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Yummy! Navroz is not about one day

JUST STEP into a Parsi household on Navroz and you will smell oh-so-yummy food, greet smiling faces and admire their sparkling clean home. And why not? Navroz is a big day and the biggest festival for the Parsis. It is the first day of the first month of the Zoroastrian year.

india Updated: Aug 21, 2006 00:40 IST

JUST STEP into a Parsi household on Navroz and you will smell oh-so-yummy food, greet smiling faces and admire their sparkling clean home.

And why not? Navroz is a big day and the biggest festival for the Parsis.
It is the first day of the first month of the Zoroastrian year. Parsi Anjuman at Mira Bai Marg houses as many as 25 Parsi families, who get together to celebrate the day with much fun and fare.

“Navroz is not just about one day. We start preparing for the day well in advance. We try and get new clothes for our family, clean up our houses and buy new stuff. We try and change the upholstery and linen of the home,” says Daisy Homavazir, a resident of the Parsi Anjuman.

“On Navroz, we get up early in the morning and say prayers. In Lucknow, we don’t have a Fire Temple so we have to say our prayers at home,” says she.
“Later in the day, we visit friends and family and at night we have a community get together followed by a feast,” adds Homavazir.

Everybody at Parsi Anjuman gets together in the evening and celebrates the day. Other Parsi families are also invited. Everybody pays about Rs 75 per head for the dinner. A number of games are organised for the children besides a couple of rounds of Tambola for the adults.

Food plays a vital role on Navroz. Parsi food is a delicious blend of West Indian and Indian cuisine. Parsis being basically non-vegetarian, fish, mutton, chicken, nuts, spices and fruits are bought a day before and a variety of dishes are prepared for the following day of Navroz.

On Navroz, the breakfast usually consists of two special dishes. One is the “Ravo” made with suji, milk and sugar and the other is fried vermicelli cooked in sugar syrup peppered with lots of fried dry fruits. “However, for lunch it is essential that we cook arhar dal and plain rice.

Along with this fried fish and sweet dahi can be served but dal and rice is a must,” say community members. And the dinner is a lavish affair “consisting of chicken, fish, mutton.” The majority of the Parsis stay at the Parsi Anjuman but a few families that stay elsewhere also celebrate their day in exactly similar fashion.