Gahambar is one of the most popular festivals celebrated by the Zoroastrians across the world with immense zeal and gusto. The name ‘Gahambar’ means proper season. Six different Gahambar festivals are celebrated in a year to pay a tribute to the six seasons. Each of these six festivals is celebrated across five days. The festival is also commemorated to honor the six material creations, namely, heaven, water, earth, flora, fauna and man. The celebrations are marked by reminding the Zoroastrians about the various good deeds to be performed by each and every person. Initiated by King Jamshed, the festival has now become a significant occasion of the Zoroastrian community. With this article, find the six different Gahambars that are celebrated round the year.
Six Gahambar Festivals
Maidyozarem is the first Gahambar, which means ‘mid-spring’ and hence, is celebrated from the 41st to the 45th day of the year. It usually falls on April 30th and continues till May 4th. This Gahambar is associated with heaven and hence, denotes the first stage of the creation of the Luminaries. It signifies the birth of the stars and the hot nebulous cloud of the fire of the Universe.
The second Gahambar is Maidyoshahem, which means ‘mid-summer’. It starts from the 101st day and continues till 105th day. This normally falls from June 29th to July 3rd. This Gahambar is connected with water. Thus, it symbolizes the creation of water when the primitive universe started to cool, thereby enveloping the globe.
Associated with earth, the third Gahambar is known as Paitishahem which denotes the ‘harvest time’. It is generally observed from 176th day to 180th day, that is, from 12th September to 16th September. This Gahambar is related with the creation of the earth, when the universe further cooled down.
Known as Ayathrem, the fourth Gahambar is associated with plants and signifies the ‘return of the herds of cattle’. This Gahambar is observed from the 206th to 210th day that falls from 12th October to 16th October. The vegetation that emerged from the soil of earth is considered to be the first sign of life.
The fifth Gahambar, known as Maidyarem, is associated with animals and symbolizes ‘mid-winter’. This Gahambar signifies the evolution of animals from basic protoplasm and is observed from 286th to 290th day of the Zoroastrian calendar. It usually falls from 31st December to 4th January in the Gregorian calendar.
Known as the festival of the souls, Hamaspathmaidyem is the sixth Gahambar celebrated from the 361st to the 365th day, thereby marking the Vernal Equinox. This usually falls on March 16th and continues till March 20th. This last Gahambar indicates the evolution of mankind on the earth.