Muktad is a festival of the Zoroastrians and has religious importance. The ten days beginning from the Roj Ashtad and coming to an end on the Vahishtoisht Gatha are called the days of Muktad.
The Zoroastrians believe that during the span of these ten days all the souls and Fravashis descend to their homes and on the Earth every year. These souls of the dead and the unborn stay at places only where there’s prayers, purity, goodness and performance of rituals.
Days of Muktad are also called Farvardegan which refers to the days on which the Fravashis are remembered. According to the Zoroastrian belief, Ravan and Fravashi are the two out of three immortal spiritual components that are present in every human being.
Every creation in this universe whether materialistic or spiritual, has Fravashi. They also believe that every individual has their own Fravashi which serves as their Guardian spirit and gives their body the strength required to function properly.
Meaning and others names of Muktad-
The word Muktad or Muktat has been acquired from the Sanskrit words Mukt Atman which translates to “free soul” in English. In earlier days the festival of Muktad was called Dosla which was related or referred to the souls of the old people also called Dosa. It was also known as Machi which meant metallic trays or stands on which flowers and water were kept and also Takchae referring to the curved portion of the wall used for keeping flowers. The Iranians call these days Panji.
Muktad is a cheerful and a joyous festival in which the people welcome and shows hospitality to the souls and the Fravashis. Celebration of this festival has two main significances. This first significance or the main reason behind celebrating Muktad is for showing gratitude towards all the Fravashis as they help and protect us in various ways. The second reason is during these ten days all the Fravashis and the souls of the deceased relatives are remembered. Thus the days of Muktads are also celebrated in the honor of all the souls and Fravashis of the deceased relatives and for offering reverence to them.
Before the beginning of this festival the house especially the room where all the rituals are carried out, are cleaned thoroughly and white washed. All the members of the family get involved and carry out their shares responsibly. All the female members who did most of the preparations took Nahan. Leaving the house unattended during these days were forbidden in earlier days as it was believed that the souls and Fravashis visited the house on these days and leaving them behind would be unwelcoming.