Papeti Celebrations - 1999
On the day of HORMUZD in the month of FRAVARDIN, falls the Zoroastrian New Year. It is really called NAVROZE or NORUZ, but somehow the name PAPETI has stuck. The day of Papeti in reality, is the last day of the previous year and is a day of reflection and penance.
Technically, this day is the New Year, only for SHEHENSHAHI Zoroastrians. But the Zoroastrian Community is such a close-knit community, that every group, enjoys each others' New Years. Fortunately, there is NO friction between the three major 'sects' (for want of a better word) of Zoroastrians (phew!!!), like it is in some other religions, probably because the community is small almost miniscule, most of us are inter-married and Zoroastrians as a whole are a peaceful, fun-loving people. Also, the different 'sects' have not segregated due to ideological differences. The FASLI New Year falls every year on the Vernal Equinox (21st March) and it is called JAMSHEDI NAVROZE and is also celebrated by all members of the community, regardless.
Below is a description of the afternoon's events as described by Jehangir Mehta together with some more explanation of the Navroze Phenonmenon.
NEW YEAR'S DAY CELEBRATIONS 1999(1369 Y.Z)
Each year Zoroastrians continue to celebrate three new years based on the three calendars - Shenshai, Kadmi and Fasli. It is amusing that people wish to describe this event as Navroze, Noroz, Norooz, and Navruz or simply Navu Varas for Shenshai's. Essentially it means one and the same thing. NEW YEAR! What is even more confusing is that the New Year in both the Shenshai and Kadmi calendars continues to slip backwards due to intercalation lapses while the Faslis and the Zoroastrians in Iran continue to maintain the traditional celebration of the Noroz festival in spring. If one has to do a simple calculation, then in 600 years, the future Shenshai generation will sit down with Fasli brethren in celebrating their New Year on the same day.
In the meantime having three calendars gives license for Zoroastrians to be additionally merry!! This in addition to other non-Zoroastrian festivals that we delight in participating.
In the typical spirit of eat, drink and be merry, Perth Zoroastrians descended at Grand Palace restaurant in Perth Esplanade on Sunday 22 August 1999 for a Chinese luncheon. In keeping with the tradition, people dressed in their finery, co-mingled with their brethren, exchanging greetings. Some sat in polite conversation with each other, while others simply laid back and enjoyed the beautiful river views and the skyline of South Perth. And yet there were still others who in the true spirit of a Parsi, couldn't wait for luncheon to be served.
Planning and organization seemed the order of the day. Tables of ten assisted the staff in their serving. For some time, it appeared that the staff was playing some kind of numbers game with the spring rolls and snack platter. Lest no one missed out on the snack platter, hence this ploy. Much to everyone's delight, the numbers game ended abruptly, and then sumptuous and tasty dishes flowed generously to meet the gastronomical demands of everyone. A light desert of fruits complimented the luncheon.
What a perfect day with clear skies and temperature in the twenties. It almost seemed as though the heavens of the spiritual celestial world were rejoicing with us. This perfect backdrop seemed to linger with the festivity, which continued into the afternoon, with some members indulging in Karaoke entertainment.
ZAWA would like to thank everyone for their support and extend their best wishes for the New Year.
(Courtesy: Information sought from "Zoroastrianism An Ethnic Perspective" by Khojste Mistree)