Zoroastrian festivals
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Zoroastrian festivals

In India , Zoroastrian community is the smallest religion. Despite being smallest in number, their contribution to the Indian society is remarkable and very important. Zoroastrians are popularly known as Parsis. In India there are about 100,000 Parsis who are concentrated mainly in Gujarat and Mumbai. The main three tenets, on which Zoroastrian religion is based, are “Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds”.

Parsi festivals are beyond the glitters and pomp of festivals of other religions. Zoroastrian festivals are not public ceremonies, or loud music or celebrations. Parsis are a very close-knit community and their festivals are limited to their community only. They are celebrated within the homes, temples and community centers. Non-Parsis are not allowed into the Zoroastrian temples, by rules.

Zoroastrians are very much devoted to their religion and strictly follow its rituals and customs. Lots of traditions and customs are associated with Zoroastrians festivals and Parsis are very particular and meticulous about them.

There are large number of festivals and holy days in Zoroastrianism. Dates of these festivals are calculated according to Zoroastrian Calendar. There are 12 equally divided months and 5 festal days in Zoroastrian calendar. All the days in Zoroastrian calendar are regarded as special and pious as each day has its own importance and is presided over by the guardian angels.

There are six seasons in a Zoroastrian year and each season has one major festival. These festivals are interesting affairs with temple worship, elaborate rituals, community interaction and charity. Zoroastrians specially perform charity and follow justice during the festival. Zoroastrian feasts are known as Gahambars and are treated as religious.

There are three kinds of Zoroastrian calendars according to three sects of Zoroastrians. Indian Parsis follow Shehanshahi or Parsi Calendar. Pateti, New Year falls in August. Khordad Sal is the birthday of Zarathushtra. All Soul’s Day, Adar roj nu parab. There are many holy days related to worship to water, fire, justice, fertility and rains. Each important event, like birth, death, marriage, education, of a Zoroastrian’s life is linked with elaborate rituals.