Navroze Reports

7 Interesting Facts About Navroz!

Navroz is simply speaking the Persian new year. Then why is it celebrated in India? Good question. That is because a sizable portion of Irani population who we call the Parsis have made India there home. So now Zoroastrian religion is a part of the wide spectrum of religions in India. Now as Parsis in India are a very small minority, not everything about this beautiful festival is not known widely.

Here are some of the interesting facts that you may not know about Navroz.

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Jamshedi Nauroz: May you be happy and prosper this New Year, wish Parsis and people of Iranian descent (KARACHI) :

Originally a Zoroastrian festival, Nauroz is celebrated to mark the beginning of the New Year and vernal equinox or spring. In Karachi, today, Parsis and people with Iranian backgrounds will thus be celebrating a new beginning. Their spelling of the word differs, with several variations, including Nauroz, Nowruz, Navroz.

“It is more traditional and cultural than religious,” explained Nasreen Karamally whose ancestors belong to Iran. Mohadesa Kalantarzadeh explained that every year there is a different time.

This year is associated with the colour red, signifying wealth and prosperity. “It will bring wealth to the president,” joked one man after greeting his family.

The elders reminisced about times in Iran. “I was there a couple of years ago. Obviously there is a massive difference in the celebrations.” Kalantarzadeh remarked. “In Iran, they celebrate for 14 days, leaving their homes and go out on vacations. But here, we just celebrate for one day, and tomorrow, everyone will go back home.”

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Parsis in Ahmedabad set to celebrate Navroz today :

Parsis in the city will indulge themselves in celebrations on Wednesday, the occasion of Jamshed Navroz. On this day, the Parsis venerate the memory of the popular Persian King Jamshed. They will visit the Agyari to pray and wish each other ‘Jamshedi Navroz Mubarak’ after prayers. This will be a common sight among the small community members on Wednesday morning.

The celebrations and rituals of this feast have undergone many changes over the years. Earlier the festivities went on for the whole day, but now the duration of the celebrations has reduced greatly.

Mehernosh Dastur, a Parsi, told DNA how the celebrations today have changed. “Earlier they started in the morning and continued till the night. But today the celebrations have been toned down,” Dastur said.

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Iranians mark New Year with ‘7 elements’ (HYDERABAD)

At the consulate, a table was traditionally decorated with the seven elements (haftseen) that start with seen, the fifteenth letter of the Persian alphabet, sabzeh, samanu, sanjed, seer, seeb, somaq and serkeh.

“Sabzeh or greens stand for rebirth as it is the first day of spring. Samanu is a sweet pudding and symbolises a better life. Senjed means dry fruits and stand for love. Seer or garlic means better health. Seeb or apple implies beauty and somaq is indicative of the colour of sunrise. In addition to this there is sikeh (coin) which we all wish to have – wealth, and a goldfish in a bowl which means life within life. Muslims keep a copy of the Quran before the mirror which symbolises clarity. Persian Zoroastrians keep a copy of the Khodeh Avesta and Jews keep a copy of the Torah before the mirror. It is clear that this is an important part of Persian culture and not religion specific,” another expatriate Azita Younesi explains.

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It’s time to feast and pray for City Parsis (HYDERABAD)

For more than 200 years now Hyderabad has been home to more than 1,100 Parsis. Vachha Barius, owner of Zoroastrian Club, said, “We first arrived in Gujarat and then shifted to Hyderabad. For several generations we have been living in Hyderabad and it is now our home. Every year we celebrate Navroz with much zeal. The Iranians celebrated it yesterday, however, the traditions and rituals are same.”

“Like any other Indian festival we too celebrate the festival by cleaning and decorating the house with rangoli and jasmine flowers. We wear new clothes and exchange greetings. Every year prayers are offered at all the three Fire temples in the City to worship Khorshed and Meher, the two divine beings who preside over the sun and the moon,” he adds.

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Courtesy : Jehangir Bisney

One comment

  • NAVROZ or NAVROOZ are references to the New Year as per the Zorastrian calender. The root word “NAV” meaning new is from the Avestan language, which like its sister Vedic Sanskrit precedes the establishment of modern day religions and political boundries.
    It is therefore NOT the Persian new year or that of any country or religious group except those who pledge their alliance to the Zorastrian faith.

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