The celebration has its roots in Ancient Iran. Due to its antiquity, there exist various foundation myths for Nowruz in Iranian mythology. In the Zoroastrian tradition, the seven most important Zoroastrian festivals are the six Gahambars and Nowruz, which occurs at the spring equinox.
The Shahnameh dates Nowruz as far back to the reign of Jamshid, who in Zoroastrian texts saved mankind from a killer winter that was destined to kill every living creature.
The mythical Persian King Jamshid (Yima or Yama of the Indo-Iranian lore) perhaps symbolizes the transition of the Indo-Iranians from animal hunting to animal husbandry and a more settled life in human history. In the Shahnameh and Iranian mythology, he is credited with the foundation of Nowruz. In the Shahnameh, Jamshid constructed a throne studded with gems (Persepolis). He had demons raise him above the earth into the heavens; there he sat on his throne like the sun shining in the sky. The world's creatures gathered in wonder about him and scattered jewels around him, and called this day the New Day or No/Now-Ruz. This was the first day of the month of Farvardin (the first month of the Persian calendar).
As is typical of mythic hero-kings, Jamshid is also credited with the invention of most of the arts and sciences on which civilization is based-not to mention the construction of the ancient city of Persepolis,** the ruins of which are replete with astronomical and spiritual symbolism. In Zoroastrianism, light is the great symbol of God and goodness, whether witnessed in the light of the sun or in the sacred fire at the heart of the temple. The lengthening of days which occurs after the spring equinox is thus perceived as a symbol of the victory of light over the darkness of winter, a victory that is represented symbolically at Persepolis by the defeat of the bull of Taurus-the astrological constellation that rules during the rainy period-by the lion of Leo.Nowruz, Nauroz Chahar-Shanbeh-Suri Farvardigan Days History of Nowruz Celebrations of Nowruz Haji Firouz Nowruz Spread Spring-Cleaning Other Names of Nowruz Prayers of Nowruz Sizdah-Bedar Customs & Foods of Nowruz Significance & Symbolism Tradition & Mythology Hamaspathmaidyem Gahambar
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