Nowruz is the traditional festival of spring in Iran and throughout Asia. It starts at the exact moment of the vernal equinox, for 2016 that’s Sunday 20 March. It’s considered to be the start of the New Year. The name comes from Avestan meaning “new day/daylight”. Well explained on this clever site. Although it has Persian and religious Zoroastrian origins, Nowruz has been celebrated by people from diverse ethnic communities and religious backgrounds for thousands of years. Lots on wiki here.
There are many Nowruz festivals throughout London.
‘Haft Seen’ (Persian: هفت سین), also spelled or the seven ‘S’s is a major traditional table setting of Nowruz. The haft-Seen table includes seven items starting with the letter ‘S’ or Seen (س) in the Persian alphabet.
The 7 Haft Sīn items are:
- Sabzeh – wheat, barley or lentil sprouts growing in a dish – symbolizing green environment, happiness and rebirth.
- Samanu – a sweet pudding made from germinated wheat – symbolizing affluence.
- Senjed – the dried fruit of the oleaster tree – symbolizing firmness and tolerance.
- Sīr – garlic – symbolizing health.
- Sīb – apples – symbolizing beauty and love.
- Somaq – sumac berries –symbolizing patience.
- Serkeh – vinegar – symbolizing development and evolution.
Here’s our attempt – ok, it’s not perfect!
And a week later:
Everything is from a wonderful store in West London “Mazandaran”. Many thanks to them and their helpful customers for explaining everything.
And there’s Lavash bread too-
Here’s a more glamorous Haft Sīn table, set for kings!
Here’s a map of Iran:
The area ‘Mazandaran’ borders the Caspian Sea to the North, and has mountains to the South, so has its own special climate.
Great video here:
نوروز المباركة Nowruz mobarak