What is Navroz Mubarak?
Navroz is a centuries-old tradition that originated in Iran. It signifies the start of the Parsi New Year and coincidentally, the spring equinox also falls on the same date. The spring equinox is when the sun crosses the equator. It is also the day when the day and night are of the same duration. Navroz is now celebrated by Zoroastrians in India, Syria, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey and Russia. In India, Navroz is celebrated on August 17 following the Shahenshahi calendar which doesn't account for leap years.
Nav means New and Roz refers to, day; In Persian, Navroz means “New Day” literally. It is celebrated for good health, prosperity, wealth and productivity. It promotes peace and friendship among families and communities.
The Lore of Navroz Mubarak
Some legends say that the festival was invented by Prophet Zoroaster himself. In modern times, the festival has its origin in the era of King Jamshed who introduced it in Iran on March 21st. It should be noted that the King was also crowned on this day. Tradesmen who travelled to Iran for trade brought the festival to India. It started as a small scale festival among the Parsi community in Bombay, now Mumbai. After connecting the festival to the illustrious king, the Parsi community in India started celebrating it on a wide scale.
Rituals and Traditions
An important custom followed in the days leading to the festival is the traditional spring cleaning of their homes. It is followed by buying new furniture, utensils and clothing.
An important tradition followed before the festival is preparing the Haft-Seen Table or the Table Of Seven S’s. It involves setting up a table with seven items representative of the birth of the new year.
Haft-Seen Table or the Table Of Seven S’s
- Seeb - Apple - Health and Beauty
- Senjed - Dried Fruit - Wisdom and Regeneracy
- Serke - Vinegar - Surrendering and Satisfaction
- Samanu - Sweet Pudding - Power and Bravery
- Seer - Garlic - Stimulation and Contentment
- Sumac - Berries - Patience and Tolerance
- Sabzeh - Sprouts - Nature and Exhilaration
Apart from these, few Iranian households also place a Sekkeh - Coin, Sabzi - Vegetables, Sormeh - Kohl and Sonbol - Hyacinth as a part of the Haft Seen. There are a few more non-Haft Seen items like a mirror, goldfish, holy-books, colourful eggs and candlesticks which are not kept as symbols but more so for decoration.
Celebrations in India
According to Dasturji Feroze Kotwal, Parsi High Priest, the best way to celebrate Navroz is through good deeds, good thoughts and good words. Parsis dress in their best attire and go to the Atash Behram to offer prayers on this day. They also offer charity and visit friends and relatives. Exchanging gifts and sweets is also an important part of this day.
As with all festivals, it also includes tables brimming with food and goodies. Families spend time preparing great feasts for the day which includes delicacies like (ash reshteh) traditional noodle soup, sabzi polo, fried fish, chicken farcha, vegetable souffle, etc. Their desserts like baklava, falooda, noghl (sugar-coated almonds), naan berenji (rice cookies), sprouted wheat pudding are some delicacies simply to die for.
10 Best Navroz Gifts for the Upcoming New Year
Gifting is an important part of Navroz as per traditions, especially from the adults to the children. But in recent times gifting among friends and family has become equally important. When you are so inclined to impress your Parsi friend this Navroz, your Navroz gifts should simply be spectacular. Not to panic, your friends here at the BP Gifts HQ have come to your help with this incredible guide.
Zoroastrianism is the world’s oldest religion, that has its origins in Iran. Though, their numbers declined during the Islamic conquest, followers of the religion can still be found in Iran. The next largest community of Parsis is in India where they fled to during tumultuous times.
The author of the book Living Zoroastrianism brings about the truth of modern-day Zoroastrianism through interviews. The book has about 300 interviews with urban Parsis belonging to different social backgrounds and different schools of thought. It gives you an insight into the various facets of their religious lives. Not just a Parsi but anyone who has even a passing interest in the ancient religion will find this book fascinating. Book your copy at Flipkart for Rs. 3,135.
Embroidered Box Clutch Bag
Women love their accessories; Especially handbags and clutches that add to their fashion statement. Stop your search right here with this Embroidered Box Clutch by Tooba Handicrafts. While the box clutch is not too big, it is enough to carry a phone and little baubles. And it also fits in your hand perfectly. The outer layer of the clutch is made of strong and sturdy velvet while the inner layer is crafted of luxurious satin. The one we chose for you is black and embroidered with golden threads. Priced at Rs. 368, it is available to buy at Amazon.
Terracotta Warli Hand-Painted Decorative Miniature Pots
Home decor always works when you are in a hurry. And these terracotta pots are just the thing to gift to your friends. Though these pots cannot be used as flower vases, they would be a terrific decor for your coffee table or shelf. It comes in a set of 3, with each one featuring a unique shape. Added to that, all the pots are hand-painted in vibrant blue with a touch of white, red and green. And the subtle golden colour brightens the entire picture. Measuring 3”x 2”, 2”x 3.6” and 2.7” x 2.7”, the pots also feature Warli paintings. Purchase Warli Hand-Painted Mini Pots from Amazon for Rs. 664.
Sports Water Bottle
Sports Water Bottle; How cheesy and common is that for a gift? But what we have is perfect for your fitness freak Parsi friend. Why especially for a Parsi friend? Because it sports the lettering “I can't keep calm I'm a PARSI”. The bottle itself is an easy-squeeze type bottle with a wide mouth. It has no lining and hence free from BPA and other toxins. And it also fits all bottle carriers and bicycle water bottle cages. It is available to buy from CafePress and is priced at US$11.19 or Rs. 792.
