Among the Zoroastrians the festivities are preceded by the scrupulous cleaning of houses and their contents, making bonfires to welcome the creative spirits/energies 5 days before the arrival of spring/the new year, and “pätat,” or pensive reflection and meditation.
The Irani Zoroastrians put new clothing on the first day of spring. A number of auspicious/speñtá items are laid on a beautiful table; colorfully painted eggs, sprouted lentils or sprouted wheat, a mirror with a lamp/burning candle before it, INCENSE, a silver standing mirror, WINE/replaced by vinegar among iranian moslems, an AVESTA/book of secret wisdom wrapped in green silk, a picture of the Prophet Zoroaster, a green-wrapped sugarcane, a bowl full of noghl (sugar and pistachio coated almonds,) and a vase holding sprays of evergreen (cypress or pine,) FLOWERS, SOUR ORANGES/naarenj, a delicious wheat syrup called “samanü,” a bowl of water containing a pomegranate stuck full of silver/gold coins, and a bowl with dried fruits and 7 kind of nuts called LOERK, a glass full of pāluda, a sweet, ice cream- like, fragrant drink, white in color; and a new pitcher with pure SPRING WATER, a basket full of fresh herbs and cheese (such as oregano, coriander, parsley or……); HEARTY BREAD and in front is placed a platter with a special sweet dish, čangāl or komāč-e Nauvrooz, cooked for this festival. The objects represent growth, life, JOY, purity, prosperity and an auspicious beginning.
The new year’s dinner consists of delicious FISH and tasty vegetarian dishes. Meat is to be abstained from on this sacred eve.
The moment of equinox is welcomed with the following mañthra; Yasna 37.1:
“ithá át yazamaidä /ahúrem mazdám yé gám chá/ ashem chá dát/ apas chá dát urvaráws chá/ vangú.hísh raöcháws chá dát/ bümîm chá vîspá chá vóhü.
So we adore/the GD of wisdom and vision and the living gaia/who gave the ahüric artistry and skill/who gave the waters and plants/the awesome, amazing radiance and lights/the land and all things good and wonderful.
After the equinox is ushered in,the family members kiss, look into the mirror and sprinkle themselves with rose water and drink wine, nuts and/or sweets. The festivities reach a climax on March 26th or on the birthday of the prophet/seer/sage Zarathushtra. We read in Avesta, in Yasht 13, 93-94 concerning his birthday:
|“93. In whose birth and growth the waters and the plants rejoiced; in whose birth and growth the waters and the plants grew; in whose birth and growth all the creatures of the good/awesome creations cried out, Hail!|
|94. ‘Hail to us! for he is born, the Athravaan/fire priest, Spitama Zarathushtra. Zarathushtra will offer us adorations with holy water and bundles of flowers/plants baräsma; and there will the good insight/vision of the worshipers of Mazda/wisdom spreading through all the seven Kingdoms/realms of the earth.
The festivities will conclude on the 13 th day, dedicated to the auspicious star Tishtryaa; by a family picnic outdoors next to streams, waterfalls,lakes or any other source of water.
Happy New Radiance/Spring to ALL YOU