Is your haft sin table set? An integral part of Norooz, the Persian New Year, the sofreh-ye haft sin is a traditional display that includes seven symbolic objects beginning with the Persian letter sin (س).
On the first day of spring, Iranians and millions of other peoples across Asia welcome the new year as they have done for millennia, including the preparation of this festive table setting. Iranians grow lentil or wheat sprouts, called sabzeh, symbolic of rebirth and renewal, and color eggs for their haft sin display.
The haft sin table is fun and easy to create; all you need are some of the following: seer (garlic), seeb (apple), somaq (sumac), sabzeh (wheat of lentil sprouts), serkeh (vinegar), senjed (dried fruit of the oleaster tree), samanu (sweet pudding), sonbol (hyacinth flower), and sekkeh (coins).
Each element has a special auspicious meaning, such as wealth, health and love. The whole Norooz celebration lasts 13 days and culminates with Sizdah Bedar, during which families and friends celebrate outdoors with food, music and dancing. Children have a two week break from school and receive gifts of new clothes and money. This Norooz, remember to greet your Persian friends with the new year greeting, norooz pirouz!
For more info – Harvard’s Norooz primer