Mihragan

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Mihragan

February, March, October; 16th day of Mihr, the seventh Zoroastrian month
Mihragan probably was adapted from the ancient Persian Feast of Mithra. The 16th of Mihr is considered a "sacred name day" because both the day and the month share the name of the Zoroastrian spiritual being or yazata known as Mihr (or Meher, or sometimes Mithra), who presides over justice and who is traditionally identified with the sun. In the Zoroastrian religion, name-day feasts are cerebrated with special religious services which may be performed in a fire temple, a meeting hall, or a private home by either priests or laypeople.
Mihragan is the festival of the Autumnal Equinox, and as such, it should occur exactly six months after the festival of the Vernal Equinox, Jamshed Navaroz, which falls on the first day of the first Zoroastrian month. Because the month is Mihr, it was thought to be more appropriate to celebrate the festival on the day—in this case, the 16th—that bears the same name as the month.
Mihragan is also associated with a legendary ancient event—the day on which the heroic Faridun ascended the throne of Persia after killing the mythical evil ruler Zohak.
The Zoroastrian calendar has 12 months of 30 days each, plus five extra days at the end of the year. Because of discrepancies in the calendars used by widely separated Zoroastrian communities around the world, there are now three different calendars in use, and Mihragan can fall either in February, March, or October according to the Gregorian calendar.
There are only about 100,000 followers of Zoroastrianism today, and most of them live in northwestern India or Iran. Smaller communities exist in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Canada, the U.S., England, and Australia.
SOURCES:
RelHolCal-2004, p. 68
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