As most cultural New Years around the world, the Persian/Iranian New Year Nowroz also begets joy and love from friends and family and lots and lots of food.
We all know that Nowroz is the Parsi (Zoroastrian) New Year. But what we don’t know is that Nowroz was started 3000 years ago by the mighty emperor Jamshed, who introduced a new ‘Shenshai' or 'Shahanshahi' Calendar in Persia. Further, Pateti or Papeti (which we often use synonymously with Nowroz) is the New Year’s Eve and Nowroz or Nowruz is the New Year’s Day, the first day of the month of Farvardin.
In India, the Parsi community celebrates the Iranian New Year in a similar fashion as is around the world. People decorate their houses and wear new clothes on the occasion of Nowroz. A visit to the Fire Temple, the place of worship of the Parsi community, is a ritual followed on Nowroz. Special prayers are offered and once the religious rituals are done, Parsis celebrate the day with various delicacies.
The fire is a symbol of Ahura Mazda. Ahura Mazda, (Avestan: “Wise Lord”) also spelt Ormizd or Hormazd is the supreme god of the ancient Iranian Zoroastrianism. According to Zarathustra (Iranian Prophet), Ahura Mazda created the universe and maintains its cosmic order. He is the supreme deity who is the creator and upholder of the “Asha” (the truth) and everything good.
Did you know that Ahura Mazda is found on coins too! This coin in the image above is from Sasanian Empire. Here are the coin descriptions :
The obverse of the coin depicts Bust facing right, decorative arcaded crown with a royal hair bun within dotted border and legend in Pahlavi. The reverse of the coin depicts Ahura Mazda two cult guards standing as attendants for the holy fire altar, a smaller bust of the exalted God Yazata emerging/arising from fire altar, head facing right.
Happy Nowroz! May it bring in good fortune and abounding happiness for you!
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Image Courtesy: Amit Udeshi