Parsis in Ajmer welcome New Year


August 29, 2008

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The article below was published in the Times of India. The original article is not on their website now but here is a Google Cache copy of the same.

It is celebration time for the Parsi community as they would celebrate their new year on Wednesday. The community has only one fire temple in north India at Ajmer. The temple is being decorated and the community would wish each other for the new year. “We are around 60 families in the state and are linked closely to each other,” said retired major, Nosheer Marfatia, president of the community.

The community would remember their ancestors on Tuesday followed by the new year celebrations the next day. “The Parsis came to India in 1372 from Iran after the invasion of Arabs on August 19 and this is the new year for the community,” said Marfatia. They first settled in Gujarat and therefore their language and customs resemble that of Gujaratis.
However, the community has very different customs during funerals and it follows the edicts of the Zoroastrian religion. They worship fire and their marriages are performed with fire as witness. “The fire in the Fire Temple of Ajmer is burning since the past 100 years,” added Marfatia.

Update: There are factual errors in this article as pointed out to us by a reader Soonu from London. Since this article was not written by Parsi Khabar we could not verify and correct the factual errors before we published them. However we do not necessarily agree with the contents. We leave that to the judgement of the reader. Thanks Soonu for bringing this to our notice.