August 16, 2022 is celebrated as the Parsi New Year by the Parsi community in India. The day is also known as ‘Jamshed-e-Navroz’, after the legendary king of Persia, Jamshed, who started the Parsi Calendar. Navroz means ‘new day’.
The event is celebrated in March at various places across the globe, however, in India, the Parsi community celebrates the occasion in August.
Also Read: International Cat Day 2022: Its history, relevance and tradition
The new year calls for new beginnings, reinvigorated hope and joy. The Parsi community celebrates the occasion with good food and new clothes. Houses are cleaned and decorated, friends and families get together, exchange gifts, share good food to mark the auspicious occasion.
The celebrations are visible on a large scale in Maharashtra and Gujarat, Indian states with high Parsi population.
Parsi New Year: History
The Parsi New Year originated between 3,500 and 3,000 BCE, say scholars. It was during this period that Prophet Zarathustra established Zoroastrianism in present-day Iran. For Zoroastrians, the day marks the beginning of everything, renewal of the universe.
Also Read: Friendship Day 2022: Political pals, from Gandhiji-Nehru to Modi-Shah
The Parsi calendar is said to have been introduced by Jamshed, a monarch of the ancient Sasanian empire. Thus, the name Jamshed-e-Navroz.
Parsi New Year: Significance
The day is celebrated on the first day of the first month of Farvardin in the Zoroastrian calendar. Spring Equinox which falls on March 21, marks the beginning of the season. Since the Parsis in India follow the Zoroastrian calendar for religious occasions, they celebrate the day in August.
Also Read: International Tiger Day 2022: World has more big cats in captivity than in wild
Parsis believe the day to be auspicious and an occasion to start new ventures. Community members visit the fire temple and make charitable donations to celebrate the day.