Khordad Sal (Birthday of Zoroaster)
Khordad Sal is a festival which is celebrated by the followers of Parsi religion all over the world. This festival is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Prohet Zoroaster. He was the founder of Zoroastrianism, was either born in North Western or Eastern Iran. He was an great Iranian Spiritual Leader, who won the heart of the people with his Spiritual philosophy. This day is specially celebrated by followers of Persian religion of India.
This festival comes every year on the 6th day of the Parsi month of Farvardin. This is also known as ‘Greater Nowruz’ and happens six days after Nowruz. It falls sometime in August or September. There lies the difference in opinion about the exact year of Zarathushtra’s birth. But it is generally accepted that he was born in the beginning of the first millennium BC. Clean, rangoli-strewn homes, children with vermilion spots on their foreheads, new clothes, fragrant flowers and delicious meals, all form part of the rituals.
This is a big day for Zoroastrians all over the world. It is said that, during initial eras, Navroz-I-Khas was also celebrated as Khordad Sal by the kings and nobility.
Khordad Sal in 2022
26th March 2022 – Zoroastrian (Iranian)
21st August 2022 – Zoroastrian (Shenshai)
22nd July 2022 – Zoroastrian (Kadmi)
History of Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism was founded by the Prophet Zoroaster. The exact date of its founding is uncertain, however linguistic comparisons with the Hindu text, the Rig Veda of 1200-1500 BC, together with archaeological evidence, allows for an approximate dating. Zoroaster was born somewhere in northeast Iran or southwest Afghanistan. He was born during the Bronze Age, a time when polytheistic religions were predominant.
His name is a Greek rendering of the name Zarathustra, also called Zarathusti in Persian, or Zaratosht in Gujarati. A few details survive of his life: for example, we know he was born into the Spitama clan and worked as a priest. He married and had three sons and three daughters.
Zoroaster rejected the polytheistic religion of the time, claiming that it was a tool of oppression and that the many gods were false. He opposed animal sacrifices and rejected the use of the Haoma plant, used in rituals to create hallucinogenic visions.
How is Khordad Sal Celebrated
Preparation for the festival takes place in advance. Before Navroz & Khordad Sal the house must be thoroughly cleaned. Cleanliness is a very important part of the Zoroastrian faith. Purity of mind, body, spirit and environment are all important. Navroz and Khordad Sal is celebrated in an almost identical way.
Religious ceremonies are performed in the morning and at midnight. The rest of the day is passed in prayers, feasting and enjoyment. A grand feast is prepared to mark the occasion. Since the Parsi community is especially tight-knit, its celebrations bring kith and kin together; so does Khordad Sal. The festival is also an opportunity for the Parsis to review their lives and actions, and make resolutions for the future.
It is customary on this day to visit the Fire Temple, to give thanks to Ahura Mazda for giving humanity the Prophet Zarathushtra, to participate in a jashan or thanksgiving ceremony, to listen to stories of the miraculous birth and life of Prophet Zarathushtra, and to share in a happy community meal, a drink and a dance.
Happy Khordad Sal Mubarak. Happy Birthday to the dear Prophet Zarathushtra. Wishing you and your family an Abundance of Good Health, Peace, Love, Joy, Happiness and Prosperity.