Parsis Welcome New Year 2023 With Temple Visits & Feasts

Parsis Welcome New Year 2023 With Temple Visits & Feasts

The significance of Navroz is observed every year and celebrated with great festive zest and humor.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Tuesday, August 15, 2023, 11:36 PM IST
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Parsi New Year 2023: Community Welcomes New Year With Temple Visits, Feasts | representative pic

Mumbai: Early morning visit to fire temples, decorations, elaborate lunches with family and friends, a drama or an outing in the evening – these are the ways in which the Parsi community looks to celebrate Navroz, or New Year.

“We make a point to visit the fire temple in the morning to thank God for what he has given us. In our house, family members visit two fire temples on New Year. These are Wadiaji and Anjuman – both Atash Behrams (highest grade of fire) and both close to our house near the Princess Street Flyover close to the Marine Lines Station,” said Tanaz Kerawala.

Shahenshahi Calendar

The Parsi New Year is celebrated mainly by the Shahenshahis, who are 70% of the Parsis. The New Year is as per the Shahenshahi Calendar. When a new king sat on the throne in Iran, the calendar started from him. Hence the name Shahenshahi Calendar. The last Zoroastrian king was Yezdegard Shehriar III. The calendar is also known by his name and this year is the 1393 Yezdezardi New Year as per the Shahenshahi Calendar.

Besides visiting the fire temple, Parsis also make it a point to get up early and clean their homes. Garlanding of gods, departed souls comes next before people head to the fire temple for blessings. Many do chalk purvano (rangoli), divo-batti (lighting lamp) before heading to the temple.

“Parsis have (Parsi) ravo or sev dahi for breakfast on this day,” said Kerawala. Parsi ravo is liquid-ish with semolina cooked in milk with saffron, cardamom and some essence. Sev dahi is vermicelli roasted and eaten with curd. Post-fire temple visit, the day is mostly spent meeting relatives and friends and elaborate lunch.

Special cuisines made to celebrate New Year

Delicacies like dhansak, dhandar, patra nu machi, pulao dal, chicken, mutton cutlet, sali boti, fried fish, patia and custard are prepared at home. Some, instead of cooking, prefer to visit a Parsi restaurant or one with multiple cuisines. “Post lunch, we are likely to go for a drama for which my friends have decided to buy tickets. They are being held at the NCPA,” said Karewala.

Some Parsis also make it a point to not have an elaborate celebration and instead do charity. Advocate Rayomand Zaiwala is one such who plans to give away the money he would have spent on an elaborate meal.

“We do charity that is within our means. There are a lot of appeals online and we give money for that instead of going for dinner or a drama. It is a principle of my father that we have followed. It may be a different theory from what people think but that is what we do,” said Zaiwala.

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