Nowruz – Persian New Year


Nowruz is the Iranian New Year or Persian New Year is celebrated worldwide by the Iranians and Turkic peoples, along with some other ethnolinguistic groups, as the beginning of the New Year.

The festival falls on the first day of the first month of the Fasli calendar, followed by the Parsis. This falls in the month of March, according to the Gregorian calendar.

Nowruz is the day of the vernal equinox and marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It occurs on 21 March, it is the moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day is calculated exactly every year, and families gather together to observe the rituals.

The term Nowruz is a Persian compound word, consisting of the words now and ruz. Now means new and Ruz means day so it is a new day, often called as Nowruz, Jamshed Navroz or Nauruz.

Although having Iranian and religious Zoroastrian origins, Nowruz has been celebrated by people from diverse ethnolinguistic communities for thousands of years. It is a secular holiday for most celebrants that is enjoyed by people of several different faiths but remains a holy day for Zoroastrians.

In India a small religious community, which exists mostly in Mumbai, is Zoroastrianism, there are at least 100,000 Zoroastrians in India.  The Zoroastrian groups are regarded as either Parsi or Irani depending on the time of migration to India. The word Parsi in the Persian language literally means “Persian”.

Nowruz, in fact, is one of three main celebrations we have in a calendar apart from other celebration similar to all Muslim community like Edd ul Fitr, Eid al-Adha etc. Navroz is celebrated with immense fun and fervor. Zoroastrian Parsis observe the festival by performing the rituals and rites with full devotion and duty. A particular sect of Parsis resides in the western part of India and hence, Jamshed Navroz celebrations can be prominently noticed in these regions.

From about two weeks before Nowruz, the preparation starts, i.e. House cleaning and shopping. There are special prayers in prayer halls and they have special dishes prepared at home. After the prayer, they greet each other with Nowruz Mubarak and may have other festivities in our common hall. They also get a special blessing from the Imam of the time on the occasion of Nowruz.

Happy Jamshed Navroz