Search

Redbridge Zoroastrians celebrate the coming of spring with feast at home of former mayor

PUBLISHED: 12:13 26 March 2018 | UPDATED: 22:29 26 March 2018

Members of the borough's Zoroastrian community.Photo: Aaron Walawalkar

Members of the borough's Zoroastrian community.Photo: Aaron Walawalkar

Archant

The borough’s Zoroastrian community marked the coming of spring with a feast at the home of a former Redbridge mayor.

The Recorder were invited to the home of Filly Maravala, in Mortlake Road, Ilford, to celebrate and learn more about Jamshedi Noruz on Wednesday (March 21).

Noruz - translating roughly as “new day” - takes place annually on the night of the vernal equinox - the date on which both day and night last around the same length.

The festival also takes it name from the mythical Iranian King Jamshed who, as legend has it, saved the world from a great deluge after receiving a divine intervention from the revered deity Ahura Mazda.

Fire is central to the traditional Noruz ceremony, Mr Maravala explained.

“You would say your prayers at home and wear what we call a Dugli [a white dress traditional to Parsis],” he said.

“We then go to the fire temple and lay sticks of sandalwood by the venerated fire altar.”

“Priests take the sticks in a ladle and place it into the fire so that it can continue to burn.”

But, as there are no consecrated temples in the UK, Mr Maravala recites special prayers at home and hosts a get together in the evening.

On either side of his front door of Mr Maravala’s home are intricate chalk drawings displaying good luck symbols designed to ward away evil spirits.

Indoors, the walls of Mr Maravala’s home are decorated with ornate Asho Farohar - the religion’s inconic winged emblem - and tapestries portraying Iranian King Shah Lohrasp and diety Aho Zoroaster.

Beneath Mr Maravala’s smart polo shirt he, and other guests, wear the traditional sudreh shirt kusti belt, made up of a 72 strands to symbolise the 72 prayers of the Holy Zoroastrian scripture the Avesta.

Describing the sudreh shirt, Mr Maravala said: “There’s a pocket in the front to collect good deeds and pocket in the back for bad deeds.”

After clinking their glasses together to cheers of “Noruz Mubarak,” the guests ate a three course meal topped off with a glass of falooda - a drink containing rose syrup, ice cream, sweet basil seeds and vermicelli.

Latest Ilford Stories

The former Stevenage midfielder is slowly building up his fitness after a difficult summer on the sidelines

12:00

Two boxers from Gator ABC represented the Hainhault based club in the National ABA Youth Championships held in Hayes on Sunday.

Super Snodgrass is loving every miuute with the Hammers

11:00

St Mary’s Lane club lost 24-14 at home on Saturday

The experienced winger, who will turn 30 on Wednesday, suffered a knee injury during the 1-0 loss at Boreham Wood

42 minutes ago

The chair of governors of a Wanstead primary school is quitting in protest of the Diocese of Brentwood’s plans to turn it into an academy.

Carolers lit candles to remember those who died homeless in the borough in the past year at a Christmas concert in Ilford town centre.

12:00

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting visited students at Ilford County High School to talk about why he first got involved in politics, what it means to be an MP and why students might consider a career in politics.

PROMOTED CONTENT

The Exchange in Ilford has added a state-of-the-art, Savannah-themed play area, with hand painted animal sculptures, to its brand new family zone, designed by American creative agency Playtime

Are you an unpaid carer aged 25 or over? Are you interested in working towards getting into or back into work? Do you need practical help and support to get ready for this big step? If your answer is yes to at least two of these questions read on.

Struggling to find a buyer for your home in a slower market? We speak to Ilford property expert Nina Kaura from Portico about the Crossrail effect and why getting things right first time will get you the best price for your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

Ilford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now