Springing Forward with the Zoroastrian New Year and Other Religious Holidays


Are you ready for Zoroastrian New Year?

Our Psychiatry & Society video series is taking a short break. For now, enjoy this rerun with additional new commentary.

Once again, we are running a spring break re-run video about the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the associated religious holidays, this year inspired by the work on a new book on The Eastern Traditions, Spirituality, and Psychiatry.

We are focusing on the Zoroastrian New Year. This holiday of Nowruz falls on the Vernal Equinox, the first day of spring in the Persian New Year. It celebrates kinship, the beauty of spring, and fresh starts. There are often parades, plantings, and parties to reflect that focus.

Zoroastrianism was founded centuries ago by the prophet Zarathustra, who emphasized the light of overcoming bigotry and ignorance. He is the person who inspired the philosopher Nietzsche’s book Thus Spoke Zarathustra and a musical tone poem by Richard Strauss, the beginning of which seemed to set the stage for the science fiction movie “2002, A Space Odyssey.”

Zoroastrianism has a belief in one God and its worship often is concerned with protecting the Earth, water, and air, so fitting for our times. Their Code of Ethics is sometimes summarized as: Good Words, Good Thoughts, and Good Deeds.

I look forward to the book chapter that is scheduled to be written by Pirooz Sholevar, MD.

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. He is an advocate for mental health issues related to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism for a better world. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times™.

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