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Navroz Mubarak: 7 Interesting Facts

Navroz is simply speaking the Parsi New Year and this year it is celebrated on 16 August across the world. 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 their 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.

7 Interesting Facts About Navroz:

1. 'Nav' means new and 'roz' means day. So it is easy to conclude that Navroz is the first day of the Persian year. However, this name is used only in India where the community has adopted the indigenous language and culture. It is actually Nowruj or Nooruj or various other derivatives of the word.

2. This festival is more than 3000 years old. There are records of it being celebrated way back in 6th century BC. So you can just imagine how old the custom is. The Iranis in those days were homogeneously Zoroastrians and thus it was celebrated as the single Persian new year. Some Irani communities belonging to other religions still celebrate this festival.

3. This is the mythical day on which the great king Jamshedji was crowned King of Persia. Jamshedji is a very important figure in the history of this interesting community. That explains why 'Jamshed' is such a common name among them.

4. Of all the other important achievements of King Jamshedji, a major one was making the Persian calendar scientific. He added elements of the solar calendar to the system of determining dates. Instead of picking a random day as the Persian new year, he deciphered that is the day on which the sun leaves the constellation of Pisces and enters Aries.

5. Another very scientific fact about the Parsi new year is that it occurs on the vernal equinox. This is the day on which the length of the day is equal to the length of the night. It celebrates the passage of winter and the onset of summer. Unlike other Indian festivals that keep shifting dates according to the lunar calendar, this festival occurs on the 21st of March every year.

6. The community that believes in Fire as their main god has to keep a live fire in a bowl of water for this festival. They usually keep fire surrounded by water and wheat to signify cleansing by fire and the bountiful wealth of wheat grains. This ensemble is representative of the mythical 'Gathas' or forever-burning fire.

7. The table on this day has 7 food delicacies, all beginning with 'sh' and 'sa' that symbolize the creation of the earth in 7 days.

There is a lot to know about Navroz or any other tradition as such because every ritual has a hidden meaning.