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Zoroastrianism: Practices Rituals and Festivals

Page history last edited by Cassie 12 years, 1 month ago



Zoroastrian style funeral       


One of the practices of the Zoroastrian people (which number to about 250,000 worldwide, this includes: India, Iran, and Pakistan) is to place their dead in an open topped building. These buildings were named “Towers of Silence” or “Dokhmas.” The bodies were decomposed by vultures, bugs and weather conditions because the Earth and Fire were too sacred of elements to be contaminated with bodies of the dead. To help speed up the process the followers created structures to use the sun as a way to burn the rotting corpses. This was considered being the work of Angra Mainyu, who cursed death upon this person and making their body now tainted or impure. In most countries this is illegal and through being forced to choose one option, they chose cremation. Also it is becoming hard to sustain this ritual because of the decrease in vultures so another form of disposing is necessary.   


To be accepted


     There is a ceremony that children must undergo to be accepted into the Zoroastrian faith, this is called a Navjote. In this celebration the child is given a kusti which is a cord that has been knotted 3 times to represent “Good words, Good thoughts, and Good deeds.” The children wrap this around the sudreh (completely white t shirt). In this ceremony they all start by first washing their hands and then commence their praying. These prayers are lead by a Mobed, which is a Zoroastrian priest.


How to pray, the Zoroastrian way


When they pray at any time they must face the sun or any source of fire to represent the Ahura Mazda’s wisdom and presence. The fires are kept in the Fire Temples and are never put out; they can not have any type of ceremony without the presence of a fire.    


Zoroastrian Feasts


Zoroastrian people all come together to celebrate at 6 specific times of the year, they are said to celebrate these for the changing of the seasons. 

These are the six:

-Maidyozarem ('mid-spring' feast)

-Maidyoshahem ('mid-summer' feast)

-Paitishahem (feast of 'bringing in the harvest')

-Ayathrem ('bringing home the herds')

-Maidyarem ('mid-year'/winter feast)

-Hamaspathmaidyem (feast of 'All Souls')




Boyce, Mary -. New York, USA. 5 July 2001. 9 Oct. 2008



Unknown name, -. United Kingdom, BBC. 20 July 2006. 6 Oct. 2008 http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/zoroastrian/beliefs/god.shtml#top.


Unknown Name, -. Wikipedia. 9 Oct. 2008. 9 Oct. 2008


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