Parsi New Year in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune

      Bharati Sarkar says ” India is richer today due to the contributions of a tiny community. In the sciences, the arts and industry, Parsis have given back more than a thousand-fold in return to the land that gave them shelter a thousand years ago.”

Ed:

Feast marks start of Parsi new year

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

     Mumbai: The Parsi community began its new year, Navroz, on Saturday by visiting the fire temple and rounded off the evening with a lavish meal and, in several cases, a Parsi-Gujarati play.

     Pateti, the final day of the outgoing year, was celebrated on Friday.Navroz marks a new beginning after a tenday period of penance.
Pateti is a day to seek forgiveness for past sins and Navroz the following day signals a fresh start. A senior member of the community, Adi Doctor, explained how in times gone by the new year was always observed on March 21. “However, the Gregorian calendar gains one day every four years which is leap year.

 Around 500 years ago, the Parsis who came to India abandoned the old calendar and allowed the years to roll. Now the festival falls between March 21 and August,” he said.

     Behram Ardeshir, trustee of the Dadysett Atash Behram, makes it a point to work this day albeit for a few hours. “If I work during Navroz, then I will continue to work throughout the year,” he said.

    “My wife prepared saas ni machi, sali chicken and pulao dal for the main course and lagan nu custard for dessert. Navroz is one day to just forget everything and do what matters most,” Ardeshir said.

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HYDERABAD:

      The Parsi community in the twin cities celebrated Navroz on Saturday with much gaiety as members got together for prayers and festivities that lasted till late in the night. The celebrations started early in the morning with members of the Parsi community, decked out in new clothes visited fire temples, offered prayers and wished each other a happy new year. 

     Hyderabad has three fire temples, one in Hyderabad and two in Secunderabad, for its 1,200-strong Parsi community. 

   Navroz celebrations began with prayers and festivities that continued into the afternoon with some prominent people of the community holding open house at their residences for people to visit, enjoy snacks and wish each other. 

     “We go over to the fire temple to thank god for the year that has gone by. We don’t just pray for ourselves but also for the country,” said Onim Debara, social activist and a senior member of the Parsi community. As part of Navroz celebrations, community members also handed out scholarships to meritorious students in the names of their dear departed. 

     Community members said that Navroz celebrations were also about getting together with their families and enjoying the traditional Parsi lunch. After all, the Parsis in the city love to say that their celebration is about food, merriment and, of course, thanking god. 

     So, the Zoroastrian Club had put together a programme of evening entertainment which was booked to capacity. “We have 542 members in the club and tonight we had a booking for 475, which also includes guests,” said club president Rohinton Noria. Listing out the delicacies that were on the menu, Noria said it included not just traditional Parsi fare such as Patrani macchi and dhansak dal, but also haleem, in keeping with the flavour of the season. 

    “The difference in the celebrations this year is that the programmes are being put up by members’ children,” said Noria, pointing out how no guest performers had been invited to entertain the audience.

 

PUNE

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