Context: The Parsi New Year, also known as Navroz, is celebrated to mark the beginning of the new Iranian calendar in the month of August, according to the Gregorian calendar.
About the festival:
- In Persian, ‘Nav’ means new, and ‘Roz’ stands for the day, this literally translates to ‘new day’.
- This tradition is believed to have begun over 3,000 years ago, and is observed by Iranians and the Parsi community around the world, and most prominently in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
- Navroz is also known as Jamshed-i-Navroz after the Persian King, Jamshed, who is credited to have created the Persian Calendar known as the Shahenshahi Calendar.
- It is also dedicated to cleansing one’s mind, body and soul from all evil thoughts and deeds, people pray for prosperity on this day.
- Parsis rigorously go into cleaning mode externally too and get rid of all their unwanted belongings and possessions, in the hopes of cleansing themselves.
- Parsis follow the religion of Zoroastrianism, one of the oldest known monotheistic religions.
- It was founded by the Prophet Zarathustra in ancient Iran approximately 3,500 years ago.
- Zoroastrians believe in one God called Ahura Mazda (Wise Lord) who created the world and their holy scripture is called the Avesta.
- Zoroastrians are not fire-worshippers but believe that the elements are pure and that fire represents God's light or wisdom.
- Zoroastrians are split into two groups: the Iranians and the Parsis.
- The followers of the religion who exiled from Iran in the 7th century AD arrived in Gujarat region of India.
- Infertility and late marriages are among the main reasons for the rapid decline in the Parsi population in India.