Festivals IloveIndia
The Parsi festival of Gahambars is celebrated six times in a year. Scroll through this section to get details about this Zoroastrian festival.

‘Gahambar' can simply be translated into full time or proper season. This Parsi festival honoring the seasons occurs six times in a year. During the rituals, tribute is paid to the different phases or elements responsible for the creation of the world. Each of the six phases - heaven, water, earth, flora, fauna and man - is associated with one Gahambar, and is celebrated over five days. Gahambar is a community festival and pays tributes to God and His creation. It is also one festival that reinforces the feelings of brotherhood. It is aimed at reminding Parsis of their roots and the good deeds that a true Parsi must do. These deeds are radih (being charitable), rastih (being truthful), celebrating the Gahambars, observing the three-day ceremony after death, worshipping god, building lodgings for the poor, and wishing everyone well.

Four liturgical services are performed during the first four days, while the fifth day is reserved for communal interaction. Celebrations begin with a benediction ceremony called Afrin. It is a prayer of love and praise in remembrance of one's ancestors. The yaztas, or angels, and the fravashis are honored next in the Baj prayers. This is followed by the main Parsi rite, the Yasna. The last of the four customs for social service is the Pavi. It is a prayer for the particular Gahambar being celebrated. The priest and the faithful devotees pray together during the Pavi. On the fifth day of the Gahambar, a formal feast is organized consisting of numerous traditional delicacies. People are allowed to either donate or serve at the feast.

Those who participate are expected to recall not only the blessings bestowed by the seasons, but also the seven main acts that a good Parsi must perform. The Maidhyozarem Gahambar (heaven) is celebrated from the 41st day after Navroz. The second one, called Maidhyoshem (water), is observed 60 days later. Paitishhayem (earth) falls 75 days after that. Thirty days later, comes Ayathrem (flora and fauna), which celebrates creation and the prosperity that it brings. The fifth Gahambar, Maidhyarem, is celebrated 80 days after the fourth. The last of the six Gahambars, Hanaspathmaedaem, is observed 75 days after Maidhyarem.