Parsi Festivals

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The Parsi festivals or Gahambars are sombre events meant for introspection and religious discourses. Initially these festivities were agricultural in nature, but with the spread of Zoroastrianism they assumed religious significance. Parsis believe that there are six seasons in a year and an important Gahambar occurs in each. Major ‘Gahambars’ occur on 11th day of the Parsi month of Ardibehest, 11th day of ‘Tir’, 26th day of Meher, 16th day of ‘Dai’ and the first day of Gatha. 

 

Jamshedi Navroz:


Jamshedi Navroz, or simply Navroz, the New Year for the Parsis, falls on the first day (Roj Hormuzd) of the first month (Mah Farvardin) of the Shahenshahi calendar. It traditionally marks the end of winter and the beginning of a new year, signifying a day of universal dawn. On this day, many Zoroastrians pay obeisance to Khorshed and Meher Yazads (the divine beings presiding over the sun) multiple times throughout the day. People greet each other with “Navroz Mubarak” and visit the Fire Temple to offer prayers.

The history of Navroz in India is complex. While it has ancient Persian roots, its specific introduction and evolution during various historical periods require further research.

 

Zarthost No Deeso:


Zarthost No Deeso is observed in June, on the Khorshed roz, Dae mah (11th day, 10th month), which coincides symbolically with the death anniversary of Prophet Zoroaster. On this day, the Zoroastrians go to the Fire Temple to offer special prayers. This day is an occasion of mourning and lectures and discourses are held on the life and works of the Prophet.

 

 

Khordad Sal:


The birth anniversary of Prophet Zoroaster, Khordad Sal is celebrated on the sixth day of the Parsi month of Farvardin (August/September), during which prayers are offered and grand feasts are held.

Pateti:


The last Gatha day in the Parsi calendar is observed as the Pateti. It is the day meant for offering repentance (Patet) for sins committed during the year. On this day, the Parsis offer prayers at temples, give alms and arrange feasts at their homes.

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