Monday, March 7, 2016

Just Life | Spring & Persian New Year

Spring is right around the corner and for millions of Iranians, it is the start of a new calendar year.

The Persian New Year or Nowruz, has been celebrated in Iran for thousands of years and it has its origin in the ancient Zoroastrian religion.

Spring is a time of celebration for the Iranians all around the world.

The first day of Spring is the start of a new year in Iran. The first month in the Persian Calendar is the month of "Farvardine".

A heavy dose of Spring cleaning is the rite of passage to the Persian New Year.

As a kid, Spring cleaning was my least favorite thing about the New Year celebration.

Imagine being forced to clean every nook and cranny of your house for two weeks straight. It was exhausting. 

You see, the Spring cleaning is a necessary evil because for twelve days straight after the New Year celebration, a great many people would come to visit and you want your house to be in top notch shape. 

An important part of the New Year celebration is setting up a beautiful table called "Haft Sin".

Can you imagine Christmas without a Christmas tree? We can't have a Persian New Year without the Haft Sin table.

There are some very specific items that are placed on this table year after year.

New Year table at Roya's house

On the Haft sin table, there should be seven items which starts with letter "C" in Persian.

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

Each of these items have special meanings, but this blog isn't long enough to explain them all and to be honest, I am far from being an expert on this topic.

Haft Sin at my house last year

In Iran, schools and universities are closed for two weeks and on the thirteenth day of the New Year, everyone leaves their house to have a picnic with family and friends. It is called "Siz Da Bedar".

Haft sin table setting at my house a few years ago

In Stockton, around 100 Iranians get together at Oak Grove Regional Park to celebrate Siz Da Bedar every year.

This year, the Persian New Year falls on Saturday, March 19th at 9:30 pm.

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha

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