Patet (pronounced correctly as patît) are 10 or 18 days of “reflection and pondering” before the ushering in of nauv-rooz or the new-year.
The word patît comes from the Avestan paiti and means: “on the way to, in the direction of, on the road to, en route to, in preparation of/for.” (Compare Avestan paiti with Greek potí and/or protí, Old Vedic práti, Old Church Slavonic protivū and Latvian preti.)
Avestan paiti is “going back to the beginning,” pondering and reflecting over our life (good and bad) in preparation of new-year and a fresh new beginning.
(Armenian bozpayat or bazpayit has the same sense as patît.)
Śatapatha-brāhmaṇa and other Old Indian texts confirm that the practice of acknowledging sin/past mistakes goes back to Indo-Iranian times and the worship of the Old Indian asuras (supreme god-beings like Varuna.)
Just as we do a thorough spring-cleaning, by cleaning our homes and buying new clothes before the new-year, patît renews and cleanses our souls.
There are 4 extant patît texts, all in Pá-Zand (literally footnote to Zand or knowledge/Avestan commentaries. Pá-Zand is a late form of Pahlavi/middle Iranian, including New Persian forms, written in the Avestan alphabet).
There is patît of khûd or self; patît ehrih (honor) for all those who share our blood, honor and destiny; patît rûván purification/reflection for our soul; and the patît pašî-mánî. The word pašî-mánî has come to mean regret in modern Persian but it meant originally “the objective before the will/mind.”
Through patît or going back to the beginning, integrity is restored and we become cleansed in body and soul for the coming of the new-year. It is a moment of truth, a look into the mirror of our souls, a worthy and noble tradition to keep and cherish.