Naúv-rooz and the new radiance splendor of spring/new year


Naúv-rooz , “New splendor/light/radiance”, is the most sacred, the holiest and most joyous festival of the Zoroastrian calendar. It is the focal point of the Zoroastrian sacred days, to which all other holidays relate. Naúv-rooz is the first day/dawn/light/splendor after the vernal equinox or “Hama-ß-path-maädya.”
“Hama-ß-path-maädya” is an Avestan term that refers to the time when the PATHS  are equal/HAMA or at SAME distant from each other.

Avestan “PATH,” Old Germanic patha, English path, Old Dutch pat, Dutch pad, German Pfad. Avestan “HAMA,” Greek hama “together with, at the same time,” homos “one and the same,” homios “like, resembling,” homalos “even;  Sanskrit samah “even, the same;” Lithuanian. similis “like,” Gothic sama, Old Irish samail, Latin similis, German samt “together, with.”
Avestan “Maädya” means MID-, in the MIDDLE (Proto Indo European medhyo, Sanskrit madhyah, Gothic midjis, Greek mesos, Latin medius, Old Norse miðr, Old Slavic middi.

The time of equinox refers to the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator and EQUALIZES night and day. At the time of the equinox, sunlight is EVENLY divided between the north and south hemispheres. The day after “Hama-ß-path-maädya” or vernal equinox is called “nava- raöchá” or “naúv-rooz;” new light or new radiance/splendor.
Compare Avestan “nava,” NEW with Skt. navah, Lithuanian naujas, Old Church Slavic novu, Russian novyi, Latin novus,  Proto Indo European newo, Gothic niujis, German neu, Hittite newash, Gk. neos.
Also, compare Avestan “raöchá,” RADIANCE, SPLENDOR, LIGHT with German Licht, leuchten, Sanskrit rocha, Greek leukos “bright, shining, white;” Latin lucere “to shine,” lux” light,” lucidus “clear;”  Old Church Slavic luci “light;” Lithuanian laukas “pale;” Old Irish loche “lightning,” luchair” brightness.
Naúv-rooz, is in fact a celebration of spring, when there is a renewal of growth and vigour, a new fresh splendor in nature.  Zoroastrianism teaches about “Frashö-kérétí,” an Avestan eschatological term referring to “creating ever anew and fresh.”

The return of the spring represents the triumph of the sun, growth, vigor and a new life energy. A  spring festival, ushering in the renewal season of the year with joyous festivities, could thus, be a recurrent reminder of the unique “New Light/Splendor/ Radiance” which will bring “eternal spring” and “new/boundless horizons.”
Thus, celebrations associated with vernal equinox and ushering in of spring was a way of teaching/preaching to ancient aryans, who used no images, to sustain belief in and deepen the understanding of “Frashö-kérétí,” through what they saw and experienced in nature.
The Magis who devised the devotional Zoroastrian calendar were skilled astronomers, able to fix the celebration of Naúv-rooz , vernal equinox or “Hama-ß-path-maädya with absolute precision.

 

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

ardeshir

 


 

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