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Jamshed Navaroz is a New Year, of the Parsis which is observed in the month of March .It is also known as Pateti or the Day of Repentence. People visit the Fire Temples and offer prayers and sandal-wood, and ask for forgivance for the misdeeds committed knowingly or unknowingly in the past year.
The Parsi New Year festival dates back to the reign of Emperor Jamshed in Persia, which where the Parsis originally came from.
On this festive day greetings, goodwishes, visits and presents are exchanged. This is also a day of charity, so food, money, clothes are given to the sick, needy and the poor.
Jamshedi Navroz is a festival celebrated by the people of Zoroastrinism. The festival is also known as the festival of hope, life and color and is celebrated with great enthusiasm. In India the festival is celebrated as a historic event to commemorate the coronation of King Jamshed, the fourth peshdadian king on the throne of ancient Iran. Though it is not the new year yet the festival has been linked to the enthronement of king Jamshed and hence is also known as Jamshedi Navroz. The day of the festival generally coincides with the vernal equinox, which is a day of equal day time and night falling on 21st March as per the Gregorian calendar. The completes its revolution of twelve constellations and re-enters Aries on this day, indicating that spring is about to begin.
According to Shahnameh, the Iranian epic, it is believed that God himself came and fore warned King Jamshed of a terrible snow storm which was about to come and submerge the world in layers of ice and snow, destroying most of its species. To protect the world from being completely destroyed and to ensure rebirth of life from the ashes King Jamshed was advised to take a couple from each species and go to a mountain to save himself and the good creations from the large scale destruction. He then established a settlement with the saved species and named it as Var - e - Jam - Kard meaning the settlement of Jamshed.
King Jamshed was crowned on the first day (Hormazd) of the first month of the parsi calendar which is Farvardin, by his settlement. The day was celebrated with great Jashn, singing and dancing everywhere in the kingdom. This day is celebrated in modern days as Jamshedi Naroz.
The first time celebration of the festival in India was started towards the end of eighteenth century when Seth Nasarvanji Kavasji Kohyaji first celebrated it in his bungalow in Surat. After a couple of decades the celebration started in Mumbai by Seth Merwanji Pandey and was further popularized by Khurshedji Rustamji Cama in 20th century. The festival is considered to be a festival of hope and light as on this day life began from a new beginning.