The word Navroze has been formed by the combination of two words, one is Nav meaning new and the other is Roz meaning day. Jamshed-e-Navroze is a Parsi festival celebrated on the first day of the first month of the Zoroastrian year all across the world. It is considered as the Parsis New Year for one section of Parsis called Faslis, which is celebrated on the day of the advent of the spring or the vernal equinox. The time of this particular celebration is decided in Iran and then it is passed to the entire Zoroastrian mass all across the world. This festival mentions a classic Parsis book called Shah Nemeh or Book of Kings which was written by Firdausi.
Historical legend of this festival
Historical records reveal that this festival got initiated in the 6th century B.C. during the rule of Cyrus and Darius, the two legendary kings of Persian Empire. Probably 300 years back, the legendary king of Persia Jamshedji was throned on the same day of Navroze. That day was a vernal Equinox when the length of the day was equal to the length of the night which marked the transition from winter to summer. Later on people began to celebrate this day as the Jamshed-e-Navroze. It has been heard from the past records that Jamshedji was the introducer of solar calculation in the Persian calendar. This solar calculation used to determine the date of entrance of the sun into the constellation of Aries in the year beginning. Normally the advent of spring in the months of February and March and the vernal equinox determine the start of this special celebration.
The celebration of this festival
Every year Navroze is celebrated by the Parsis on 21st of March with great joy and enthusiasm. At the commencement of the festival the Parsis clean the entire house removing all the cobwebs and paint their houses newly. The entire family wears new dresses during this celebration and they decorate all the windows and doors of the house beautifully with garlands of roses and jasmine. They decorate the steps and thresholds gracefully with beautiful decorative patterns by the color powders of Rangoli.
All the guests are cordially and warmly welcomed on the day of celebration with the sprinkling of rose water and rice and applying of tilak.Parsi food is the main attraction of this occasion which basically is an outstanding blend of west Asian and Indian style of cooking. Two of their special food items are Rava and Vermicelli which are served to all the guests. The guests are also served with sweets and a special glass of Faluda. For Lunch they are served with polaos, steamed fish in banana leaves, chicken curries with ground almonds, plain rice and moong dal.
Rituals of the festival
On this special occasion the folks visit the fire temple and throw sandal woods in the fire. While doing the prayers they are having a ritual of covering their heads. Men wear small velvet caps, children wear small round caps of gold and silver borders and women drape their heads with a part of their sarees. After the completion of the prayers they hug and greet each other saying Sal Mubarak. The age old customs of the Parsis include the growing of wheat in small earthenware .After 13 days these small sprouted plants are dropped into any nearby water side. The Parsis also follow other rituals of keeping painted egg, a silver coin for wealth, copy of gathas, lit lamp and others.
The Parsis enjoy this festival of Navroze thoroughly with great enthusiasm .It adds a special favor to the spiritual belief of the Parsis. They believe that all their wishes get granted during the prayers of this festival.