Don't get blinded by the many rituals and ceremonies.
Behind the rituals and ceremonies there is an ATTITUDE towards the rituals and ceremonies which is radically different from the Abrahamic religons (which after all is your only reference), an attitude despising the kind of sabbathical "religiosity" prevalent in the Abrahamic faiths (please note that Zoroastrianism does NOT have a sabbath).
Remember that Zoroastrianism aesthetically is a MINIMALIST religion, just like Zen Buddhism. Iranian culture is minimalistic too, similar to Japanese aesthetics. This is all part of the Zoroastrian culture. That's why new age people are not attracted to Zoroastrianism, all for the better.
This collective ALLERGY against bling bling is grounded within the faith itself. Just like Zen is in Japan and Chan is in China. It speaks volumes about the religion and its beliefs.
2009/2/2 Helen Gerth
We are very similar in our conclusions on the purpose of life and religion...we do see some differences in using religion but the aims are the same :-)
You said, "This is a religion which is rather suspicious towards the overtly "religious" behavior."
This is a paradoxical statement for me in some ways....I see the more conservative and what I tend to call 'historical/traditional' perspective actually frustrated and angry because they see others in contemporary Zoroastrianism seeking to remove precisely this type of behavior...though I am taking this to mean that this is how you see Zarathushtra's original message to mean...
"Our holidays are the equinoxes and solstices, because our lives are always grounded in the here and now which we hold sacred and not to be laughed at or ignored."
One's rituals and practices of this nature should never be laughed at or ignored by anyone...they are sacred if I might use that term...special...the equinoxes and solstices are imbued with an energy that is significant...
Which leads me to ask...there are many rituals and observances in traditional Zoroastrianism that are related to these events are there not?
Which holidays/observances are held in common? Are the dates the same but with just different observance practices or the same or variations...
I am not asking for specifics unless yourself or others are comfortable sharing... many feel that one way to keep others from ridiculing them is not to talk about them (first hand experience)...and others feel that to do so would somehow take away from their special quality...