PARSI NEW YEAR – NOWRUZ

Nowruz is the Parsi (Persian) New Year that is celebrated anytime between 20th-24th of March, every year. In India, the Zoroastrian community celebrates their New Year in a fairly understated manner, by visiting their “Temple of Fire” or “Fire God” in the morning, and to the homes of their friends and relatives in the evening. The Parsi community in India is very small, yet exceptionally prosperous, dynamic, well-educated and intellectual group of people. They reside in small pockets in Mumbai, Pune, Navsari in Gujarat and in Jamshedpur (Jharkhand). The Parsis are among the most disciplined, jovial, friendly, interactive, intelligent and fun loving people that mixes and gels easily with all other communities, and that is their strength. For generations, they are living in India, running global business empires, mega factories and into a host of activities, ranging from Bollywood to music and various other creative art forms. Their forefathers migrated from Persia (now Iran) due to the persecution by Muslim emperors, and today they are one of the most respected and prosperous communities, here in India. The Zend Avesta is the religious book or text of the Parsis and they believe in the Fire God.

 

Parsi Food, Fashion & Culture

The Zoroastrians (Parsis) are among the most talented group of individuals, but unfortunately their population is dwindling slowly due to a variety of factors, the most important being, inter-caste marriage of girls. Therefore, the elders in this community are educating their family, friends and loved ones on how to preserve their heritage, identity, culture, race and ethnicity by maintaining a strict code of conduct, when it comes to starting a new life with a partner, raising and upbringing kids. The Parsis are very simple and fun-loving people that have a profound love for food, party and fashion. This is quite evident from their festivals and the traditional dresses that they wear, especially orthodox girls and women.

 

Food is one thing that distinctly identifies Parsis from any other community or religion in India. The most well-known Parsi dish is the “Dhansak” which is meat mixed with lentils and vegetables. Egg is their staple diet which is given numerous forms, blends and tastes. Egg is a symbol of new life and prosperity which Parsis believe like anything else. Another Parsi specialty is the “Chicken Farcha”, which is fried chicken that is served as an appetizer. There are lots more delicacies and sweet dishes.

Traditional fashion is another area that Parsis or Zoroastrians have a fond liking, as they dress-up in traditional attires, mostly in Chiffon or Georgette sarees on off-white or cream color in a unique way. Mostly the elderly women and middle age ladies wear Indian sarees that are embroidered in resham and sequin around the borders that look classic in style. We have quite often seen Parsi women wearing sarees in a unique fashion in quite a few Bollywood movies of the yesteryear. Girls look real pretty in Parsi style saris which are unique from the way they are adorned. You got to be in a traditional Parsi wedding or at a festival to get a glimpse of their lifestyle, fashion and food which is different from the league.

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