On the occasion of Jamshedi Navroze, Parsi Khabar wishes all our dear readers a very happy and prosperous Navroze Mubarak. We wish you and your families and loved ones the best in the coming year.
Below is an article on Navroze published in the DNA India today.
It’s the time for new beginnings, a new life and a new season. Come March 21 and Parsis all over the city will celebrate Jamshedi Navroze — the Parsi New Year.
Celebrated on the spring equinox, this Iranian New Year marks the first day of spring. The Irani Parsis celebrate it on a large scale, with one distinct custom being with the setting of a table. “Seven types of dishes are placed on a white cloth. Those whose names begin with the letters ‘sh’ and ‘sa’ symbolise creation or renewal,” says Shahnawaz Saswori, 27, who got married three years back.
An Irani before marriage, Saswori recalls her entire family waiting for the exact moment of the spring equinox. Then the prayers begin — lighting seven diyas, cleansing oneself by looking into a mirror and sprinkling rose water, cleansing all harvest tools like scissors, needle, thread and then eating khajur with sugar.
For Yasna Mistree, Navroze begins at the crack of dawn with a visit to the fire temple. “This is the day when kids get rich, with all relatives giving them money in little envelopes,” says Mistree, a manager at Lintas. This year, she is looking forward to having an outing with family and partying with friends. “Parsis need any excuse to get together,” she says, adding that evenings are usually spent organising events in the Parsi colonies.
Food is as much an integral part of a Parsi festival as is spending time with family. “You have to start the day right and so we have a sumptuous breakfast and a wide spread for dinner,” says Arjasp Mistry, 42.
Mistry enjoys his favourite dishes of ravo-like sheera but with dry fruits and sev-vermicelli with sugar syrup and sweet dahi. Lunch is the dhan dar patia- white rice, yellow dal and a fish stew (generally pomfret) which is eaten on auspicious days.
This year will be the 30th celebration of the Jamshedi Navroze celebration by the Mancherji E Joshi Memorial Trust. The festivities, which began from March 1, involved contests held every Saturday — a vintage car contest, mocktail making, teen prince and princess etc. “The focus this year is on nostalgia, which we will try and showcase with fun and music,” says Mithoo Jesia, secretary of the trust. She, together with the other trustees have been successfully organising the gambhar (traditional feast) at the Parsi Gymkhana, the money collected from which goes to charity.
This year, the event will include a felicitation of stalwarts of the community and younger children.
Good food, plenty of spirits, good music, family and friends — what better way to bring in the New Year?