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Parsi New Year 2020: How Parsi community celebrated Nowruz amid COVID-19 pandemic in Indore

Staff Reporter | Updated on: Sunday, August 16, 2020, 06:02 PM IST

Parsi New Year 2020: How Parsi community celebrated Nowruz amid COVID-19 pandemic  |
Parsi New Year 2020: How Parsi community celebrated Nowruz amid COVID-19 pandemic |
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A day to give thanks and pray ‘Nowruz’ was celebrated by Parsi community on Sunday. Nowruz is the Parsi New Year that falls on the day of the vernal equinox -- the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator and equalizes night and day.

“Following district administration guidelines, we did not hold any gatherings or communal celebrations to ensure that coronavirus does not spread further,” Dara Unwala, secretary of Parsi community, said.

Hence, the community celebrated the fest only at home with their family. “However, we greeted and wished each other via voice calls, video calls and messages to share blessings and merry feel of the day,” Unwala said.

10-days of paying Homage

Prior to Nowruz, Parsi community pays homage to their ancestors for 10 days. “Muktaad are the ten days preceding the Parsi New Year which are devoted to intense prayers and elaborate rituals for the departed souls (Mukt-Atmas),” Unwala said.

He added that the last ten days of the Zoroastrian calendar (i.e., Roj Astad to Aneran and the five days of the Gatha) are considered to be very holy, as doctrinally it is believed that during this period, the fravashis of the righteous dead, come down from their spiritual world into this material world and bless all those who remember and pray for them.

“Usually, people visit the Fire Temple for offering prayers for these 10 days, but this year, only the priest offered the prayers as we refrained from entering the temple following guidelines to control covid-19,” Unwala said.

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Celebrations of Nowruz

Parsi community celebrated Nowruz as thanksgiving with a special prayer known as ‘Jashn’. The prayer is normally offered by all the community members at 11:45 am at the fire temple.

Due to COVID-19, community members offered the prayer from their homes. Usually, these are Humbandagi, i.e. communal prayers to god.

“The communal prayers are dedicated to the lord seeking blessings and peace for the entire world, these are inclusive of the whole mankind,” Unwala said.

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Nowruz Food

Nowruz sweet special: dry cooked sewayian with dry fruits and semolina halwa
Nowruz sweet special: dry cooked sewayian with dry fruits and semolina halwa
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Food plays an essential role in every festivities in the country especially Indore. The community celebrated with Sewayian (dry cooked) with dry fruits, semolina halwa with mawa, and their traditional Dhan dar patio. It is their typical combo for all auspicious occasions consisting of Dhan (rice), dar (arhar or toor dal) and patio (prawns or fish in a red tomato curry).

Vandana and Firoz Daji paid homage to Homi Daji, Perino Daji, and Naaz Daji and sought their blessings during the fest.

Daji family celebrating the day at home with loved ones

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Published on: Sunday, August 16, 2020, 06:02 PM IST