Parsis Celebrate Navroze, Felicitate Meritorious Children

It was a day of joy and devotion at the Fire Temple here on Wednesday. Clad in traditional attire, members of the Parsee community celebrated Jamshed-e-Navroze, the Parsi New Year, by conducting special prayers, greeting each other and enjoying delicacies.

Dressed in their best, the men arrived at the temple donning the traditional Saturn or velvet caps while the women wrapped scarves around their heads. Irrespective of age, Parsis greeted each other saying “Navroze mubarak”.

Though Parsis across the world observe Navroz or New Year on March 21 according to the Zoroastrian calendar, but in India they celebrate a very special new year according to Shenshai calendar they adapted after settling in Gujarat during the 8th or 10th centuries.

As part of the celebrations, prayers were offered to seek the welfare of community members. This apart, special thanksgiving prayers were offered followed by ‘open house’ for the community people to enjoy traditional delicacies, including the Parsi desert Falooda.

Parsi families started the day praying at fire temple, and wished each other Navroz Mubarak. For most, dhansak, sevaiyan and sooji ka halwa were must-haves on the festive platter.

Dhansak which is made by cooking mutton with a mixture of lentils and vegetables and is served with caramelised brown rice is the most important Parsi food prepared in festivals.

The new year festival in March is known as the Jamshedi Navroz because King Jamshed ensured celebrating agricultural prosperity during the spring and declared the festival at spring equinox.

People in Persia still follow that calender while those who have migrated to India also follow the Shenshai calender.

Also the community went ahead with the Shenshai calendar as it matched with the local culture. The celebrations including the customs and rituals are same in both the festivals.

In the evening, special celebrations including cultural programmes were organised at the Parsi Hostel premises.

On the occasion, meritorious students and achievers were also felicitated.

A cultural programme was also put up by the youngsters and teenagers. Eminent Parsi educator Nargis Madon, the director of JH Tarapore School, stressed upon the significance of this Navroz.

“The community migrated to India, their first settlement was in Sanjan, Gujarat. The king of Sanjan, Jadav Rana showed the Parsis a bowl of milk symbolising that his kingdom was full. A Parsi priest then asked for sugar and stirred it in the milk without spilling it. So, Parsis as you see blended with Indians very peacefully,” Madon said.

However for the Parsi community of Jamshedpur, the dwindling population in the city remains the major concern. The members of the community while celebrated New Year, Navroz, said that there was urgent need to give a thought to this burning issue. There are about180 odd Parsis who are in Jamshedpur.

Published on DailyPioneer

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