Persian New Year

Friday, March 15, 2013
Persian New Year is right around the corner, it's the first day of spring, and I haven't had the chance to set up my haft-seen. What's a haft-seen? It literally translates to the seven S's. You set out things that start with the letter "S", in Farsi of course, and each thing symbolizes something. 

This is our haft-seen from last year. 

You must have at least the following 7 items and then you can add more "S's": 

Sabzeh or sprouts, usually wheat or lentil representing rebirth

Samanu is a pudding in which common wheat sprouts are transformed and given new life as a sweet, creamy pudding and represents the ultimate sophistication of Persian cooking. (It's actually quite good).

Seeb means apple and represents health and beauty

Senjed the sweet, dry fruit of the Lotus tree, represents love. 

Seer which is garlic in Persian, represents medicine and I think health. 

Somaq sumac berries, represent the color of sunrise; with the appearance of the sun Good conquers Evil

Serkeh or vinegar, represents age and patience.

Additional items a Sofreh (table spread) may have are: 

A few coins placed on the sofreh represent prosperity and wealth

A basket of painted eggs represents fertility

A Seville orange floating in a bowl of water represents the earth floating in space
A goldfish in a bowl represents life and the end of astral year-picas

A flask of rose water known for its magical cleansing power (I typically don't set out rose water) 

A pot of flowering hyacinth is also set on the sofreh (This also makes the sofreh look beautiful) 

A mirror which represents the images and reflections of Creation as we celebrate anew the ancient Persian traditions and beliefs that creation took place on the first day of spring

On either side of the mirror are two candlesticks holding a flickering candle for each child in the family. The candles represent enlightenment and happiness

These definitions were borrowed from Farsinet
P.S. I celebrate THREE new year's. The regular Gregorian Calendar year, Lunar New Year, and my favorite, Persian New Year (Nowruz). 


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