erected to him. His name is comprised of two components, the first part is ''zar'', middle Iranic development for gold/golden, deriving from the old Avestan and Scythian ''zaranya''. The old Persian equivalent of zaranya was daranya, while later on, Zar entered as a loan into Persian and replaced the original old Persian daranya.
Plutarch has even recorded the name as Zerbienus, which reflects the typical middle and new Kurdish development of /a>e/.
It is a cognate with name of the eastern Scythians (Sakas) queen, "Zarina". She led a rebellion by Scythians and Parthians against the Median King Cyaxares, who according to Herodotus had recovered his kingdom through intoxicating Scythian nobles; (that is after Scythian emperor Madius had counqered the Medes). The name of Zarina which means ''golden'', is still used for Kurdish females. The name has also been borrowed into Persian.

Manisarus (ca. 115 AD) took control over Armenia and Mesopotamia; therefor Osroes, the Parthian king, declared war against him; Manisarus sided with Romans. There are some coins extant, which are assigned to Manisarus. The etymology of his name is explained by linguist and orientalist Ferdinand Justi (author of "Kurdische Grammatik"), in his valuable book "Iranisches Namenbuch" to mean "unique and unparalleled lord/master".
The image above, shows an old drawing from one of the silver coins of the King Manisarus. Note King's headband (or diadem), typical for Scythian kings, such as King Izates II of Adiabene.