Jamshed Navrov – The New Year

Jamshedi NavrozThe Parsi calendar is based on the Fasli calendar. This differs greatly from the Gregorian calendar in that is more specific to seasonal changes than the Gregorian calendar. Jamshed Navrov is the start of the New Year for Parsis. This coincides directly with the Vernal Equinox which is the start of spring. It also coincides with lunar alignment of the sun and the Earth. Another interesting point to note is that the vernal equinox represents a day that is the same length as the night. It is a fitting time to celebrate Jamshed Navrov because it falls after the winter and prior to the sewing of the crops for the next harvest. It is a fairly big (if not the biggest) event in regards to the Parsi year.

Jamshed Navrov brings in the new Parsi year with a bang. It is celebrated by Parsis by wearing new clothing, kustis and ornate caps. They drink delicious faluda (milk and rose water) and eat a variety of traditional Parsi dishes such as sev and sweet yoghurt. It is also a deeply spiritual experience for Parsis with Jashan being recited. It is also a time when Parsis practice a great deal of charity. The charity is not specifically aimed at the Parsi community but is also spread throughout the wider non-Parsi community in order to foster a sense of community regardless of religious beliefs, creed or race. Guests are welcome and treated with high regard. Guests are applied with tilak and sprinkled with rose water.
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Jamshed Navrov goes further in celebrating the day itself. People essentially spring clean their homes for the occasion and often go to such extravagant lengths as repainting it inside and out. They also decorate their homes with particular attention on the entrance. Because it is important to allow guests to feel welcome and impressed, the entrance is decorated with a variety of flowers and they also cover the steps with patterns of powder. The event itself is quite lavish and no expense is spared in order to celebrate the occasion.

Parsis also greet each other and wish them well with a specific greeting during this time. They say “Navroz Mubarak”, which translates to happy New Year. Although it is common for them to say this, they also follow up with specific well wishes that are dedicated to the loved ones of the recipient of the message. It is a happy time of the year for Parsis and cause for much elation and celebration.