ZAWA Celebrates Jamshedi Navroze 1999
KING JAMSHED of ancient Iran was a divinely inspired king. He had received the Kayanian Khoreh (Royal Glory) for his devotion and obedience to God and commitment towards his royal duties. His divinity was evident in his brilliant and pious face.
His subjects were very healthy and happy. People in King Jamshed's reign were introduced to many new arts, skills and trades. King Jamshed introduced the art of brick making and clay plastering. Sea faring was introduced to the people. Metals were made from ores and several tools were made from metals. King Jamshed introduced many medicinal plants and herbs by which he was able to relieve deseases and restore people to good health.
King Jamshed had developed an urn known as a "JAM" (pronounced 'jaam') by the use of which, he was able to know the past and the future. This urn came to be known as "JAM-E-JAMSHED". A weekly tabloid in the Gujarati language, which is popular among the Gujarati speaking Zoroastrians in India, has been named after this instrument.
To celebrate the ascension to the throne of this great king, Zoroastrians gather on the first day of spring (Northern Hemisphere), which is also the vernal equinox each year (21st of March) and celebrate in their own unique way. Lights (divo) are lit in the houses, prayers are recited. A trip to the fire temple preferably in the "Havan gah" (sunrise to about 5 hours afterwards), is made.
In some households, a table is laid out. On the table is a copy of the Avesta, which symbolizes guidance for a good life. The picture of Zarathushtra alongside it reminds us of the Founder of the Good Religion and the Conveyer of the Divine Message. The mirror reflects our past and shows us our present, so that we can plan our future with thought. The candles represent warmth, light and energy to lead a righteous life. The incense gives off the fragrance we need to pray to God and ask for His help and guidance. The live gold fish in a bowl symbolize a happy life, full of activity and movement. Plates of green sprouts (which have been soaked to grow on china places or earthenware pots some ten days or so in advance) represent creativity and productivity, as do the colourfully painted eggs. Then, there are seven items beginning with the letter "s", these being serkeh (vinegar), sumac, sir (garlic), samanu (a halwa made from germinating wheat), sib (apple), senjed (berry of the sorb tree), and sabzi (fresh, green herbs). Also on the same table are seven plates containing items beginning with the letters "sh" - sharab (wine), shakar (sugar), shir (milk), shireh (syrup), shahd (honey), shirini (candy), and shir-berenj (rice pudding). This very elaborately set up table is a way of giving thanks to God for all the good and beautiful things bestowed upon us by Him.
Zoroastrians of Western Australia gathered at the d'Tandoor Restaurant. Situated at 568 Canning Highway in the suburb of Attadale, Perth, this restaurant is the latest in restaurants to serve Indian cuisine. The simple but impressive 'RAJ' style decor catches one's eyes as soon as one enters. Tables are laid out in various rooms and on the back verandah.
The 75 strong crowd seated themselves in comfort, most of them on the back verandah, facing the swimming pool and getting a glimpse of the Tandoor Cook, doing his majic of preparing soft and fresh Naans. Since everybody could not fit on this verandah, some had to seat themselves in the rooms. Youngsters chose to seat themselves in one of the rooms.
An ample supply of fresh crisp Papadams were served with the drinks, which were BYO or could be purchased at the restaurant. The main menu consisted of Chicken Makkhani (Butter Chicken), Lamb Masala, Vegetable Korma, Pullao Rice, Dal and those tender tender Naans. The desert consisted of an unlimited supply of mouth watering Gulab Jamuns just waiting to be devoured by us.
Mr. David Pitchai and his team of professional caterers performed a superb job and delighted the palates of one and all.