Khordad Sal – The birthday of Zoroaster

The Birthday of Zarathushtra, also known as Zoroaster, is one of the most important Zoroastrian festivals.

Zoroastrianism is said to be one of the oldest monotheistic religions in the world.  Founded by the Prophet Zoroaster in ancient Iran over 3,500 years ago, it was one of the most powerful religions in the world for 1,000 years and was the official religion of Persia (Iran) from 600 BCE to 650 CE.  However, it is now one of the world’s smallest faiths, with an estimated 2.6million followers.

Although the actual date of Zoroaster’s birth cannot be accurately identified, the festival of Khordad Sal is when it is celebrated.  Khordad means perfection, and this purity is often represented symbolically by fire.

Zoroastrians celebrate with a thanksgiving ceremony or jashan, where they listen to stories of his miraculous birth and life.  Followers are also encouraged to reflect on ways in which they can improve their lives and that of those around them.  Celebration follows, often with a lavish community meal, a drink and a dance.  Before the day, houses and temples will have been thoroughly cleaned, and garlands of fresh flowers hung in the doorways.  Families gather together if possible, and those not in attendance are remembered in prayer.

Mary Vickers moved to North East Lincolnshire in 2010, from the Wiltshire/Hampshire border, to become Urban and Industrial Chaplain NELincs. Made redundant in 2017, she's maintained many of her connections within the business, faith, and other local communities. She's also decided to stay here rather than return to either the south or her husband's native Yorkshire, so that she can continue to enjoy and help promote the positives of NELincs.

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