Traditionally known as Navroz, Parsi New Year is observed every year on the 17th of August. It is a regional holiday, in the state of Maharashtra, located in the western side of India. The day’s official traditional name is ‘’JamshediNavroz’’ and this hails from the name of the King of Persia, Jamshed, who was the one to start the Parsi calendar in the first place.
Zoroastrianism is the religion that all Parsis follow, and it happens to be one of the ancient monotheistic religions known in the world, which was founded in ancient Iran by Prophet Zarathustra around 3500 years back.
Until the rise of Islam as a religion in the 7th century, it was Zoroastrianism that enjoyed the status of being the official religion of Persia, which in present day is known as Iran, from the 650 BCE. For over a 1000 years, it also remained one of the 100 most important religions all over the world.
It was during the invasion of Persia by Islamic armies that majority of the Zoroastrians then migrated to different places, such as Gujarat in India, and then to Pakistan. As on present day, there’s an estimated total of 2.6 million Zoroastrians all across the globe, and among them the Parsis (the Gujarati term for Persians) residing in India are the largest single group of Zoroastrians.
The Parsi New Year is celebrated and observed as a new beginning for everyone, and thus, they start the day by bringing some positivity everywhere, in the household as well as the surrounding. Those who observe Navroz, clean their houses, wear new clothes, cook some of the delicious Parsi dishes, invite friends over, give gifts to each other, and also make charitable donations. The Parsis generally follow the Shahenshahi calendar for observing this day, and this calendar doesn’t count any leap years, which means, that from the original date of holiday, this day of observance has moved by 200 days, from its original day of observance of the verbal equinox.
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