Parsi New Year 2023: Date, History and Significance
Posted By: Shweta Khandal
Posted On: August 16, 2023
The Parsi New Year, also known as Navroz or Nowruz, is a happy event celebrated from July to August. This year, Parsi New Year falls on August 16th. This special festival has a long history of over 3,000 years and comes from the Persian words ‘Nav’ and ‘Roz’, which mean ‘new day’.
Origin of Parsi New Year
While people around the world celebrate Navroz during the Spring Equinox on March 21st, the Parsi community in India uses the Shahenshahi calendar. This special calendar doesn’t include leap years, which makes the celebration shift by 200 days from the usual date.
History and Cultural Significance
The festival’s beginnings are connected to Zoroastrianism, one of the oldest beliefs in a single god. This belief began over 3,500 years ago in ancient Iran, when a wise person named Prophet Zarathustra shared this faith.
Zoroastrianism’s happiness continued until about 1,400 years ago, when a religion called Islam started spreading in the 7th century. Due to this change, many followers of Zoroastrianism left their homes in Iran and moved to India and Pakistan. In these new places, a group known as Parsis formed and found safety.
The story behind the origin of the celebration goes back to a legendary king named Jamshed. He is said to have saved the world from a disastrous winter that threatened to destroy everything.
Celebration of Parsi New Year
The largest Parsi community in India lives in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, making them the biggest single group in the country.
On this day, people pray for good health and prosperity. They spend their time cleaning their homes and decorating them with flowers and colorful patterns called rangolis.
They wear traditional clothes and visit a special fire temple called ‘Agiary’. At the temple, they offer milk, flowers, fruits, and sandalwood to the sacred fire.
The celebrations focus on four important things: fire, fragrance, food, and friendship. During this time, people enjoy delicious Parsi dishes, ask for forgiveness for any mistakes from the past year, purify their thoughts, and start the new year with love and harmony.
Parsis prepare tasty foods like Prawn Patio, Mori Dar, Patra Ni Macchi, Haleem, Akoori, Sali Boti, Saffron Pulao, and Falooda for a big feast.
They make their tables special by decorating them with things like a sacred book, a mirror, nice-smelling sticks, fruits, beautiful flowers, shiny coins, candles, a bowl with a goldfish, and a picture of Zarathustra.
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