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Parsi New Year: Navroz

  • 16 Aug 2021
  • 5 min read

Why in News

Navroz festival is being celebrated in India on 16th August in India.

  • Across the world, Navroz is celebrated at the time of the vernal equinox (marking the start of spring) in the Northern Hemisphere.

Key Points

  • About:
    • Navroz is also known as Parsi New Year.
    • In Persian, ‘Nav’ stands for new, and ‘Roz’ stands for the day, which literally translates to ‘new day’.
    • Though celebrated in March globally, Navroz arrives 200 days later in India and is celebrated in the month of August as the Parsis here follow the Shahenshahi calendar that doesn’t account for leap years.
      • In India, Navroz is also known as Jamshed-i-Navroz, after the Persian King, Jamshed. The king Jamshed is credited with having created the Shahenshahi calendar.
    • Interestingly in India, people celebrate it twice a year - first according to the Iranian calendar and the second according to the Shahenshahi calendar which is followed by people here and in Pakistan. The festival falls between July and August.
    • The tradition is observed by Iranians and Zoroastrian around the world.
    • Navroj was inscribed in the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of India in 2009.
      • This coveted list is made up of those intangible heritage elements that help demonstrate diversity of cultural heritage and raise awareness about its importance.
  • Zoroastrianism:
    • Zoroastrianism, one of the earliest known monotheistic faiths, is practised by Parsis.
    • It was created over 3,500 years ago in ancient Iran by Prophet Zarathustra.
    • It was the official religion of Persia (now Iran) from 650 BCE until the emergence of Islam in the 7th century, and it was one of the most important faiths in the ancient world for over 1000 years.
    • When the Islamic troops invaded Persia, numerous Zoroastrians fled to India (Gujarat) and Pakistan.
    • The Parsis (‘Parsi’ is Gujarati for Persian) are the largest single group in India, with an estimated 2.6 million Zoroastrians worldwide.
    • Zoroastrians (Parsis) are one of the notified minority communities.
Traditional New Year Festivals in India
Name Features
Chaitra Shukla Pratipada
  • It marks the beginning of the new year of the Vikram Samvat also known as the Vedic (Hindu) calendar.
  • Vikram Samvat is based on the day when the emperor Vikramaditya defeated Sakas, invaded Ujjain and called for a new era.
Gudi Padwa and Ugadi
  • Celebrated in the month of Chaitra Shukla Pratipada as per the Hindu Lunar Calendar.
  • Deccan region including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Navreh
  • It is the lunar New Year that is celebrated in Kashmir. It falls on the very first day of the Chaitra Navratras.
Sajibu Cheiraoba
  • It is celebrated by Meiteis (an ethnic group in Manipur) which is observed on the first day of Manipur lunar month Shajibu, which falls in the month of April every year.
Cheti Chand
  • It is celebrated by Sindhi community. Chaitra month is called 'Chet' in Sindhi.
  • The day commemorates the birth anniversary of Ishta Deva Uderolal/Jhulelal, the patron saint of Sindhis.
Bihu
  • It is celebrated three times a year.
  • Rongali or Bohag Bihu is observed in April. Kongali or Kati Bihu observed in October and Bhogali or Magh Bihu observed in January.
  • Rongali or Bohag Bihu is the Assamese new year and spring festival.
  • The Rongali Bihu coincides with Sikh New Year- Baisakhi.
Baisakhi
  • It is celebrated as the Indian thanksgiving day by farmers.
  • It also has religious significance for the Sikhs community as the foundation of the Khalsa Panth was laid on this day by Guru Gobind Singh.
Losoong
  • Losoong also known as Namsoong is the Sikkimese New Year.
  • It is usually the time when the farmers rejoice and celebrate their harvest.
  • It is mostly celebrated in the month of December every year with traditional gaiety and colour both by the Lepchas and Bhutias.

Source: PIB

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