Nowruz or Navroz, the Iranian New Year that marks the beginning of the spring season, is celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm among various Parsi communities across the world including India.
The word ‘now’ means new and ‘ruz’ means day, which translates to ‘a new day’. Nowruz marks the beginning of Farvardin, the first month of the Solar Hijri calendar and is usually celebrated on March 20 or 21 globally. Considered an important day to do good deeds and speak good words, people clean their houses, buy new clothes, and cook an elaborate spread for their family and friends on this festival.
Which countries celebrate Nowruz?
Nowruz is celebrated in many countries having significant Persian cultural influence like Iran, Iraq, India, Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia. Nowruz is celebrated by Kurds in Iraq and Turkey, as well as by the Iranis, Shias and Parsis in the Indian subcontinent and diaspora.
Nowruz is also celebrated in the Americas and in Europe, including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Toronto, Cologne and London by Iranian communities. In Phoenix, Arizona, Nowruz is celebrated as the Persian New Year Festival.
Nowruz celebrations in India.
In India, the festival is observed around August 16-17 by Parsi community following the Shahenshahi calendar which does not account for leap years, which means the holiday has now moved by 200 days from its original day. However, many people also celebrate it in March.
The festival of Nowruz is named after the Persian king, Jamshed, who is credited for creating the Persian or the Shahenshahi calendar. As per the legend, Jamshed saved the world from an apocalypse that came in the form of a winter and destined to kill everyone. According to scriptures, in the realm of King Jamshed, there was no excessive heat or cold and no premature deaths and everyone lived happily. It is said that the festival came to India courtesy an 18th century wealthy tradesman from Surat, Nusservanji Kohyaji, who often travelled to Iran and began celebrating Nowruz in India.