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The Parsi new year, alternatively known as 'Jamshedi Navroz', is a significant day for the Parsi community. The Parsi new year falls on 17 August this year. Parsi people from all over the world follow Zoroastrian calendar, according to which the first day of the year falls on 21 March. However, Indian Parsis follow the Shahanshahi calendar.
While this fun loving community preps up for one of the biggest celebrations of the year, let us have a look at the history and significance of Parsi new year.
History Of Parsi New Year
Prophet Zarathustra founded the religion of Zoroastrianism, one of the oldest known monotheistic religions. It was regarded as the official religion of Parsia (currently Iran) until the rise of Islam in the country. Upon the Islamic invasion, Zoroastrians had to migrate to different parts of the world. A number of them flocked to India and Pakistan. Many found a new home in regions like Gujarat in India.
Though the first day of the Persian year falls on the Spring Equinox, 21 March, The Shahanshahi calendar that Indian Parsis follow, does account for leap years. Hence the holiday has now moved to August 17 this year from its original day of 21 March.
Significance Of Parsi New Year
According to folklore, the King of Persia, Jamshed, started the Parsi calendar. This is why the day is called 'Jamshed Nazroz' after this legendary king. Navroz means 'new day'. The tradition, that started almost 3000 years ago, denotes a new beginning. It inspires people to leave behind the bygones and start afresh with life.
How Parsis Celebrate New Year
On this day, Parsis clean their homes, decorate households with rangoli and torans (fresh flower garlands), dress in new clothes, visit agiyary (fire temples) to pray for general well-being and prosperity. They prepare mouthwatering dishes, including delicious desserts. The day is celebrated with family members, relatives and loves ones. Parsis follow a tradition of sprinkling rose water to welcome guests at home. They also donate towards charity as it is considered to be an auspicious day.