Gahambar commemorates the celebration of brotherhood, goodness, charity and the different seasons of the year. Celebrated largely by the Zoroastrian community throughout the world, there are six different Gahambars observed, each relating to the different elements that led to the creation of the world. The six Gahambar festivals are Maidyozarem, Maidyoshahem, Paitishahem, Ayathrem, Maidyarem and Hamaspathmaidyem. Each of these six Gahambars is of great religious significance to the Zoroastrians. Read through the following lines to know the significance of the Gahambar festivals and why it is celebrated.
Importance Of Gahambar
Six different seasons are observed by the Parsis that are originally known as the agricultural festivals. Each Gahambar extends to five days in duration and relates to one of the six elements responsible for creating the world. These six Gahambars and their associations are Maidyozarem (heaven), Maidyoshahem (water), Paitishahem (earth), Ayathrem (plants), Maidyarem (animals) and Hamaspathmaidyem (man). Over the years, Gahambar has become an important festival for the Parsis across the world. Each Gahambar is a reminder to the Parsis about their roots and seven good deeds that should be carried out by them during their entire life.
The seven good acts are radith (being charitable), rastih (being truthful), celebrating the Gahambars, observing a three-day ceremony after death, worshipping God, building lodgings for the poor and wishing everyone well. The Gahambar enables the Parsis to leave back enmity and reunite with near and dear ones, thereby strengthening the bond of brotherhood and togetherness. Every Gahambar day is divided into five watches, where each watch is controlled by an angel. These angels and fravashis are honored during the prayers performed during the festival.
Commemorated with immense opulence and magnificence, the first four of the festival are engaged in offering prayers and performing liturgical services. A benediction ceremony, known as Afrin, is also held to remember the ancestors. On the final and fifth day, a solemn feast is organized where all Parsis donate food to others. The major traditional Gahambar food includes aush soup, papeta ma gosht, sirog, ajil or lork, ambakalia, kharu gosht and kachumber salad. All in all, all the Gahambars are now associated with feasting and get-togethers moreover.