Zoroastrian religion followers are just the followers of Zoroaster. Zoroaster was also known as Zarathrustra and lived somewhere in the Iranian plateau and conversed in the old Avestan language.



Zoroastrianism was the official religion of Persia and in 600 BCE. He founded this religion where he opposed all kinds of inequality. There are till date million who are followers of his religious principles.

The Zoroastrian holiday calendar iis generally filled with numerous holidays and 2018 will also not be an exception. These colorful and interesting festivals can either be monthly, can be annual or seasonal.

However the Zoroastrian calendar is an extremely interesting one. There are mainly three different kinds of calendars prevalent amongst the Zoroastrian people.  The forms of all these vary from one to the other. These calendars are as the following –

    • The Qadimi Calendar – this particular system of calendar came into prevalence after the Arabs invaded Iran.  The word Qadimi in Arabic means old.  This made the old system almost non-existant and difficult to maintain.

 

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    • The Shahenshahi/ Shenshai Calendar – the Zoroastrians who fled Iran after the Arabs invaded their country settled down in India.  There is a belief that the word is a take from the word Shahenshahi, which literally means Royal. There are some people who refer to this calendar as the Rasimi.

 

    • The Fasli Calendar – this calendar is also known as the Bastani Calnedar. This is the latest and the most trecent amongst the three prevalent calendars of the Zoroastrian beliefs.  This can be safely said to be the most orthodox amongst the three calendars as this follows the old Zoroastrian texts that are almost about thousands of years old.

 

There are two major festivals that are observed by the Zoroastrian people. These are celebrated as per the personal calendars that they follow and also as per their personal beliefs and traditions involved.

Noruz or Nowruz – This is the most important and well known religious festival celebrated by the Zoroastrian people.  This has achieved the cult status, because Zoroaster himself had propounded and propagated this festival.  This festive day marks the beginning of the traditional Zoroastrian New Year and is celebrated with great aplomb both at business houses and at residential quarters in the same manner. This day is celebrated with a lot of fanfare zest and zeal as it is believed that the whole year will depend on how you spend this day. Thus people leave no stones unturned in spending this day well.  People clean their homes and throw away all garbages in order to welcome the New Year. They wear new clothes and cook traditional menu like moong dal, Sali voti among other things to have a feast with family and friends.  They also visit their extended families and friends on this day. In the morning they visit the fire temple. They also do charity on this day.
Khordad Sal – This is the day which marks the auspicious birth anniversary of the great Zarathustra.  He is also known as Zoroaster, and is the founder and propagator of the ancient religion called Zoroastrianism.  This is celebrated all over the world, particularly with much gaiety by the Indian Parsis.  The Zoroastrian people celebrate it with much fanfare pomp and glory.  They clean their houses, buy new clothes and take active part in feasting along with family and friends. They also attend special prayers on this day.

Apart from these major two festivals, there are other Zoroastrian festivals too. Let us take a look at the same –

    • Bahman – this is a thanksgiving festival, where the Zoroastrian people pay homage to Amesha Spenta Vohu Mano for bringing various animals to this world.

 

    • Sadeh – this is the day when the Zoroastrian people worship fire. Fire to these people is the most sacred and worshipped as it is a source of light and energy.  This is celebrated and commemorated on the day when it is believed that the great Parsi emperor had chanced upon by lighting fire.  Fire is significant for the Parsis as they believe that it eradicates darkness of the mind and leads them to divine glorified knowledge.

 

    • Spendarmad – this day is a celebration by upholding the glory of Mother Earth and also virtues like piety and devotion are highlighted.

 

    • Jamshedi Noruz (Fasli) – this is as per the Fasli calendar, that the Noruz is observed on this particular day.

 

    • Khordad Sal (Fasli)-  Khordad sal is observed on this particular day as per the Fasli calendar.

 

    • Farwardigan – This is a day when the Zoroastrians believe that the departed soul come back to this world,. In honor of the dead they also keep out food and water on the outside. This is also a day when past sins are recalled and repentance should be made for them as well as atonement. Ways of rectification are also sought.

 

    • Ardavisht – it is their day to pay homage to the Fire – the eradicator of all darkness and the one who illumine the soul and brings light to the dark recess of the soul and the world.

 

    • (K)Hordad- this day celebrates the vital element which is water.  This is commemorate don the 6th day of the 3rd month according to the traditional Zoroastrian celndar.

 

    • Tirgan – This too is a traditional Zoroastrian festival aimed at paying tribute to the natural elements. This time this pays tribute to the Rain. It also celebrates the occurance of the rains in our life.  In the ancient times people were mostly dependant on good rainfall foe a good harvest. Thus the celebration of rain.

 

    • Jamshedi Noruz (Qadimi)-  Noruz is celebrated on this day as per the Qadimi calendar.

 

    • Khordad Sal (Qadimi)-  Khordad Sal is observed on this day as per the Qadimi calendar

 

    • Amurdad– This means long life or immortality. This is the day which commemorates the elements of Nature, such as – trees, plants, flowers etc.

 

    • Jamshedi Noruz (Shenshai)-   According to the Shenshai calendar Noruz iis celebrated on this day

 

    • Shahrevar – In literary terms this word means kingdom or dominion.  This is the day the Zoroastrians pay tribute and homage to hard works which build a kingdom like labor honesty and hard work. They celebrated those as they believed that the three are essential to build a strong kingdom.

 

    • Khordad Sal (Shenshai) – Khordad Sal in celebrated as per the Shensai calendar on this day.

 

    • Mehregan- The Zoroastrians pay tribute to Mehr on this day. Mehr is essential in providing strength to love and friendship. In Persia this day also marks the celebration of the beautiful Fall or Autumn and as such is celebrated by wearing new clothes and by eating ritualistic traditional food.

 

    • Abanagan – Water is celebrated on this day. The Zoroastrian followers do this by carrying out certain rituals near a water body.

 

    • Adarga – Fire as the element is worshipped on this day. Fire is considered to be the most important by the Zoroastrians as they believe that fire is the source of all energy and light.

 

    • Six Gahambars –  the Six Gahambars  literally means the six seasons.  As per the Zoroastrian belief, the change os seasons is an extremely important phase in a human’s life. People are believed tp renew and recharge their personal bondings during this time. The 6 Gahambars are as follows –

 

    • Hamaspathmaidyem

 

    • Maidyozarem Gahambar

 

    • Paitishahem Gahambar

 

    • Maidyarem Gahambar

 

    • Maidyoshahem Gahambar

 

    • Ayathrem Gahambar

 

    • Yalda (Shab-e Chelleh) – the celebration of the day with the longest nights.   This is also the day when the Persian angel for Truth and Illumination were born.  The believers arrange night long parties as it is believed that staying awake all night eliminates the chances of darkness and misfortune covering your life.

 

    • Zarathust No Diso – This is one of the most auspicious day as per the Zoroastrian calendar.  This marks the birth anniversary of the prophet Zoroaster who ascended Heaven aged 77 from the Fire Temple.  There are different myths surrounding this. However special prayers and meeting are arranged at Fire Temples on this day.