Jamshed Navroz is the Parsi New Year celebrated on 21st March every year on the Vernal Equinox when the spring season commences. It is celebrated on the first day of the Fasli calendar followed by the Zoroastrians. The festival has been named after the legendary king of Persia, Jamshed who introduced the solar calculation into the Parsi calendar. The literal meaning of Navroz is ‘new day’ which is derived from the two Persian words, ‘nav’ meaning ‘new’ and ‘roz’ meaning ‘day’. Thus, Navroz symbolizes the beginning of a new life. Hence, the festival is commemorated with immense jollity and mirth by all Parsis all across the world. Browse through the lines below to know all about celebrating Jamshed Navroz.
How Is Nowruz Celebrated
The festival of Nowruz is celebrated in a grand and splendid fashion. Days before, homes are cleaned and painted. They are then decorated with ornate rangolis and other embellishments. On the day of the New Year, i.e., 21st March, people wear new clothes accompanied by gold or silver kustis or caps. They decorate the entrance of their homes with garlands of roses and jasmines. The doorsteps are beautifully decked with auspicious symbols, such as birds, butterflies, fish and stars, and color powder patterns to match the occasion. The Parsis then visit the Fire Temple or Agiary and participate in a special prayer known as ‘Jashan’. They worship Khorshed and Meher who are considered to be the two divine beings who presided over the sun and the moon respectively.
The guests are welcomes by sprinkling rose water and rice and applying the traditional tilak. The Parsis take special care when it comes to Nowruz food. Several traditional delicacies are made for different meals of the day. Breakfast usually consists of ravo, made from milk, sugar and suji and garnished with rose petals and nutmeg powder. Alternatively, people also make sev, a preparation made from vermicelli which is fried in clarified oil or ghee, then added to sugar syrup and garnished with raisins and almond slivers. As for lunch, pulao plays an integral part of Navroz celebrations. This is accompanied with plain rice, moong dal and sweet yoghurt. The traditional drink is falooda, a preparation of milk flavored with rose essence.
Another interesting tradition followed on this occasion is the decoration of the table with seven foods that begin with ‘sh’ or ‘sa’ symbolizing creation or renewal. These foods include sabzeh (sprouts), samanu (a sweet creamy pudding), seeb (apple), senjed (sweet dry fruit of the Lotus tree), seer (garlic), somaq (sumac berries) and serkeh (vinegar). Apart from these foods, the table is also decorated with a copy of Gathas, a lit lamp, an afrigan, a bowl of water containing live fish, a shallow earthenware plate with sprouted wheat or beans for prosperity, flowers for color, a silver coin for wealth, painted eggs for productivity, and sweets and rosewater in bowls for sweetness and happiness on a table.