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Spring is almost here!

Posted Mar 09 2010 6:01pm

The temperatures are finally rising here in Houston.  I went out to lunch today and it was 78°F woo hoo :)  But then SPRING is around the corner :) :) To be exact Spring arrives on Saturday March 20th at 1:35 PM EST.   How do I know this?  Because the first day of Spring is the Iranian New Year, which is called Norouz = New Day.   I have done my Spring cleaning and the house is ready, but I still need to do some more preparation for the Haft Seen (Seven S’s) for our Norouz Table.

What is Haft Sin? (from Wikipedia)

Haft Sîn (Faris: هفت سین) or the seven ‘S’s is a major tradition of Norouz (Norouz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in Iranian calendar), the traditional Iranian new year.  The haft sin table includes seven specific items, all starting with the letter S or Sîn (س in the Persian alphabet). The items symbolically correspond to seven creations and holy immortals protecting them. Originally called Haft Chin (هفت چین), the Haft Sin has evolved over time, but has kept its symbolism. Traditionally, families attempt to set as beautiful a Haft Sîn table as they can, as it is not only of traditional and spiritual value, but also noticed by visitors during Norouzi visitations and is a reflection of their good taste.

The Haft Sin items are:

  1. Sabzeh(سبزه) – wheat, barley or lentil sprouts growing in a dish – symbolizing rebirth
  2. Samanu (سمنو)- a sweet pudding made from wheat germ – symbolizing affluence
  3. Senjed (سنجد)- the dried fruit of the oleaster tree – symbolizing love
  4. Sîr (سیر)- garlic – symbolizing medicine
  5. Sîb (سیب)- apples – symbolizing beauty and health
  6. Somaq (سماق)- sumac berries – symbolizing (the color of) sunrise
  7. Serkeh (سرکه)- vinegar – symbolizing age and patience

While traditionally incorrect, sometimes a missing Sin is exchanged with another item starting with an S. For example:

  • sonbol (سنبل)- the fragrant hyacinth flower (the coming of spring)
  • sekkeh (سکه)- coins (prosperity and wealth)

Other items on the table may include:

  • traditional Iranian pastries such as baghlava (باقلوا), & other sweets
  • “toot” (توت)- (usually white) berries,
  • dried nuts, berries and raisins that is called “Aajeel” (آجیل)
  • lit candles (enlightenment and happiness)
  • a mirror
  • decorated eggs, sometimes one for each member of the family (fertility)
  • a bowl with goldfish (life, and the sign of Pisces which the sun is leaving)
  • a bowl of water with an orange in it (the earth floating in space)
  • rose water for its cleansing powers
  • A Poetry book, such as the Shahnama or the Divan of  Hafez , and/or a holy book such as the Quran

Caption: A traditional Haft Sin table celebrating Nowruz, the Persian New Year, is seen set Wednesday, March 19, 2008, in the State Dining Room of the White House. Nowruz is, in Persian and some other cultures, including Kurdish culture, a family-oriented holiday celebrating the New Year and the coming of spring. The Haft Sin table has seven items symbolizing new life, joy, love, beauty and health, sunrise, patience and garlic to ward off evil. White House photo by Chris Greenberg

~ G

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