What is a Gahambar? (TMY-Jame Jamshed of 2-7-17)

  1. The Gahambars are a special 6 sets of 5 days in a year to thank God for His 6 Good Creations – Sky, Water, Earth, Vegetation, Animal & Man – in their evolutionary order. The word Gahambar comes from the Pahlavi gāsānbār which literally means “the time for collection.”  The ‘collection’ here refers to collecting Nature’s Blessings. It is the time when nature is most generous in distributing her blessings.

 

  1. The celebration of Gahambar includes two components: a. Performance of rituals like Afringan, Baj, Visparad and Yasna, and b. Feasting, where traditionally rich and poor eat on a common platform, without barriers of rank and class. Hence Gahambar is a time for community bonding.

 

  1. Presently, in India, a Gahambar is celebrated as a community event where Zoroastrians congregate for a thanks giving lunch or dinner generally preceded by the performance of a ritual. The feasting may be sponsored either for a living person, in memory of a dear departed or simply as an act of spiritual merit. Generous Zoroastrians sponsor a Gahambar in memory of their dear departed ones as an act of spiritual merit. In Iran the Gambars are still celebrated in the original spirit, with prayers and communal food.

 

  1. Each of the six Gahambars is celebrated during the Zoroastrian calendar year for a period of five days each. They are celebrated on 5 particular roj (days) in the months of Ardibahesht, Tir, Shahrevar, Meher, Dae and on the 5 Gatha days.

 

  1. Religious texts consider the celebration of Gahambar an act of highest religious merit. And one of man’s religious duties. Since some Zoroastrians may fail to celebrate Gahambars when they are alive, Gahambars are also celebrated in their honour after their passing away.

 

6. The celebration of Gahambar can foster the spirit of unity and harmony in the Community. It can lead beyond the rich and poor divide, beyond the rank and class barriers. Its celebration is an opportunity for the community to come together forgetting the differences and work towards the common end of progress and prosperity.

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