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North American Zoroastrians embrace Nowruz with hope for a ‘New Day’ for the people of Iran, Ukraine, and underserved populations around the world


Celebrated by millions around the world, Nowruz symbolizes renewal, rejuvenation, and the onset of Spring in the Northern hemisphere

BURR RIDGE, Ill. — FEZANA, the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America, announced Zoroastrians throughout North America will celebrate Nowruz today, the official start of the Vernal equinox, Monday, March 20. Translating in Persian to ‘New Day’ Nowruz is revered and celebrated by diverse populations, religions and communities of people around the world.

Each year, Nowruz unites Zoroastrians and all who celebrate this revered and auspicious day, featuring gatherings with loved ones, communal celebrations and prayers for peace in a continuingly hostile world. From the oppression of women in Iran and the brutal annihilation of life and infrastructure in Ukraine, to tragic and rampant mass shootings in the United States, the right to freedom and basic human rights remains under assault.

“This Nowruz, we honor the courage, will and bravery of those who struggle to simply remain alive, who celebrate each new day as if it were their last, and we call on religions, leaders, nations and decision-makers to act beyond their own self-interests to fight for equality, truth and justice,” said FEZANA President Arzan Sam Wadia. “In North America, Nowruz starts at home for most Zoroastrians around beautifully decorated haft-seen tables, and extends to larger communal gatherings with food, drink and music with friends and loved ones.”

Wadia said FEZANA will mark the occasion through its next generation wing, Zoroastrian Youth of North America (ZYNA), who will hold a special (virtual) Nowruz concert featuring performances by talented Zoroastrian musicians and vocalists across North America. Other activities include: community prayers and celebrations at FEZANA member associations and small groups across Canada and the United States, museum exhibits, tree plantings and family gatherings.

“On behalf of our Mobeds (Zoroastrian clergy) across Canada and the United States, we wish the world a joyous and peaceful Nowruz,” said Ervad Tehemton Mirza, President of the North American Mobeds Council. “May Ahura Mazda guide us toward the path of Asha (righteousness), and make us sensitive to the plight of our citizens and their human rights. May peace and harmony prevail on Earth.” 

Zoroastrians are followers of one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions founded by the prophet Zarathushtra more than 3,000 years ago in ancient Iran. Zoroastrians have long served as bridge builders in interfaith dialogue, believing in truth, righteousness, charity, beneficence, respect and care for the environment, and the triumph of good over evil. 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, the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America (FEZANA) represents a diverse and growing Zarathushti community in the western diaspora. Guided by the blessings of Ahura Mazda and the teachings of prophet Zarathushtra, the non-profit federation serves as the coordinating body for 27 Zoroastrian associations and 14 corresponding groups in Canada and the United States. The activities of FEZANA are conducted in a spirit of mutual respect, cooperation and unity among all member associations, and with due regard for the Zarathushti principles of goodness, truth, reason, benevolence, implicit trust and charity toward all mankind. Visit and follow FEZANA on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @TheFEZANA.


Jim Engineer
[email protected]

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.

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