Parsi New Year
Jamshedi Navroz is the Parsi New Year. It usually falls on 21st March. Parsi New Year was named after the legendary King of Persia, Jamshed who started the Parsi Calendar. As per the Parsi mythology, universe is recreated on this day and life with all its glory is cherished. Navroz means spring and is believed Mother Nature casts her spell by dressing up like a young bride. Thus, Navroz gives a new vision to everyone's life. Parsis celebrate the day with jollity and mirth.
Parsi New Year Traditions
Jamshedi Navroz is the time to be with the near and dear ones and pay respect to the elders of the family. On this day, people get up early in the morning, clean their house, take bath and dress up in new clothes. They decorate the entrance of their houses with colored powders, light incense sticks and place a burning coal scuttle sprinkled with sandalwood powder. This is done to keep the air clean and fresh. There is also a tradition of offer food to the poor on this day.
Parsis lay down certain auspicious items on the table on the day of New Year. It includes a sacred book, a picture of Zarathustra, mirror, candles, incense burner, fruits, flowers, a goldfish bowl, sugar, bread and some coins. These things symbolize prosperity and longevity for the family members.
Parsi New Year Celebrations
Parsi delicacies play a very important role in the New Year celebrations. A sweet Ravo (made from sugar, milk and suji) and vermicelli are the best breakfast for Navroz. After breakfast, whole family visits a nearby Fire Temple or Agiary. Priests perform a thanks giving prayer in the temple called Jashan and the congregation offers sandalwood to the Holy Fire with covered heads. They wish each other 'Sal Mubarak'.
Parsi Navroz lunch consists of pulav (with nuts and saffron), fish and other spicy non-vegetarian food. Cooking plain rice and moong dal is a must in Parsi community. Every visitor to the house is welcomed with sprinkle of rose water and offering faluda (rose flavored chilled vermicelli).
New Year Celebrations ends on the 13th day from the New Year's day. It is known as 'Sizdah be dar'. It is the custom of leaving the house for public celebrations. These celebrations are done by visiting out with friends and family members. On this day, people throw their sabzeh (seeds grown at Navroz) into a river. Some unmarried girls tie sprouts of sabzeh and wish for good fortune and love in life while some crack jokes calling it the thirteenth lie(same as April's fool).