Dae Dadaar – The Holy Month of Thanksgiving!

Today (13th May, 2023) is Roj Hormuzd of the Holy Month of Dae. Both, today’s Roj (day) and Mah (month) is dedicated to the Supreme Divinity (Ahura Mazda), and therefore considered one of the most auspicious days in the Zoroastrian calendar.

The term Ahura Mazda is usually translated as Ahura (Lord) and Mazda (Wisdom). However, more liberally translated Ahura is Creator (and therefore Lord or Master of all creations) and Mazda is wisdom or the Divine Order within all things created by Ahura. In other words, this universe is created with ‘Divine Order or Principles’ also referred to by Zarathustra as Asha.

One of the reasons why Zoroastrians revere all good creations (fire, earth, water, vegetation, sun, moon etc.) is because they do not see Ahura Mazda as some external force outside of creation, but an internal force within every creation.


Mah Dae Dadaar is a month of thanksgiving to the Creator and one way in which gratitude is ritually expressed or offered is by performing Jashan ceremonies either at home, at the office or at an Aatash Behram/Agyari.

It is considered most meritorious to perform Jashan on each of the four special days of this month (Day One – Hormuzd, Day Eight – Dae Adar, Day Fifteen – Dae Meher and Day Twenty-three – Dae Deen), which are dedicated to the Supreme Creator and the Yazata having the Creator’s aspect, presiding over Fire (Dae-pa Adar); Light and Justice (Dae-pa Meher); and the Religion (Dae-pa Deen). Each of these four days is referred to as Jashan of Dadvah (or Jashan of the Creator).

Dae Dadaar is a month to express our gratitude and experience happiness that arises out of our very expression of gratitude. Gratitude or thanksgiving is a powerful positive force. It has real impact on physical health, emotional wellbeing, motivation, engagement and belonging. Gratitude is also the root of happiness, an antidote for negative emotions, a neutralizer of envy, greed, hostility, worry, and irritation.

Emerging research enumerates multiple benefits of gratitude.  People who are consistently grateful have been found to be relatively happier, more energetic, and more hopeful and experiencing more frequent positive emotions. They also tend to be more helpful and empathic, more forgiving and less materialistic than others who are less predisposed to gratefulness.

Hormuzd Yasht…

While the Hormuzd Yasht may be prayed daily, it is considered particularly meritorious to pray this Yasht (hymn) during this Holy Month. It is composed mostly in the Avesta language with some Pazand passages, dedicated to Ahura Mazda. In this hymn Asho Zarathushta inquires of Ahura Mazda as to which of his names (which also denote Ahura Mazda’s innate qualities) are most powerful to protect the devotee against all types of evil. Ahura Mazda provides the first set of twenty names which also gives us a glimpse into His Divine attributes.

The very first name and attribute is nāma ahmi or self-created and self-existent. The second name is vāthwyō or protector while the third is avi-tanyō or omnipresent. The fourth name is asha vahishta or best righteousness while the fifth is vīspa vohu mazdadhāta asha-chithra or possessing every-goodness of pure origin.

In other words, Ahura Mazda is self-created (Khu-da) without beginning or end, the protector of all good creations, present in every creation, righteous and all good.

Loving Divinity…

In certain religious traditions, the Supreme Divinity is perceived as a fearsome divinity (the adjective – God-fearing is quite common in the English lexicon). However, in the Zoroastrian tradition, Ahura Mazda is not to be feared but simply loved, respected and befriended. In the Zoroastrian tradition and particularly in the Gatha, the Supreme Divinity is referred to as ‘Friya’ (Sanskrit Priya) which means friend or beloved. In other words, a Zoroastrian’s relationship with God is built, not on the basis of awe or fear, but of friendship and love.

God is to be loved, not feared for his wrath. God is to be considered as a friend and not as a demanding or domineering Lord who constantly puts his subjects to tests and sacrifices. In the Zoroastrian tradition, God is not to be pleased with sacrifices or fasts. In fact, as a ‘friend’, Ahura Mazda wants all His friends to enjoy Ushta or happiness. In the Zoroastrian calendar of 365 days, there is not a single day set aside for fasting – all that Ahura Mazda wants His friends to fast from is from doing wrong – in thought, word or deed.

Befriending Divinity…

How best can we befriend Dadaar Hormuzd? Those who pray the Hoshbam at dawn would recollect praying, “Asha vahishta, asha sraeshta, daresāma thwā, pairi thwā jamyāma, hamem thwā hakhma,” which means, “Through the best righteousness, excellent righteousness, O Ahura Mazda, may we catch sight of Thee and may we come near Thee and attain Thy eternal friendship.” From this, one can see that we can earn God’s eternal friendship by walking on the path of Asha (truth and righteousness).

In this Holy month of Dae, may each one of us endeavour to earn Ahura Mazda’s friendship through our daily conscious effort to walk on the path of Asha. For indeed the Colophon to Yasna asserts, “There is but one path, that of Asha. All other paths are false.”

Dae Mah Celebrations In Ancient Iran:

In ancient times, when Zoroastrianism was the state religion of Iran, on Roj Hormuzd of Mah Dae, the great kings of yore used to descend from their throne, dress in simple white garb, suspend for the day the duties of all royal attendants, and make themselves available to any common citizen who wanted to interact with the king.

The kings would hold meetings with small landowners and farmers – even share simple meals with them. This tradition was an annual reminder that to the Supreme Divinity, Dadaar Hormuzd, king and commoner are all one and the same. It celebrated friendship with God and all his creations – particularly friendship among human beings, rich or poor, royal or commoner.

May we celebrate this Holy Month with gratitude, friendship, love, understanding and giving!

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