Navroz Festival(Last Updated 14 Sep, 2022)
Navroz is the Iranian New Year, widely known as the Persian New Year, and is celebrated worldwide by some religious groups. The festival is celebrated on the first of the Farvardin - Zoroastrian calendar's first month and the onset of spring. Listed in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of India, the festival is known as Nowrouz, Navruz, Nauroz, Novruz, Nevruz, and Nooruz.
The festival commences at the vernal equinox stroke, the time when the sun passes through the equator. Although the date of the Navroz Festival falls in March worldwide, India celebrates it in August. It will be celebrated on 16th August in 2023. The second date of the Navroz Festival is calculated according to the Shahen Shahi calendar, which is the 17th of August. It is celebrated in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. In India, it is primarily celebrated in Gujarat and Maharashtra.
The tradition began 3000 years ago and was baptized after the Persian King, Jamshed, who introduced the Parsi calendar. Thus, the name - Jamshed-i-Nouroz. King Jamshed was held on high for his righteousness and truthfulness. So, Parsis also celebrate the King during the festival of Maharashtra signifying walking on the righteous path and living truthfully.
The Parsi community and various sects of Muslims (Sunni and Shia, both) worldwide celebrate Navroz.
Celebrations of Navroz
Celebrations take place while following the traditions and rituals of the Navroz festival. Parsis pray at Atash Behram (Fire of Victory- the highest fire grade fire that can be placed in a Zoroastrian fire temple as an eternal flame). Parsi high priest Dasturji Feroze Kotwal says that the most important aspect of the day is to instill good thoughts, do good deeds, and speak good words.
Homes are tastefully decorated with flowers and lights and other decorative items. Symbolic patterns like fish are drawn outside homes to attract good luck and prosperity. People also keep fish in a bowl inside their houses. Likewise, they keep a silver coin, painted eggs, and an earthenware plate with sprouted beans or wheat inside homes for productivity.
After praying, people enjoy a get-together with friends and families at each other's houses. People also invite guests to grace the festive celebrations at their homes. Guests are welcomed by sprinkling rose water on them to keep relations amicable. The fragrance of incense sticks adds to the ambiance. People offer charity and exchange gifts.
Nowruz is also a time to clean homes, get new clothes, visit loved ones, and renew their bonds. Then, the celebrations finally end on the 13th day of the New Year.
Nauroz celebrations have a feast as their highlight. Then, people gather around Haftseen - a ceremonial table. Everyone holds hands, counts the New Year, and greets Eide Shoma Mobarak (Happy New Year).
The haft seen table is a new addition to Nowruz as a tradition. Every household decorates the table with seven items, considered an auspicious number. Each item symbolizes renewal and spring and begins with the letter sin (s) in Persian. These items are -
- Seeb (apple), representing beauty
- Seer (garlic), representing good health
- Serkeh (vinegar), representing patience
- Sonbol (hyacinth), representing spring
- Samanu (sweet pudding), representing fertility
- Sabzeh (sprouts), representing rebirth
- Sekeh (coins), representing prosperity
Haftseen tables can also include a Quran, a mirror and candles, a poetry book, and various fruits and sweets. Other items begin with the alphabet 's' and are used for décors, such as senjed (dried fruit of Lotus tree, representing love) and spice sumac (its gold color represents sunrise).
Lip-smacking culinary delights are also prepared to add flavors to the celebrations. These treats are Haleem, Dhansak, Saffron Pulao, smoked fish and herbed rice, Farchas, Sali Boti, and accompaniments like saaria. People also gorge upon caramel custard and falooda.
"I pray for you and your family's happiness and well-being. May you all have an amazing year ahead. Happy Parsi New Year!"
"Sending you warm wishes and good luck on New Year! Happy Parsi New Year!"
"Wish your dear ones with the best of Parsi New Year wishes messages that promise to fill their lives with happiness in this fresh year!"
"May this Navroz bring happiness, well-being, and prosperity to you."
"May this year mark the beginning of new avenues for you."
"Have a blessed Parsi New Year."
"May love, bravery, wisdom, contentment, health, patience, and cleanliness be by your side.
"May Navroz lights take away your sorrows and bring eternal light of happiness."
"May this Navroz bring along brighter days for you….. May you enjoy this occasion with memorable celebrations…..Wishing you Navroz Mubarak!!!"
"May the glory of King spread all over,
May Lord praise us in galore,
Let’s pray for happiness and prosperity…
May this Parsi New Year give us Happiness.
"Happy Parsi New Year and Navroz Mubarak!"
"Sending my warm wishes for a happy Navroz! May the day bring you good fortune and success. May God bless you today and forever."
May God bless you today and forever."
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