Maiδyö.zarem or the MID SPRING festival

April 30th marks the beginning of the maiδyö.zarem  “mid-spring” festival in the Avestan calendar. It lasts for 5 days till May4th and is in essence a spring fertility ritual.

Maiδyö is the Avestan word for “middle.” Zarem comes from Avestan zairi “fresh green, lush or golden” and can be compared with Old Church Slavonic zeleni, Lithuanian geltas, želvas “yellow/golden.”

Mid-Spring is an “in between festival” maiδyö, between the spring and summer solstices and it is a joyous celebration of reinvigorating nectars of spring. It is a time of “peak blossoms” and it is the appointed yearly time for performing fertility rites (Avestan yaar ratö.)

Maiδyö.zarem is described as the festival of payan “milk, syrup, nectar of flowers and sap of trees” in the Avestan book of vispa ratü “all the right formulas/rites.” (Compare Avestan payan “milk,” with Lithuanian pienas, Latvian piêns, Vedic páyas “milk,” Vedic pipyúši “rich in milk” and reconstructed Proto Indo European *pieh “be fat, prosperous, swollen” and *pipih usih “rich, overflowing in milk.”)

It is a sacred time reserved for the reverence of trees and their sap and a time to bless the herds, their young and their milk by walking them between sacred bonfires, before taking them to their summer pastures.

In Zoroastrianism, the spiritual life and worship is entwined with hearth-fire, kinship and Clan, home, happiness, pets and farm, fertility of the land and wondrous seasons of the year; all related in a sacred world order wherein mortal man lives as a member of his genos, and is governed by the laws of renewal, purity and nobility (cf. also Johannes Hertl: Die Awestischen Jahreszeitenfeste.)


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