Navroz, the Parsi New Year, has been named after the legendary king of Persia who was also the fourth Shah of the Pishdadian dynasty of Persia. Navroz also goes by the name of Jamshed Navroz.
The word Jamshed Navroz is a combination of Jamshed, the man who started the Parsi Calendar, and Navroz meaning a new day.
This festival is celebrated by different communities and people belonging to many faiths for more than 7,000 years in western and central Asia. Usually, it is a secular holiday for most people and is observed with great fervour.
The festival marks New Year as per Zoroastrianism. The Parsi community follows this religion which is one of the oldest known monotheistic religions. Zoroastrianism was founded by Prophet Zarathustra about 3,500 years ago.
Moreover, it is also important to know that it was the official religion of Persia from 650 BCE until the rise of Islam which dawned during the 7th century. Yes, as per the historical records, when the Islamic armies invaded Persia many of the Zoroastrians had to migrate to places such as Gujarat and Pakistan. Currently, there are about 2.6 million Zoroastrians worldwide.
People from various religious backgrounds and traditions take part in the festivities. It represents a yearly renewal and cleansing of energies in our universe. On the day of Navroz, all the people get up early in the morning to clean their houses. They wear new clothes and distribute gifts. People also indulge in charity for those in need.
This festival is essentially celebrated with great fervour among people who visit the fire temples to pray for prosperity and seek forgiveness for their sins. Devotees enjoy delicious meals prepared especially for this purpose like - moong daal, Pulav, and many other varieties of mouth-watering dishes. An important tradition that is specifically observed on this day is of gathering around the table where all the family members gather in a common room decorated with objects symbolizing purity, brightness, and wealth.
On the vibrant festival of Navroz, the women folk wear traditional Gara Saree, and men generally wear their new and best clothes. However, their traditional clothing includes a long muslin shirt also known as sudra and Kusti, loose cotton trousers, and a waistcoat prepared from a white cloth along with a china silk skull-cap.
For celebrating Navroz, food plays a very significant part. Some of the traditional Parsi delicacies prepared on this day include dhansak, Meethi Sev Dahi, prawns, Farcha, berry pulao, and more.
Navroz traces its roots back to ancient Persia which is the Iran of current times and is celebrated in 17 countries. And in India, it is a holiday typically observed in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.
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