Navroz Mubarak: A Parsi New Year Celebration
Once again it’s the ‘Happy Times Of The Year’ for Parsis. Yes, Navroz is around and they’re all geared up to celebrate the festival in pomp & splendor. It’s one of the most awaited day in the lives of Parsis who look forward to celebrating with friends, family, and loved ones.
What Is Navroz Festival?
Navroz is a Parsi New Year that is celebrated to mark the beginning of the new Iranian calendar. In Navroz, “Nav’ means new, and “Roz’ means day. The New Year for Parsis is celebrated in India for the past 3000 years. The Parsis follow Shehenshahi Calendar – also known as Jamshede Navroz and it doesn’t account for the leap years. It is said that Persian King Jamshed had saved the world from an apocalypse – a severe winter by rising high on his gem-studded throne on the back of demons & shining brighter than the Sun. And this marked the beginning of a new day known as ‘Navroz”. There is a difference in calendars and therefore Parsis celebrate Navroz twice a year. One is celebrated worldwide by Zoroastrians and the other is celebrated after 200 days of Navroz. ‘Jamshedi Navroze’ is one of the 3 main festive days in the Parsi Calendar. The others are Parsi New Year, August, and Khordad Saal, the birth of Zarathustra.
The Balkans, the Caucasus, and the Middle Easterns celebrate the festival on March 21, the first day of the Zoroastrian calendar. In India, there is another version of the festival that is followed according to the Shahanshahi calendar and falls during the later months of the year. The dates will change and it’s known as Pateti, Navroz. In 2023, it will be celebrated on August 17th in India. Navroz is also known as ‘Jamshed-i-Navroz’ after the Persian King, Jamshed, who holds the credit to create the Persian Calendar known as – The Shahenshahi Calendar.
The time of the festival is decided in Iran and then the message is conveyed to the Zoroastrians across the globe. The rituals of the day include a visit to the fire temple and seeking blessings followed by party time with friends, family, and loved ones, exchanging navroz gifts, eating delicacies, and drinking.
Important Things Of Navroz Festival
Ten days before Navroz starts Muktad, similar to the Hindus “Pitri Paksha” where homage is paid to our ancestors. Parsis pray for the remittance of sins and repentance to start anew. A variety of Parsi dishes are cooked such as Marghi Na Farcha, Dhan Dal, Berry Pulao, Jardaloo Chicken, Patrani Machchi, Salli Boti, Lagan Nu Custard, etc.
The 10th day from Muktad is Pateti wherein people clean their houses, and decorate them with Torans, Flowers, and Rangoli. Parsis wear new clothes and visit Agiary – Fire temple early morning to offer prayers to Ahura Mazda – The Supreme God, his divine energy signified by Fire. Poor people are gifted with sweets & clothes and a lot of charity is done on this auspicious day.
It’s D-Day when people wish each other a happy new year. On Navroz, people pray for good health, wealth, and prosperity. A special breakfast “Sev” with yogurt is prepared, with prayers and a year of greetings made during a visit to Agyira. Delicious meals and desserts are feasted upon with friends, family, and loved ones to celebrate the occasion with happiness and harmony.
Ses is the tray with religious Zoroastrian items, made of silver or other metals that consists of Divo – A water lamp as a symbol to dispel Evil and darkness, Soparo – A conical utensil that consists of rock sugar which is kept to feel one’s life with sweetness, Pingani – To keep vermillion applied on the forehead. Rice is placed on the red mark which signifies abundance, Gulabaz – it’s the rose water sprinkler and lastly other items including coconut, coloured eggs, betel leaves, betel nuts, almonds, dates, curd, fish, flowers, silver or gold coins.
How To Celebrate Navroz Festival 2023?
Jamshedi Navroze is one of the most important and auspicious days in the lives of Parsis. There is a lot of excitement and rejoicing among young, and old people. You will wash and clean your house, maybe paint and renovate, and decorate with ‘Torans’. Similar to Diwali or other Hindu festivals rangolis are drawn with chals. People take early baths and dress up in their best attires. Food and gifts play an important role in the Navroz festival. All types of delicious dishes are cooked and a grand fest is held. Events are organized amongst the community to celebrate the Navroz festival. A thick kind of kheer known as ‘Rava’ is made out of sooji, milk, sugar, and cream garnished with roasted dry fruits like almonds, and cashews, sprinkled with rose water.
There is even an exchange of gifts for Parsi New Year among friends and family. These exquisite Navroz gifts range from beautiful printed Bedsheets, and clothes, to table linen, hand-stitched aprons, Embroidered Box Clutch Bag, Warli hand-painted, Cushion covers, quilts, and sofa covers along with jewellery, sweetmeats, and décor accessories. You can either visit the stores or buy Nowruz gifts online at your comfort and convenience.
A Quality Gift is very important to make your friends & family feel special. They will come to know how much they are in your thoughts and care. Want to learn more? Read: The Importance Of Quality Gifts
‘Falooda’ is offered to guests along with a thali filled with rose petals, vermillion, rice grains, sprinklers with rose water & coconuts are offered to the visitors. Families attend the fire temples where thanksgiving prayers or ‘Jashan’ is offered and led by the priest. It is important to cover your head at the fire temples, men will wear velvet caps and women will wear sarees. After prayers, greetings of Navroz Mubarak or happy Parsi new year are exchanged. Children tend to enjoy a lot during Navroz Festivals since it’s all about rituals, wearing new clothes, decorations, good food, and exchanging Parsi new year gifts. As we see a lot of the customers are similar to Hindu Festivals but it has its own religious traditional rituals.
Parsis are followers of the Zoroastrian faith who fled Persia around 1200 years ago & migrated to India. It was to escape from Muslim and Arab persecution. They finally settled down on the Western Coast of India mainly in Gujarat and Bombay. They would worship God as per the teaching of their prophet Zoroaster & observed their festivals. The Zoroastrians were called Parsis since they hailed from ‘Par – a province of Persia’ and they are descendants of Persians.
The Parsis are divided into 3 sects – the Faslis, the Kadims & the Sehensahis. The Faslis observe Navroze (Jamshedi Navroze) as the New Year proclaimed by King Jamshed, and it falls on the first day of the Spring. The Kadims And Sehensahis observe two new years – one is Jamshedi Navroze and the other is the anniversary of the day when they landed in India. Some customers may have changed once they were mingled with the locals but the rituals and traditions remain intact.
Hope you liked our blog on the Navroz festival. We would love to see your reviews on it. We’ll come back with more interesting ones on the ‘great Indian festivals’, so until next, see ya!
Navroz Mubarak To All