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August 18, 2012

Parsis celebrate Zoroastrian New Year Navroze in Mumbai

Mumbai:The Parsis celebrated Navroze that marks the Zoroastrian New Year, with customary fervour and enthusiasm here on Saturday. Members of the Parsi community converged at local fire temples, known as Agiyaries, and offered prayers on the occasion. Sharing her views, Abha Dalal, a Parsi lady spoke about the significance of the Navroze. “Our year begins from today and we celebrate it by cooking some 'Rava' in our house and then we go to the fire temple. In the evening, either we go out or we have a party at home. We have good food at home with the family. That's how we enjoy our New Year," Dalal told mediapersons here. Clad in their traditional outfits, the Parsis greeted each other outside the temple. Another Parsi, Pervez Parekh, said that Parsis revere Fire as their principal divinity. The Zoroastrians, who migrated from Central Asia , were asked to adopt the culture (Gujarati culture) by the local ruler Jadi Rana. As a result, the immigrants accepted the culture and founded a settlement called 'Sanjan', a town in Valsad district of the present Gujarat . "Those (our ancestors) who came from Iran many years ago, settled in Sanjan area of Gujarat . The local ruler Jadi Rana gave us shelter. We have been living here since many centuries. Our mother language is Gujarati. We worship Fire as God," explained Parekh. As per the census of 2001, over 69,000 Parsis reside in Mumbai although their number has been declining over the years.

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