Paitiš-hahya is the name of the 3rd out of the six Zoroastrian thanksgiving festivals, marking the end of summer. Paitiš-hahya literally means “towards the harvest.”
This auspicious holiday falls almost a week before the autumnal equinox, starting on September 12th and culminating on September 16th. It is a time to honor “crops, bountifulness and harvest.”
It is an auspicious time to celebrate the bounty of harvest. Bonfires are lit to mark the transition into the cold season and longer nights. It is a time to gather in joy and celebrate “love, fertility, and fruit-bearing trees.”
Paitiš-hahya consists of 2 parts. The first part of the word paitiš comes from the Avestan paiti meaning: “Towards, on the way to, in the direction of, on the road to, en route to.” Compare Avestan paiti with Greek potí and/or protí, Old Vedic práti, Old Church Slavonic protivū and Latvian preti “towards.”
The second part hahya “grain, fruit, crops” comes from the same root as Welsh haidd, Briton heiz, “rye, barley,” Vedic sasya “seed-field, crop,” Hittite sesa(na) “fruit.”
Hahya appears in the poetic gathas in the form of hang.hûš “abundance, plenty, bountifulness.” (See Yasna 53.4, 3rd rhymed verse line.) This thanksgiving holiday is about the celebration of fertility in nature and ourselves, a time to honor harvest, crops, love, and the power of productiveness.