Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy Nowruz ( Persian New Year)

Norouz ( or new day) is the mark of new year in Persian calenders which has been celebrated over 3000 years. It marks  the first day of spring and the beginning of the year and is celebrated at the exact time when spring starts which is usually is on March 21 or the  previous/following day. It is not only celebrated in Iran but other parts of the world like Central Asia, South Asia, Northwestern China. one of the major traditions in this time of year is to set a table ( called 7 seen ) which includes seven specific items that all starts with letter "S" in Persian alphabet. items symbolically correspond to seven elements of life Fire, Earth, Water, Air, Plants, Animals, and Human. these items are : 

  • sabzeh - wheat, barley or lentil sprouts growing in a dish - symbolizing rebirth
  • samanu - a sweet pudding made from wheat germ - symbolizing affluence ( which me and my friend made this year together) 
  • senjed - the dried fruit of the oleaster tree - symbolizing love
  • sir - garlic - symbolizing medicine
  • sib - apples - symbolizing beauty and health
  • somaq - sumac berries - symbolizing (the color of) sunrise
  • serkeh - vinegar - symbolizing age and patience.

Other items on the table may include:
  • Sonbol - Hyacinth (plant)
  • Sekkeh - Coins - representative of wealth
  • traditional Iranian pastries 
  • Aajeel - dried nuts, berries and raisins
  • lit candles (enlightenment and happiness)
  • a mirror (symbolizing cleanness and honesty)
  • decorated eggs, sometimes one for each member of the family (fertility)
  • a bowl of water with goldfish (life within life, and the sign of Pisces which the sun is leaving). As an essential object of the Nowruz table, this goldfish is also "very ancient and meaningful" and with Zoroastrian connection.
  • rosewater, believed to have  cleansing powers
  • a holy book and/or a poetry book * 
It is traditional to gather around the  "7seen table" with members of family and count down to the start of new year. since the timing is not the same all the time; sometimes it is very late at night or very early in the morning which is the hardest times to stay up for new year. this year it is at Sunday at 7:20 pm EST time.  after new year it is typical to exchange gifts with close ones and visit family and friends. 

This is my last year 7seen :)

It is a major holiday in Iran, and we try to celebrate it every year here. however it does not feel like spring at all since the weather is still cold and there are bunch of snow on the floor. during these of times ,the distance from family hurts more than ever but what can we do. we celebrate the new year with our close friends and it became our tradition here. 

Happy new year my lovely readers and friends; I wish you all and your family all the best 
let's try to smile more in next year ...
let's open our minds to understand ourselves and each other 
let's be more wise, be stronger 
let's be positive ... 
I wish you new year full of love and happiness :)

1 comment:

  1. Happy new year to you too dear Mania...
    in Malaysia the new year is in 7.20a.m on Monday!!!
    and here is so hot...just like the middle of summer!
    the worst thing is that we are really busy since it's almost near the final exams and we should submit our projects and...
    by the way, wish you all health and prosperity in this new year...