August 17, 2019
Navroz or Pateti is the Parsi and it is celebrated on the eve of New Year of the Zoroastrian calendar. On pateti day the parsis visit the fire temple or agiary. The agiary is called as a fire temple because the sacred fire which was brought from Iran once upon a time is always kept burning in the temple by the high priest. The parsis worship Ahura Mazda, symbolised by fire. The parsis on this day, promise to live with good thoughts, use good words and perform the right actions.
The word pateti is derived from Pazend patet, meaning 'repentance'. The Zoroastrian tenets are based on the three ideals of good thoughts, good words and good deeds. Anything that is out of accord with this is considered a sin.It is natural for anyone to have committed a sin in the course of a year, even if only inadvertently. Pateti is the occasion to redeem oneself by offering patet, or the prayer of repentance, and prepare to greet the new year with a clean conscience.It is also a day of thanksgiving, to be grateful to God not just for the joys of life but also the sorrows.
Parsis wear their kusti or sacred vest. The men wear their traditional dress called dagli and the women dress up in their traditional and heirloom gara sarees. In the agiary a puja (jashan) is performed and sandalwood is offered to the fire.
At this time, the parsis clean their houses and decorate them. Torans and flowers are used to decorate the entrance of the house and beautiful rangoli patterns are made of birds, flowers, fish or any other design. On this day, parsi families go and visit other parsis and exchange gifts and sweets. On this auspicious occasion, special food like Patra ni macchi (fish wrapped in banana leaves), sali boti (meat with potato chips), rava and falooda is also prepared.
Parsis lay down certain auspicious items on the table on the day of New Year. It includes a sacred book, a picture of Zarathustra, mirror, candles, incense burner, fruits, flowers, a goldfish bowl, sugar, bread and some coins. These things symbolize prosperity and longevity for the family members.
A sweet Ravo (made from sugar, milk and suji) and vermicelli are the best breakfast for Navroz. After breakfast, whole family visits a nearby Fire Temple or Agiary. Priests perform a thanks giving prayer in the temple called Jashan and the congregation offers sandalwood to the Holy Fire with covered heads. They wish each other ‘Sal Mubarak'.
Parsi Navroz lunch consists of pulav (with nuts and saffron), fish and other spicy non-vegetarian food. Cooking plain rice and moong dal is a must in Parsi community. Every visitor to the house is welcomed with sprinkle of rose water and offering faluda (rose flavored chilled vermicelli). Thus Navroz is celebrated very joyously.