This year the Iranian New Year will be celebrated on 21 March, the first day of Spring. I need to start preparing this week so that we are ready and I can create my table display of the traditional “Haft Sin” (7 S’s) as best I can.
The traditional 7 S’s which are normally displayed are;
Wheat, barley, mung bean or lentil sprouts growing in a dish – symbolising rebirth.
If I’m a bit late preparing I tend to make a flying visit to Tesco for some cress which is cheating but it looks very similar!
Samanu – sweet pudding made from wheat germ – symbolising affluence
This is something I don’t make- but will remember the horse which went round Esfahan Square last month as it’s name was Samanu!
Senjed (سنجد)- dried oleaster fruit – symbolising love
Oleaster fruit or Russian Olive. Mmmmm, may be difficult to get hold of.
Sir– garlic – symbolising medicine
Garlic-no problem and I will be able to dig some wild garlic from our garden.
Sib – apples – symbolising beauty and health
Rosy apples-plenty of these.
Somāq – sumac fruit – symbolising (the color of) sunrise
We don’t get the fruit over here but we get the dried herb which I always use instead.
Serkeh – vinegar – symbolising old-age and patience
This element becomes more significant as the years pass- Cannot be overlooked.
There are other “S’s” and symbols which I use and I often include a selection of the following:
Sonbol– the fragrant hyacinth flower – symbolising the coming of spring
Sekkeh– coins – symbolising prosperity
Lit candles symbolising enlightenment and happiness
A bowl with goldfish symbolising life, and the constellation of Pisces which the Sun is leaving.
This is particularly meaningful for me as I am a Pisces and I am myself embarking on my “New year”.
Water with a bitter orange in it symbolising Earth “floating” in space
Rose water, used to cleanse in Islam before prayer and is also heavily prevalent in Iranian cuisine
A poetry book, such as the Shahnameh or the Divan of Hafez, or a religious text such as the Quran or the Bible.
BUT the biggest thrill for me and the best “S” in the dictionary is SHOES! It is tradition at Nowruz to have NEW SHOES! Whooooo………..off we go shopping. It’s traditional. It has to be done. I am such a good Iranian wife, it is necessary!
How fantastic is that!