A close-knit community, the Parsis migrated from Persia to India, when Akbar was the emperor of India. Settling in Gujarat and Maharashtra, the followers of the prophet Zarathushtra conformed to a fixed set of traditions and rituals, respecting nature and its four fundamental elements- Fire, Water, Earth and Air. Celebrating the Parsi New Year or Navroze, meaning new day, these fundamental elements have taken the form of fire, fragrance, friendship and food.

Parsis believe that it is integral to purify the air, and thereby your soul. Thus, especially on the Parsi New Year, you will find them beginning their day early on, with an aromatic bath in rosewater, then donning new clothes and a lovely fragrance. The house is decorated with flowers, and roses are said to induce a positive aura in the room, making it bright and extremely auspicious for the Navroze celebration. Incense is lit and sandalwood powder is sprinkled across the house. Visitors receive a generous spray of rosewater upon crossing the threshold to help spread the good aura.

Prayers are offered at the Fire Temple; adults will cover their head with black velvet caps, while the children have gold or silver brocade. The priest performs the “Jashan,” a thanksgiving prayer and sandalwood is offered to the Holy Fire, followed by greetings of "Sal Mubarak”.

Friendship and the strong bonds of society are further cemented on Navroze. Gatherings with friends and relatives are full of joyous camaraderie. Food is central, with a delectable spread of Parsi cuisine. A symphony of tastes, every item on the Navroze table signifies creation.

This year, the Parsi New Year sets the stage for feasting and indulgence on a grand scale. On August 17, partake in this happy occasion and come and experience authentic lip- smacking Parsi fare at ITC Hotels.

Celebrate this festival that welcomes health, productivity, wealth, and prosperity,  and as the Parsis tell one another, “*May there be rock candy in your mouth!”