Norooz, Iranian New Year
Year of 1389
In harmony with rebirth of nature, the Persian New Year Celebration, or Norooz, always begins on the first day of spring, March 20th of each year. Norooz ceremonies are symbolic representations of two ancient concepts - the End and Rebirth. About 3000 years ago Persian's major religion was Zoroastrianism, named in honor of its founder Zoroaster, and arguably the world's first monotheistic religion. Zoroastrians had a festival called "Farvardgan" which lasted ten days, and took place at the end of the solar year. It appears that this was a festival of sorrow and mourning , signifying the end of life while the festival of Norooz, at the beginning of spring signified rebirth, and was a time of great joy and celebration. Norooz was officially acknowledged and named "Norooz" by mythical Persian emperor, Shah Jamshid, from Achaemenid Dynasty (500 BC). Ashaemenied created the first major empire in the region and built Persepolis complex (Takhte Jamshid) in the city of Shiraz. Norooz in Persian means "New Day" and brings hope, peace and prosperity to the world and has been celebrated among people regardless of ethnic background, political views or religion in many countries around the globe such as Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Georgia, Iraq, Tajikistan, Syria ,Armenia and India. Some of the activities during Norooz are Spring cleaning, buying new cloths, painting eggs, family reunion, giving presents, visiting neighbors and friends and celebrating by having a picnic on the 13th day of Spring.
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Haft 'Seen' Table Items
Persian Name Definition Description & Symbolism Position Sabzeh Spring Sprouts Made from wheat or lentil this S signifies rebirth and renewal. Read about how you grow these sprouts at home. The First S on the Sofreh. Senjed A sweet, dry fruit of a lotus tree The fragrant and blooming lotus tree makes people fall in love so it is natural that its fruit would signify love and affection
The Second S on the Sofreh
Sib Apple A big red apple represents health and beauty. Third S on the Sofreh Samanu Wheat Pudding Wheat and wheat products signify sweetness and fertility. Fourth S on the Sofreh Serkeh Vinegar White Vinegar signifies age and patience. Fifth S on the Sofreh Somagh Crushed Sumac berries This S symbolizes the spice of life. Some say Somagh represents the color of the sunrise and with the sun all evil is conquered. Sixth S on the Sofreh Seer Garlic This medicinal S is a sign of good health. Seventh S on the Sofreh Sekeh Gold Coins Wealth and Prosperity Optional S. Sonbol Hyacinth Flower Purple or pink hyacinth are common on the Sofreh and also represent life and beatuy. Optional S. Sangak Flatbread Noon-e Sangak represents prosperity for the feasts. It can be accompanied by Naan-o Panir, which is Iranian feta cheese and fresh herbs to be eaten at the feast. Optional S. Sohan Asali Honey Almonds A sweet honey candy made with pistchios. Optional S. Gold Fish Mahi Gold Fish in a clear white bowl represents life and the end of the astral year associated with the constellation Pisces. On the Sofreh Ayne A Mirror To bring light & brightness into the New Year Head of the Sofreh Sha’am Two Candelabras Candles large or small can be used and symbolize fire & energy. On either side of the mirror. Tokhm-e Morgh Decorated Eggs Symbolizes fertility. Eggs are painted by children much like Easter eggs are painted. On the Sofreh. Can be as elaborate as desired.
Assorted Nuts Iranians love nuts. They can be roasted pistachios, walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts On the Sofreh Scriptures Avesta, Gatha Scriptures, or Poetry depending on beliefs Symbolizes blessings and faith in the New Year. You can also place a Divan-e Hafez or other book of faith and knowledge. Placed in the middle. Put money in the pages of the book and give out Eidi after sal tahvil. Shirini Sweets & Pastries Noghl, Baaghlavaa, Toot, Noon-e Berenji, Noon-e Nokhodchi and any other sweets you prefer On the Sofreh Esfand or Esphand Wild Rue A brazier "Manghal" holding burning coals sprinkled with "Esphand" a popular incense. It keeps the evil eye away and brings on health. Nearby