Parsis welcome New Year with prayers, treats


March 22, 2010

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On Sundays, most people in the city like to wake up late, chill out and postpone work to a weekday. But on March 21, a Sunday, many Parsis in the city shrugged off their lethargy and started their very early to celebrate Navroze — the first day of spring.

Navroze is the ancient Iranian new year festival and also the start day of the Iranian New Year or Persian New Year.

Like many other members of the Parsi community, Pervin Irani, a resident of Hughes Road, woke up early on Sunday. Irani cleaned her house and decorated the stairs and threshold with colourful patterns of chalk purvana (rangoli). After that, she wore new clothes and went to Atash Behram temple with her family members.

“It is a big day for us and today we will go to Fire Temple to offer prayers. Then we will meet our relatives and friends,” Irani said.

On Navroze, several members of the community, which is fond of traditional Iranian cuisine, prepare delicacies. Twenty-year-old Vanitar Mehta, who lives in a hostel, had a chance to binge on various Parsi delicacies when she went to her meet her grandparents. She had fish patia, dhandar, pulao dar, sev and dahhi, rava (a popular dish cooked with suji, milk and sugar), patrani machi, saliboti and lagan nu custard.

However, Rozbeh Dava, a 44-year-old resident of Andheri, who sells sandal woods in Charni Road, said that on Navroze, she usually orders Parsi delicacies from a restaurant because she does not have time to cook.

“We clean our homes, but there is not much time to cook. We usually order food, but his time we are going to a friend’s house in the evening where we will enjoy a delicious traditional meal,” Dava said.

Besides, some Parsis also go out for amusement. Mahrukh Mukherjee, who is married to a Bengali, said: “There are some Parsi plays being staged at the NCPA and Tejpal Hall. I will probably catch up one of them.”