Norouz is the start of the Persian New Year (March 20th). Coinciding with the Spring Equinox, Norouz is a secular holiday and symbolizes renewal and rebirth.
Every year I set up the 7 S’s (Haft seen table) with items that start with the letter S in Farsi:
1) Sabzeh – Wheat, lentil sprouts, or Mung beans – representing the rebirth of nature – I made this using lentil in a bowl covered with a wet towel for the first week. After a few days, the sprouts shoot up into green grass.
2) Seeb – Apple – symbol of beauty and health
3) Somagh – ground Sumac
4) Serkeh – Vinegar -representing the wisdom of age
5) Senjed – (Dried oleaster – available in Persian markets)
6) Samanoo – (sweet pudding) – cooked wheat flour – symbol of affluence
7) Sekeh – Coins
candles and finally, the beautiful and fragrant Sonbol – Hyacinth
Most tables also feature a bowl filled with goldfish, a holy book or a volume of poems (by Hafez, Omar Khayam or Rumi), and painted eggs. A mirror placed at the center of the table reflects everything we hope for in the new year.
The new year is a time of renewal, and of visiting family and friends.
The traditional dish for Norouz is Sabzi pollo mahi (green herb rice with fish).
This is the year 1395 in the Iranian solar calender. Wishing everyone who celebrates Norouz a healthy and happy new year.