Jamshed E Navroz is the first day of the first month of the Zoroastrian year. Parsis follow the Fasli calendar and their New Year commences with the Vernal Equinox. The festival is celebrated with lot of enthusiasm. All the rituals of Jamshedi Navroz are dutifully followed by the community. Parsis offer special prayers on the day, savour the fixed menu of the festival and greet each other.
Celebration of the festival dates back to over 3000 years when the legendary king of Persia, Jamshedji ascended the throne on the day of 'Navroz'. 'Nav' means new and 'Roz' means day. The day happened to be a vernal equinox.- when the length of the day equals that of the night. Navroz marked the transition from winter to summer. Later, the particular day came to known and celebrated as 'Jamshed Navroz Festival'.
It is also said, King Jamshedi introduced solar calculation into the Persian calendar and also determined the date when the Sun enters the constellation of Aries, in the beginning of the year. The advent of spring in February-March and the vernal equinox - these are the two events that mark the Jamshed-e-Navroz.
On this Occasions, it was customary for the king to be weighed in gold and silver, and the money was then distributed to the poor.
Parsis celebrate Navroz in a grand and elaborate fashion. They rejoice whole-heartedly and celebrate the day in a spirit of friendship, harmony and happiness.
They wear new clothes on the day and welcome the guests with a sprinkling of rosewater and rice and also applying tilak.
The traditional drink for Navroz is falooda - a preparation of milk flavoured with rose essence. There are special dishes for breakfast too - one is 'Ravo' prepared with suji, milk and sugar and the other is fried vermicelli cooked in sugar preparation and decorated with dry fruits.
After breakfast, people visit Fire Temple or Agiary for a special thanks giving prayer called , 'Jashan'. People also offer sandalwood to the Holy Fire. After the ceremony is over, all people greet each other by saying, 'Sal Mubarak'.
There is a fixed menu for lunch also. Pulav is a an integral part of Navroz while plain rice and moong dal is a must. There is also a custom to give charity.
Besides, there is a custom to keep a copy of the Gathas, a lit lamp, an afrigan, a bowl of water containing live fish, a shallow earthenware plate with sprouted wheat or beans for prosperity, flowers for colour, a silver coin for wealth, painted eggs for productivity, and sweets and rosewater in bowls for sweetness and happiness on a table. Apart from these, the table also has seven foods beginning with 'sh' and 's'. These are meant to symbolise creation.