Celebration of Equinoxes, Solstices in Zoroastrianism, and the sacredness of nature


April 30th marks the beginning of the Zoroastrian “mid-spring” festival. The mid-spring festival lasts 5 days and culminates on May 4th. Maiδyö.zarəm literally means “middle of greenery and flowers,” and refers to the “bright golden green color of spring flowers and vegetation.” Compare Avestan zarəm.iia with Russian zelënyj “green.”

The word for SPRING in Avesta is however vanri, a cognate of Latin vēr and Old Church Slavonic vesna.

Maiδyö.zarəm is one of the 6 major thanks giving holidays of Zoroastrianism, along with Hamaß.paθ.maiδ.iia “Vernal EQUINOX” or the moment when the center/middle position maiδ.iia of the Sun and the celestial points/paths paθ are at the same hamaß or equal distance from each other; Maiδyö.šam “mid-summer;” and Maiδ.yaar “mid-year,” dating to the times that count of years were by winters.

Four of the thanksgiving holidays celebrate equinoxes and solstices, and the 2 others honor bountiful harvest, animal welfare and stewardship.

Maiδyö.zarem lies halfway between vernal equinox and summer solstice, and is the festival of the pure essence/nectar of flowers and plants. The Avestan epithet of maiδyö.zarem is paiian meaning milk, syrup, nectar,” a cognate of Lithuanian pienas “milk” Greek pion “fat, cream.”

During the mid-spring holiday rituals using the symbolic use of fire and bright flowers are performed to encourage growth, the abundance of milk and dairy products, and protect the cattle, crops and people from harm and negative energies.

Doorways, windows, equipment for milking, butter making and cattle themselves are decorated with bright flowers to evoke fire and youthfulness.

Like all other Zoroastrian rituals, bonfires are kindled, and their flames, smoke and ashes are used in sacred rituals. Family hearths and sacred flames are re-lit from the bonfires. When the bonfire has died down, the ashes from it are thrown in the fields for increased energy, renewed vitality, and assuring future bountiful harvest.

No Indo European poet is more keenly alive to the praises of all that is sublime and beautiful in nature more than the Aryan seer/prophet Zarathustra.

Zoroastrian worship is closely connected to the celebration of the joyous things in life and the sacredness of pristine nature.

Central to the Zoroastrian belief is the assertion that each aspect of the material universe is a symbol of one of the Immortals. Thus the invocation invoked to each of the Brilliant Immortals is addressed to the material representation of the same Immortal in the material universe.

Zoroastrian faith has really no sacred icons, idols or any congregational worship. Instead worshippers, pay homage to lofty mountains, sacred springs, trees, holy waters, wind, hearth fire, celestial lights, stars, sun, moon and morning dawn.

Thus, the sacred poetry of the ancient Aryan poet-prophet as well as the Zoroastrian ritual worship, suggest a kind of poetical pantheism, and sees Godhood in all that is sublime and beautiful in pristine nature.

ardeshir

 

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One Response to Celebration of Equinoxes, Solstices in Zoroastrianism, and the sacredness of nature

  1. Pingback: Celebration of Equinoxes, Solstices in Zoroastrianism, and the sacredness of nature | Authentic Gatha Zoroastrianism | Cyrus49's Blog

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