SUNDAY, JULY 25: It’s been six days since a New Year’s Noruz for some Zoroastrians, and so today is “Greater Noruz”—also known as Khordad Sal, the celebration of Prophet Zarathustra’s birth. Joyous parties are held, tantalizing community meals are prepared and grateful prayers are offered at fire temples on this, the most auspicious day of the year. (London Grid For Learning gives details of the holiday.) Since the actual date of Zoroaster’s birth is unknown, followers of the ancient Qadimi calendar choose today to reflect on their lives and focus on charity.
Zoroastrian legend has it that Zoroaster’s mother had a nightmare about the ending of the world during her pregnancy, but following this dream, an angel told her that her unborn child would become a great prophet with the power to reverse the destruction. Sometime around 628 BCE, Zoroaster was born into a world of chaos and violence. Legend has it that all of nature was joyous at the birth of the great prophet who would provide mankind with much-needed guidance and knowledge of the Divine Plan. While nature rejoiced, a baby was born whose face had a “golden light;” thus, Zarathustra received his name. Today, light and fire continue to be a central part of the Zoroastrian faith.
(By ReadTheSpirit columnist Stephanie Fenton)
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