ZOROASTRIANS THROUGHOUT NORTH AMERICA CELEBRATE ANCIENT TRADITION OF NOWRUZ, USHERING IN A ‘NEW DAY’ TO MARK THE TURN OF THE SPRING EQUINOX
Burr Ridge, Illinois, March 11, 2017 – FEZANA (www.fezana.org), the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America, today announced Zoroastrian organizations throughout North America will mark the celebration of Nowruz (pron. nouˈɾuːz), Tuesday, March 21, 2017, the official turn of the Zoroastrian New Year and the Spring equinox in the Northern hemisphere.
Zoroastrian associations throughout North America will celebrate Nowruz with prayer ceremonies, participation in Nowruz parades, museum exhibits, tree plantings, social gatherings and, most unique to Nowruz, by decorating beautiful Haft Senee1 (seven trays) tables at home with traditional Nowruz symbols.
“The Zoroastrian community in North America is united, vibrant and growing, and we are honored to join other religions and cultures who celebrate the beauty and renewal of Nowruz,” said FEZANA President Homi D. Gandhi. “From celebrations and parades in major metropolitan areas to beautiful haft-seen tables adorning homes in communities throughout North America, Nowruz represents resolution and the celebration of a new beginning.”
Zoroastrians are followers of one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions founded by the prophet Zarathushtra approximately 3,755 years ago in ancient Iran. Zoroastrians have long-served as bridge builders in interfaith dialogue, believing in truth, righteousness, charity, beneficence, respect for the environment and the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
Zoroastrianism, founded circa 1738 BCE, is credited to be one of the oldest monotheistic religions. Zoroastrianism flourished as the imperial religion of three Persian empires, those of the Achaemenians, Parthians and Sassanians, and was the dominant religion from Turkey, and eastward to China during those times. North America’s Zoroastrian community includes those who arrived from the Indian subcontinent, known as Parsis, and those who came directly from Iran seeking religious freedom.
Founded in 1987 and celebrating its 30-year anniversary, FEZANA serves as the coordinating body for 26 Zoroastrian member associations and 15 corresponding groups throughout the United States and Canada. FEZANA promotes the study, understanding and practice of the Zoroastrian faith in North America. FEZANA represents the interests of its member associations, and carries out philanthropic and charitable activities worldwide. FEZANA Journal, FEZANA’s publication of record, circulates to Zoroastrian households in more than 22 countries, as well as to scholars, academicians and religious organizations worldwide.
1 Note to editors: more information on Haft Senee tables and the philosophy behind the Nowruz table can visit: http://ahura.homestead.com/files/NouRouz/NOU_ROUZ_TABLE-PHILOSOPHY.pdf
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