Parsi Festivals   Festivals    History of Festivals    Religious Festivals    Temple Festivals    Fairs or Melas    National Festivals    Regional Festivals    New Year Festivals
Free E-magazine
Subscribe to our Free E-Magazine on Festivals.
Learn More : India Business to Business Directory
Business Directory of Indian Suppliers Manufacturers and Products from India.
India`s leading Yellow pages directory.
India`s leading Yellow pages directory.
Home > Religious Festivals > Parsi Festivals
Parsi Festivals

ZoroastrianGahambar means `in time,` and refers to the six seasonal Zorastrian (Parsi) festivals. Gahambar can be translated to mean `full time` or `proper season`. King Jamshed was the first person to observe this festival.

Like Hindus, the Parsis observe six seasons. They are originally agricultural festivals. Each festival is five days in length and corresponds to one of the six days of creation in Zoroastrian cosmology. They days and their associations are : Maidhyozarem (heaven), Maidhyoshem (water), Paitishhayem (earth), Ayathrem (plants), Maidhyarem (animals), Hanaspathmaedem (man). During the rituals, tribute is paid to the phases or elements responsible for the creation of the world.

Four liturgical services are performed during the first four days, and the fifth day is reserved for communal interaction. Celebrations begin with a benediction ceremony called Afrin. It is a prayer of love and praise in remembrance of one`s ancestors.

Every holy day is divided in 5 watches. Each watch is presided by an angel. The yaztas (angels) and the fravashis are honoured next in the Baj prayers. This is followed by the main Parsi rite, the Yasna. The last of the four customs for social service is the Pavi. It is a prayer for the particular Gahambar being celebrated. The priest and the faithful pray together during the Pavi.

On the fifth day of the Gahambar, there is a solemn feast. People can either donate or serve at the feast. Those who participate are expected to recall not only the blessings bestowed by the seasons, but also the seven main acts that a good Parsi must perform.

The Maidhyozarem Gahambar (heaven), is celebrated from the 41st day after Navroz. The second one, called Maidhyoshem (water), is observed 60 days later. Paitishhayem (earth) falls 75 days after that. Thirty days later, comes Ayathrem (flora and fauna), which celebrates creation and the prosperity that it brings. The fifth Gahambar, Maidhyarem, is celebrated 80 days after the fourth. The last of the six Gahambars, Hanaspathmaedaem, is observed 75 days after Maidhyarem.

As Zoroastrianism developed, Gahambars assumed religious significance. First gahambar is celebrated on the 11th day of the Parsi month Ardibenesth; second on 11th day of Tir; third on 26th day of Shehenever; fourth on the 26th of Meher; fifth on 6th of Dai; sixth on the 1st day of Gatha.

Gahamabar has become an important community feasts by all Parsis all over the world. Parsis hold public feasts in Bagh. Such feasts are not popular today. Gahambar is a community festival and pays tributes to God and Creation. It is also one that reinforces feelings of brotherhood. It is aimed at reminding Parsis of their roots and the good deeds that a true Parsi must do.
These deeds are radith (being charitable), rastih (being truthful), celebrating the Gahambars, observing the three-day ceremony after death, worshipping god, building lodgings for the poor, and wishing everyone well.

Khordad Sal

Jashan CeremonyThe birth anniversary of Zoroaster or Prophet Spitaman Zarathushtra is celebrated as Khordad Sal in August-September. It falls sometime on the sixth day of the Parsi month of Farvardin. In some old Parsi texts, this day is also spoken of as the Navroz-I-Khas, which means `special new year`s day`. Even the real New Year`s day is referred to as Navroz-I-Am, meaning `common new year`s day`.

The religious lore and texts of the Parsis mention the festival and its importance. In the olden days, the king and nobility, especially, observed Khordad Sal as Navroz-I-Khas. It is said to be the day on which many historic events of old Iran are said to have happened. Later, it came to be observed solely as Zarathushtra`s birthday.

Zoroaster or zarathusthra was the founder of the religion. The exact year of Zarathushtra`s birth is not known, but it is accepted that he was born in the beginning of the first millennium BC. Similarly, the day of his birth is also not known precisely.

On this day, Parsis wear new clothes; the house is cleaned and decorated with rangolis. Parsis arrange fragrant flowers prepare delicious meals. The ritual of Jashan, or thanksgiving prayers are offered at the temples. A grand feast is prepared to mark the occasion.

Zarthost No Deeso

Prayer in Fire TempleIt is observed as the death anniversary of Zoroaster. It is not a celebration but a mourning day for Parsis. It falls on June, on Khorshed roz, Dae mah (11th day, 10th month) of the Zoroastrian calendar.

It is believed that Zoroaster was killed in a temple while he was praying. It is marked as a sombre occasion. According to another belief, Zarathushtra in his 77th year was killed in a fire-temple by the Turanian army. It is also said that on this day, Zarathushtra ascended for the skies. Other sources believe that Zarathushtra died in his sleep or was killed by a murderer.

On this day, discourses on life and work of Zoroaster are held. Special prayers are recited and Zoroastrians go to the Fire Temple to pray. There aren`t any elaborate celebrations. Zarthost No Deeso is observed in Mumbai and Gujarat particularly.
Hindu Festivals Muslim Festivals Christian Festivals
Sikh Festivals Buddhist Festivals Jain Festivals
Parsi Festivals Jews Festivals | Home | Sitemap | Contact Us