Having gained the independence, restoration of “Avesto” is one of the priceless achievement and traditions of the Republic of Uzbekistan. As President I. A. Karimov writes, “Spiritual-moral restoration includes the attitude of a person to the land and its resources”. Land, air, water and fire had been valued in Central Asia from early ages and was respected highly by our ancestors from Zaroastrianism to Islam” [1, c. 530–531].
“Avesto” is not only an East religion, but it is referred as primitive manuscript illustrating great human characters. It is illustrated the main features, obligatios of “Mazdonism” and Yazdoni as the only Creator. “Avesto” gives priceless information about socio-economic and cultural processes, traditions of early statehood, the place of several social levels in society, imperfectness of the people, life style and customs, and the ideology of that period [2, c. 60].
The appearance of Zaroastrian ceremonies connected with the very ancient ceremonies, especially the features of family ceremonies as funerals have been partly investigated by scholars . However, in these inquires was paid less attention to the symbiosis of several religious approaches and their connection with the lifestyle of the Uzbeks of Khorasm. Taking these into consideration, we tried to illustrate the problems based on the sources and field investigations.
When Zoroastrianism appeared, burying the dead was strongly prohibited. According to the profess of Zoroastrians, death was the symbol of badness, the god brought illness an dead was called Akhriman [4, c. 60]. As the death was considered bad side of life and the affair of ruthless powers, there were special people to wash the dead body. The body of the dead person was considered defiled and it was put in a special room which was 30 metres away from fire, water, plants and relatives [5, c. 60].
Relatives of the dead person and clergymen had read the special prays of Zaroastrianism for three days.during the ceremony, having meals and drinking water was restricted [6, c. 25]. Undoubtly, it must be said in this situation that the the traditions above-mentioned has not been disappeared compeletely and some of them can be observed in the lifestyle of our nation. For instance, the ceremonies like these have been kept in Khorazm. After the death of of an Uzbek of Khorazm, in his house is called “kholpo”, there are done special prays and advice. This is called “night fotiha”.
According to the education of Zoroastrianism, the live of a dead person stays in his body for three days, on the fourth day, he must go over a bridge of tat world “Chinvot” (fibre bridge) following his fiancée — in the appearance of an angel [7, c. 71]. The feature of this bridge is that, the bridge broadens for good people and they enter the paradise. The bridge shortens for the people who lost their way under the impact of bad powers. They face to the pains and fall down the hell. Ideas about fibre bridge is existed in the ideas of people, it broadens and people who did good works go to the paradise.
Zaroastrians obeyed to the faith of the Sacred land and it was considered as the provider of the whole existence and it did not have to be spoilt [8, c. 137]. When the ghost of the dead left, his body was left on the hiils far away from cities and villages. Animals and birds ate the body. The faster the bones left, the more the dead were respected [9, c. 32]. Mourning lasted three days for good people and 60 days for bad people in accordance with “Avesto” [10, c. 32]. So, they mourned more for bad people as fine.
In that period, the mountains were considered as the places where gods lived. Secondly, they thought that the ghost of the dead freed from the body in short period and rose easily in the sky . Preserving the ghosts of ancestors, tribes kept their bones in “ostadons-bone cases”. These kind of ostadons have been found in Khorazm, Karakalpakstan, Fergana and Tashkent regions. For example, head bone in the vase belonged to the VIII century BC found at Toytepa town of Tashkent region is kept up to now [12, c. 138]. It is definite that in Sultonvays and Qubatog had bone buried grounds. Besides, Khosamians also established bone buried grounds near their settlements. There were found coloured, decorated and written vases from Mizdahkon and Toqqal’a.
Food was not cooked at the home of dead person. The tradition has been kept in every part of our country. We become witnesses of bringing meals at the home of dead person by their relatives and neighbours. On the third morning, they prepare soup and hand to visitors.
Moreover, according to “Wendidad”, clothes of dead person and clothes of his relation touched to the dead body had to be cleaned under the sun [13, c. 154]. Pillows, blankets and mats of the dead person are still put in the garden under the stars. Washing the body, covering it in cloth and carrying it to the bury ground are done in public. It is believed that if any person leaves the body alone, he will face to moral illness.
Some of their traditions are also kept in burying. According to their faith, when anyone died at home, it was strongly prohibited to carry him by gate. There was damaged the wall of his room and he was carried by crack. They believed in the wrong faith that if the body had been carried by door, abundance would have left the home with him [14, c. 49]. The tradition has been kept in some Islamic families. In some villages of Tashkent region and some streets of Tashkent city the body isn’t carried by door but window [15, c. 118].
The same tradition was also seen in German families. They carried the honourable people by window.
Until the first quarter of XX century, majority Uzbek houses had two doors. They can be seen in few quantities in Khorazm. It was aimed to mix Azroil up when he came back. The doors were shut [16, c. 118].
Carrying the bodes of parents by window was a tradition in accordance with the customs of Zoroastrians. As the faith of the people, the bodies of the head of family and its members did not have to be carried by the same door. Caving carried the body, the two men were washed in the special prepared liquid [17, c. 138]. The case has changed a little, but it has partly connection with current traditions.
To sum up, people hoped for the coming of prospered period. The theme never loses its value. Traditions and customs are directed to above mentioned facts.
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