In Celebration of Nowruz

Hilda and Marzi (of the Persian Poetry group) shared a picture of their Nowruz Haft-sin table, a traditional preparation to welcome in the Persian New Year recognized on the Spring Equinox. Then there’s eating, so much eating. I copied the below mostly from wikipedia.

Typically, before the arrival of Nowruz, family members gather around the Haft-sin table and await the exact moment of the March equinox to celebrate the New Year. The number 7 and the letter S are related to the seven Ameshasepantas as mentioned in the Zend-Avesta. They relate to the four elements of Fire, Earth, Air, Water, and the three life forms of Humans, Animals and Plants. In modern times the explanation was simplified to mean that the Haft-sin (Persian: هفت‌سین, seven things beginning with the letter sin (س)) are:

  1. Seeb (apple), representing beauty
  2. Seer (garlic), representing good health
  3. Serkeh (vinegar), representing patience
  4. Sonbol (hyacinth), representing spring
  5. Samanu (sweet pudding), representing fertility
  6. Sabzeh (sprouts), representing rebirth
  7. Sekeh (coins), representing prosperity

The Haft-sin table may also include a mirror, candles, painted eggs, a bowl of water, goldfish, coins, hyacinth, and traditional confectioneries. A “book of wisdom” such as the Quran, Bible, Avesta, the Šāhnāme of Ferdowsi, or the divān of Hafez may also be included. Haft-sin’s origins are not clear. The practice is believed to have been popularized over the past 100 years.

Hilda says you should do the 7 requirements and then you can add anything that is meaningful to you. I thought of a few other occasions where gathering objects is used to mark significant occasions, there’s Dia de los Muertos, the Passover plate, even the Christmas Tree.

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