Parsi Calendar – 21 March ?
The ‘Calendar Controversy’ is very old in the Zoroastrian religion. Up until 1129 CE, Zoroastrians in India intercalated an extra 30-day month to their 365-day calendar after every 120 years, thereby restoring parity with the Georgian calendar. This meant that, the Zoroastrian New Year began on 21st March after every 120 years. However, after 1129 CE, the said intercalation was abandoned.
This brought to an end the parity with the Georgian calendar that requires the typical solar year to comprise of 365 ¼ days. This also marked the beginning of the progressive ‘drag’ between the ‘True’ New Year Day that fell on 21st March and the ‘Apparent’ New Year Day that currently falls in March, July and August.
This also marked the formation of three distinct Zoroastrian calendars, viz: Shenshai, Kadmi and Fasli. The anomalies between the beliefs surrounding the three calendars have reached such absurd levels that the world-wide 200,000-strong Zoroastrian community celebrated three New Year Days for their current year 1379 AY (After Yazdegerd III) on 21-Mar-2009 (Fasli), 20-Jul-2009 (Kadmi) and
That the True Zoroastrian New Year begins on the day when the Sun returns to the first degree of Aries in the month of Fravardin, has been established beyond doubt. This is the day of the Spring Equinox and always falls on 21st March.
Recently, I chanced upon an article dated 21-Mar-1963 written by Behramshah Dinshahji Pithavala (13-Nov-1905 to 01-Aug-2001) wherein the author has quite convincingly propounded the case for a Unified Zoroastrian Dini Year that will un-failingly begin on 21st March of each year. Concurrently, I also chanced upon an obituary to Behramshah Dinshahji Pithavala written by Roni K. Khan. The obituary reveals what an evolved soul Behramshah Dinshahji Pithavala really was.
I have attached both articles hereto and wish that saner counsels prevail among all decision makers in this matter and that, worldwide, all Zoroastrians celebrate their New Year Day on 21st March every year.
Rohinton Kadva, Bangalore.