Nowruz, also known as Navroz, marks the start of the spring season and is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm by various Parsi communities around the world.
Nowruz is named after the Persian king Jamshed, who is credited with inventing the Persian or Shahenshahi calendar. According to legend, Jamshed saved the world from a winter apocalypse that was destined to kill everyone. According to the scriptures, there was no excessive heat or cold, no premature deaths, and everyone lived happily in King Jamshed’s realm. It is said that the festival was brought to India by Nusservanji Kohyaji, an 18th-century wealthy tradesman from Surat who frequently traveled to Iran and began celebrating Nowruz in India.
Nowruz or Navroz, the Iranian New Year that marks the beginning of the spring season, is celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm among various Parsi communities across the world including India. The word ‘now’ means new and ‘ruz’ means day, which translates to ‘a new day’. Nowruz marks the beginning of Farvardin, the first month of the Solar Hijri calendar, and is usually celebrated on March 20 or 21 globally.
Nowruz or Navroz, the Iranian New Year that marks the start of the spring season, is widely celebrated by various Parsi communities around the world, including India. ‘Now’ means new, and ‘ruz’ means day, so it translates to a new day.’ Nowruz marks the start of Farvardin, the first month of the Solar Hijri calendar, and is usually observed on March 20 or 21 around the world.
At this festival, which is considered an important day to do good deeds and speak good words, people clean their houses, buy new clothes, and prepare an elaborate spread for their family and friends.
Which countries celebrate Nowruz?
Nowruz is celebrated in many countries with a strong Persian cultural influence, including Iran, Iraq, India, Afghanistan, and parts of Central Asia. Nowruz is observed by Kurds in Iraq and Turkey, as well as by Iranis, Shias, and Parsis in India and the diaspora. Nowruz is also celebrated by Iranian communities in the Americas and Europe, including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Toronto, Cologne, and London. Nowruz is known as the Persian New Year Festival in Phoenix, Arizona.
Nowruz celebrations in India
The Parsi community in India observes the festival around August 16-17, using the Shahenshahi calendar, which does not account for leap years, so the holiday has now moved by 200 days from its original date. However, many people celebrate it in March as well. Patra Ni Macchi, Akoori, Falooda, Dhansak, Ravo, Sali Boti, and Saffron Pulao are some traditional Nowruz dishes.
Parsis dress up in traditional garb, decorate their homes with lights and rangoli, and prepare delectable food. They host guests in their homes and also travel to see their loved ones. On this auspicious day, Parsis also visit the Fire Temple and offer fruits, sandalwood, milk, and flowers to the fire. Bonfires, feasts, musical performances, poetry readings, and traditional sports are also part of communal celebrations.