News Excerpt:

Navroz is celebrated around 19th – 21st March annually.

About Navroz: 

  • The word Nowroz is made up of two Parisian words: now means 'new' and ruz means 'day', so the meaning of Nowruz/Navroz is 'a new day'. 
  • It is a festival of new beginnings, which marks the victory of light over darkness. 
  • It is the Persian or Iranian New Year celebrated twice a year in India according to Shahenshahi and Iranian calendars. 
  • This festival occurs on the spring equinox (vernal equinox), as per the Iranian Solar Hijri calendar, on or around March 21st. 
  • Navroj or Nowruz is considered a holy day for Baha'is, Zoroastrians and some Muslim communities worldwide. 
  • This festival is observed in countries like India, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and Afghanistan, in regions like South Asia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Black Sea Basin, which are along the ancient Silk Route.
  • The United Nations acknowledges March 21st as the International Day of Nowruz.
  • In 2010, the United Nations officially acknowledged Nowruz as a symbol of global unity and cultural exchange.

History and Significance of Navroz: 

  • Balban introduced the famous Persian festival of Nowruz in India to impress the nobles and people with his wealth and power.
  • Nowruz originated from the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism in old Persia approximately 3000 years ago.
  • The festival's earliest written record dates back to Persian texts from the first century CE, during the Parthian Empire under the Arsacid Dynasty.
  • Nowruz is associated with the legendary Persian king, Jamshid, who created a throne adorned with jewels, as mentioned in the Shah-nameh by poet Ferdowsi.
  • In Indian belief, Nowruz is associated with the return of souls to Earth. Muslims believe that God sent the angel Gabriel to Prophet Muhammad on this day.

Key Points Related to the Celebration of Navroz Traditions and Customs:

  • Parsi people pray to God and remember their deceased family members and ancestors, believing that their souls return to Earth to bless their loved ones.
  • A significant family activity during Navroz is the Haft-Seen table, where seven items starting with the letter 'S' are placed: Sirkeh (vinegar), Sikkeh (coin), Seer (garlic), Seeb (apples), Sabzeh (wheat), Samanu (wheat pudding), Sumac (berries), along with a mirror representing reflection.

  • In India, Navroz is predominantly celebrated in Gujarat and Maharashtra, where most of the Parsi population resides.
  • Population Statistics: According to the 2011 census, India has 57,264 Parsi individuals, with Gujarat and Maharashtra being the main concentration regions for Parsi communities.

Why is Navroz celebrated twice in India?

  • Nowruz will be observed in India on two different dates due to the following calendars. 
  • The first date is March 20th, 2024, which, according to the Solar Hijri calendar, aligns with the global observance of the spring equinox. 
  • The second date is August 15th, 2024, which follows the Shahenshahi calendar. 
  • Leap years are not calculated in the Shahenshahi calendar, which is why it is a unique tradition of the Indian Parsi communities to celebrate this festival two times a year.

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