Last month, we celebrated the Iranian New year with some of our Iranian students. Lower sixth form student Anahita explained :
The Persian New Year, Norouz (نوروز) , (New day) coincides with the Spring Equinox. Many Iranian people love this aspect of our culture because when the new year begins, it really feels like a beginning as the transition from winter into spring is seen in nature and felt in the air. Norouz is very much a cultural celebration in Iran and has been celebrated for centuries. It is customary for families to gather around the Haft-Seen table at the moment of the Spring Equinox and celebrate the transition from winter into spring together.
The elders present family members with Eidee, which is a small monetary presents for Norouz.
Symbols of 7S – Haft-Seen Table
As the Persian new year is about to start, Iranian start to prepare themselves for a new year or a new life.
One of the main things that they do is that they set up a nice table known as 7 seen. Every single item present in the table symbolises something. Haft-Seen in Persian means seven “S.” The table must have seven items that in Farsi begin with the letter “S” specifically the letter “Seen (س)”
The main items are:
1. سماق (sumac) : symbolises the colour of sunrise
2. سرکه (vinegar): symbolises age and patience
3. سنجد (dried fruit from lotus tree): symbolises love
4. سمنو (sweet pudding): symbolises affluence
5. سبزه (sprouts): symbolises rebirth
6. سیب (apple): symbolises health and beauty
7. سیر (garlic): symbolises medicine
Additional items that begin with the letter “S” that are commonly seen on the table are:
• سکه (coin): symbolises wealth and prosperity
• سنبل (hyacinth): a spring spring flower
Other included items which do not start with the letter “S (س)” are:
• ماهی (fish): symbolises life
• تخم مرغ (egg): symbolises fertility
• شمع (candle): symbolises enlightenment
• شیرینی (sweets): symbolises spreading the sweetness
• A book of poetry (Hafiz) or prayer (Quran)