Handmade Wooden Jewellery Box
Help the women in your family preserve their valuables with this wooden jewellery box. Perfect for organising jewellery of any kind, the box is handcrafted from real wood with polished gold fittings. It is quite compact and measures 4”x 4”x 2.3”. The box features traditional floral motifs with an intense brown finish. It is lined with velvet which is the apt fabric for jewellery of all kinds. Priced at Rs. 340, it makes an ideal gift for Navroz. Purchase this for your loved one from Amazon.
Taj Mahal Parsi Mint Tea
If you know any Parsis, then you’d know that they love their tea. The Taj Mahal Parsi Mint Tea is just the blend you need to impress your Parsi friend. It is a unique and special blend made with a bunch of herbs such as ginger, lemongrass and mint. The tea itself is the finest blend of Assam Teas. It is sealed in a tin box which keeps the aroma and flavour intact. The Parsi Mint Tea comes with the Taj’s promise of excellence and is available via Mytokri for Rs. 280.
Preethi Drip Cafe Coffee Maker
Now for the coffee lovers, we have the Preethi Drip Cafe Coffee Maker from Amazon. Wake up in the morning to a cup of fresh coffee. No more complicated steps; Just a click; Rich and aromatic filter coffee is done. The filter coffee maker from Preethi is the best there is. Made from high-grade plastic, it has a concealed 450W heating element. The product comes with a micro-fine filter in two different sizes. Priced at Rs. 1,729, you can make up to 8 coffees at a time.
Dragonfly Silver & White Candle and Candle Holder
Fire represents the light of God in Zoroastrianism. No ritual is complete without the presence of a sacred fire. It is also an important element on the Haft Seen Table. Do you see why we have this stunning candle for you? Standing 5.9 inches tall, the candle is embossed with a dragonfly motif. The large filigree wings of the dragonfly surround the candle in gleaming silver. Priced at Rs. 890, the Dragonfly Silver & White Candle is available to buy at Address Home.
Delicious Dried Fruits Hamper
Dried fruits are also a part of the Haft Seen table and represent wisdom. Give your friends a taste of luxury with the Dried Fruits Hamper from IGP. The hamper has an exotic collection of dried fruits tastefully arranged on a wooden tray. The contents of the tray include Turkel Apricot, Prune, Anjeer (Fig), dry Kiwi and dried Pineapple. This makes for an excellent gift option. It is available to buy for Rs. 2,550.
The Zoroastrian Pendant
The Zoroastrian Pendant by Candere is the most beautiful of all gifts. This gorgeous pendant is sure to make your loved one’s day. It represents the symbol, Asho Farohar that is synonymous to the culture and religious duty of a Parsi. Asho Farohar is one of the most important symbols in Zoroastrianism. It survived the Islamic conquest and is still favoured by Iranians. The symbol serves as a reminder of one's purpose in life.
Available in both 14K and 18K gold, the pendant can be customised according to your needs. You can choose between white and yellow gold and also between the different clarity of diamonds. Weighing at about 2.65 grams, the pendant is adorned with diamonds. It is available to buy for Rs. 18,713.
Popular Last-Minute Gifts
Sending gifts to any corner of the world is as easy as it can get with online stores. So, don't panic if you haven’t gotten your gift yet. These are a few gifts that your loved one is sure to love.
Flowers make for awesome gifts for every occasion. Especially roses and lilies; Fresh and fragrant, they are everyone’s favourite. This Navroz, buy this arrangement of 20 yellow roses and 3 yellow Asiatic lilies packed in a flower vase. And for the sweet touch, it also comes with a chocolate truffle cake. You can get it delivered at the time and location of your choice. Purchase your gift from Ferns N Petals for Rs. 2,249.
Chocolates/Sweets are always a welcome gift at any time not just during festivals. And Haldiram’s sweets are just creme de la creme. It just cannot get any better than the exotic fusion sweets we have for you. Fusions Khajur are just delicious and unlike anything, you’d have ever had. They are gourmet dates filled with surprises; cream, nuts; Take your pick. Priced at Rs. 453, they are available to buy at Haldiram's Online.
Home decor always makes for awesome gifts. Be it a flower vase or just a showcase piece, a stunning decor never fails to impress. Buckle up and choose this Eduardo Blue Glass Vase for your boss this Navroz. Though simple and unassuming, this piece has everything you’d look for in a showpiece. The Eduardo is dual-textured and blue-hued. Made from high-quality glass, the vase would perfectly complement a modern interior. Buy it from Home Artisan for Rs. 2,090.
Can’t choose one? Go for a gift hamper! Hampers are a collection of many gifts put together. The best part about this gift is the time and effort taken to put it together. Short in time? Get this Chocolate Gift Hamper by Flaberry. Loaded with sweetness, the gift hamper has Bournville, Temptation, Dairy Milk Silk, Kit Kat to name just a few. You also get the chance to alter the contents in the gift hamper. It comes packed in a cane basket for just Rs. 1,099.
This is for the confused ones out there. Surprise them with a gift voucher to their favourite website or store. It need not be a store, it can even be to their favourite restaurant. Who wouldn’t love a gift voucher from their favourite relative? Choose one from Woohoo; Or you could buy a Woohoo gift card and let them convert it to a gift card of their choice.
Celebrate Navroz Mubarak In Style
We hope you would have liked our article about Navroz Mubarak and the various gifting ideas available to you to choose from. Keep following the Best Present Guide for regular updates.