Monday, March 3, 2014

Just Life | Persian New Year Part: 1

Persian New Year (Nowruz) is right around the corner and for millions of Iranians, it is the start of a new year. 

Did you know that the Persian calendar starts on the first day of Spring?

This year, our Persian New Year falls on Thursday, March 20th at 9:57 am. It is going to be the year 1393 in the Persian Calendar.  

There are a few things that we have got to do before the New Year and Spring cleaning is one of them.

Spring cleaning is a rite of passage to the New Year. In my parent's house back home, we washed and scrubbed and cleaned everything and anything including every dish in every cupboard. I am not kidding.

Char Shan Be Soori is the other one. On the last Tuesday of the Iranian year, we get together with family and friends to make rows of bonfires in our neighborhood and we jump over them one after the other while chanting. There are also fireworks in every corner of every neighborhood back in Iran.

 Jumping over bonfires. Picture from the Web
A few days before the New Year, we set a very special table called" Haft Sin". There are specials items that are placed on this table year after year. We place seven items on this table and they all start with the letter "C" in Farsi.

My haft sin from a couple of years ago

We keep this table for 13 days after the New year.

Haft Sin at Roya's house

Here are the items on this table:
  • Sib (apple)
  • Sir (Garlic)
  • Sekeh (Coins)
  • Serkeh (Vinegar)
  • Samano (A special sweet paste made from wheat)
  • Sabzeh (Germinated wheat or lentil. They look like grass)
  • Sonbol (Hyacinth)
  • Senjed (Fruit from lotus tree)
  • Saat (Clock) 
Picture from

Beside these items, you should have a mirror, candles, a large bowl of water with a few red goldfish, and colored eggs.

Depending on your taste, Haft Sin table can be as fancy as you want to make it or as simple as you wish for. No matter how wealthy or poor, you will find this table in every Iranian's household.

Here are a few examples of Haft sin table from my friends:
Haft sin at Roya's house

Haft sin at Zari's house
Haft sin at my house a few years back

You don't find a mountains of presents on our New Year's table just a few from parents to their children. Kids also receive money as present from relatives and friends.

During the Iranian New Year, you are obligated to visit family and friends, It is called " Eid Didani". In Iran, schools and universities are closed for 13 days during NowRuz. Most offices are also closed for a few days as well.

On the 13th day of our New Year, we all go to parks to have picnics. This is called "Siz Da Bedar."

In Stockton, we all get together in Oak Grove Regional Park. We all cook and share delicious foods with about 200 other Iranians in that picnic.

I will post some pictures of this year's Iranian New Year celebration real soon.

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha

No comments:

Post a Comment