The Fire Temple

The fire temple or places of worship are consecrated for prayers and sacred ceremonies. These places of worship are called Agiary or Atash Behram (fire temples). As there is no Fire Temple in Singapore, worship in Singapore is only conducted in private homes. In a Zoroastrian place of worship, or Fire Temple, shoes are removed and the head is covered with a cap or a scarf. In the innermost sanctum there is a fire on a central altar, symbolizing God’s presence and radiant energy. The fire is kept burning day and night and the ashes of the fire are offered to the congregation and applied to the forehead.

Belief

Ahura Mazda the Almighty God revealed the religion to Lord Zarathustra. The basic religious tenets are Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds. Prayers are to be performed five times a day.

Festivals

Ghambar translates to “full time” or “proper season”. These Parsi festivals honour the seasons, because they are responsible for the prosperity of humanity, and they occur six times a year. During these rituals, tribute is paid to the phases in the creation of the world. Each phase – heaven, water, earth, flora, fauna and man – is associated with one Ghambar and is celebrated over five days. Those who participate are expected to recall not only the blessings bestowed by the seasons, but also the seven main acts that a good Parsi must perform. They are radih or to give charity; rastih or to be truthful; to celebrate the Ghambars; to observe the three-day ceremony after death; to worship God; to build lodgings for the poor; and to wish everyone well. The Ghambar festival is expected to reinstil these feelings of brotherhood.

New Year or Navroz literally means “new day”. Inherited from Zoroastrian Persia, it is celebrated as a New Year feast by the Parsis of India. The day of celebration is March 21st, which coincides with the spring equinox and is called Jamshedi Navroz. It is a festival observed for the onset of spring. People join nature in making a fresh start, full of joy and hope for the coming year.

Diet

Food that conforms to the Jewish dietary law is called Kosher. Only meals, which have been prepared in accordance with the kosher dietary laws, should be served. All processed foods such as wine, bread and cheese as well as meats must be strictly kosher. Such food is marked with a hechsher (Kosher supervision seal), which certifies it as kosher.