Navroz or Nowruz is celebrated as the Iranian and Persian New Year; it is the first day of spring or equinox. The day is calculated as the sun crosses the celestial equator thereby equalizing the length of day and night exactly every year. On this day, families from diverse ethnic communities and religious backgrounds gather together to observe the rituals. It is celebrated by any cultural region that comes under Iranian influence or has migrations by Persians. Although the Zoroastrian religion is a part of the countless religions in India as they represent as a minority sect, not everything about this festival is known. We share with you some very fascinating facts about this festival.
1. Nowruz or Navroz when literally translated means ‘new day’. It is the first day of the Persian Year. Tradition takes this festival as far as 15,000 years back. There are records of it being celebrated way back in 6th century BC.
2. The festival is celebrated on the dawn of the vernal equinox, when daytime and night are of approximately equal duration as the sun crosses the celestial equator.
3. According to the legends King Jamshed holds a lot of importance as he is the one who introduced estimated the Persian calendar, and determined the date when the Sun enters the constellation and the embarkation of a new year. On this day the great king Jamshedji of was crowned as the King of Persia.
4. As per the deduction by King Jamshed this day is interpreted as the day on which the sun leaves the constellation of Pisces and enters Aries.
5. The Parsi community set up a table with the mythical ‘Gathas’ and put up an array of lit lamp or candle, a ceramic plate with sprouted wheat or beans, small bowl with a silver coin, flowers, painted eggs, sweets and rosewater, and also a goldfish in a bowl. The set of arrangement is said to represent prosperity, wealth, productivity and happiness.
6. People also distribute dried fruits, nuts and grains, which also symbolizes plethora of abundance and subsistence.
Happy Navroz! May it bring in good fortune and abounding happiness for you!