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Jacquie Grieve, Chair of the Redbridge Faith Forum
Friday, March 21, 2014
The Zoroastrian New Year is being held today.
Known as Naw-Ruz or Noruz, it is seventh obligatory feast and it is dedicated to fire.
Today is the first day of the Zoroastrian New Year.
Many people believe that what they do on this day will affect and influence the rest of the year.
Preparations for Noruz start with thorough cleaning of homes and businesses.
Further, traditions include meeting and greeting friends and family and enjoying a special meal together.
It is one of the most important festivals for the Zoroastrians for it is believed that Zoroaster himself started this tradition.
The Baha’i community also celebrate Naw-Ruz at the same time.
After sundown yesterday – the eve of the vernal equinox – Baha’is throughout the world will celebrate Naw-Ruz, the start of the Baha’i New Year.
For Baha’is this is a religious holiday that marks the end of the Nineteen Day Fast.
In addition, Wednesday commemorates Khordad Sal, the Birth of Prophet Zarathushtra (in the Fasli calendar) for our Zoroastrian friends.
Khordad Sal is celebrated as the birthday of Zoroaster.
This is known as the ‘Greater Noruz’ and happens six days after Noruz.
The chosen date is symbolic since the actual date of the Prophet’s birth cannot be identified accurately.
This festival is considered one of the most important in the Zoroastrian calendar.
Zoroastrians gather in Fire temples for prayers and then celebrate with feasting. “