The Zoroastrian Association of California (ZAC) celebrated the 7th salgreh of its holy Atashkadeh with great religious fervor and Parsi gusto on 12th November, 2023. The preparations started a day earlier with deep-cleaning of the premises by volunteers Vira and Burjor Santoke, Dhun and Ketty Alamshaw, Jimmy Colabewala, Firoze Avari, Xerxes, Zane and Zara Commissariat, Ruzbe, Zubin and Farzan Daruwalla, Mehernosh Pithawalla, Kerman and Annu Dungore, Khushroo Dubash, and Er. Zerkxis and Er. Zarrir Bhandara, the Panthaki of the Atashkadeh.
On the day of Salgreh, in the wee hours of the morning, beautiful chowk designs (rangoli) were created by Annu and Kerman Dungore, with har – torans by Rukshana Colabewala. A Hama Anjuman Maachi was offered to the holy Atashpadshah in all five gehs. An excellent turnout of about 75 Zarthostis were present for the Jashan which was performed in the morning by Ervads Ardaviraf Minocheherhomji, Kian Arzan Lali and the dynamic father-son duo Ers. Zerkxis and Zarir Bhandara.
After the Jashan, Er. Zarrir thanked donors – Hootoxi and Dr. Ervad Ardaviraf Minocheherhomji, who also sponsored the celebrations, and shared a brief talk explaining the terms including ‘Agiary’ as a Sanskrit word meaning ‘Agni rakhvani jagya’, or ‘Atashkadeh’ in Persian, which can store all the three grades of holy fires – Dadgah, Adaran and the Atash Behram fire. He explained that the ZAC Ataskadeh, which houses the Dadgah fire, was duly consecrated under the guidance of Dasturji Dr. Firoze M. Kotwal.
Er. Zarrir the importance of service, saying serving our community and humanity in general is serving God. He also emphasized the importance of focusing on our feelings, and emotions, as transforming our feelings, we can transform our thoughts, words, deeds, and our life.
He then invited Er. Dr. Minocheherhomji who shared that service was even more important than making donations, praising the Ervads who devotedly serve the community. He further said that we were a peace-loving, bridge-building community and it was important that we stay united and spread peace in the world by decreasing the negativity and increasing the positivity, quoting from the Haft Amshaspand Afrin.
Giving the vote of thanks, ZAC President – Rooky Fitter thanked the ex-President Tehmi Damania and the ZAC community for their stupendous teamwork, commending how they had come a long way and would continue to progress further, unitedly. Chasni was then served alongside delicious food prepared by ZAC members, as the celebrations ended on a note of merriment, laughter, unity and gratitude.