The Iranian and Parsi New Year, Navroz, is celebrated by the Iranians and the Parsis, on this day, by most people of Zoroastrian faith. In countries such as Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, Navroz is observed as a public holiday.
This spring festival is all about rejuvenation and rebirth. The houses are cleaned, and decorated with flowers. Sweets and gifts are exchanged among friends and family members.
The Persians have a custom of growing a bowl of sprouted wheat (sabzeh) for the celebration. On the 13th day after Navroz these wheat sprouts are tossed into a nearby pond or a lake. This is a form of paying respect for water and also for mother nature.
A couple of food delicacies which are significant for Navroz are Pulao made with saffron and flavored milk called Faluda. There are seven other dishes prepared that begin with “sh” in Persian, such as shahad (honey), shira (syrup), shirin (sweet), sharab (wine), shirin berenjor (sweet meat), shaker (sugar), and shir (milk). Nuts, vegetables, and fruits also play a big part on the dining table. All of these symbolic items signify prosperity and growth for one and all.
During worship, prayers are offered at the Fire temple on this day. The sacred book of the Zoroastrian faith is called Gathas and consists of 17 hymns, and is believed to be composed by Zoroaster. People promise to live their lives with good actions, good words and good thoughts! May the new year bring prosperity and happiness to all of us.