Photo Friday: Persian New Years (No Ruz)

"Haft Sin" table filled with beautiful Persian New Years (No Ruz) treats
"Haft Sin" table filled with beautiful Persian New Years (No Ruz) treats

Every year, on the first day of spring, we head down to my in-laws house for the highlight of the Persian year. No Ruz, or Persian New Year, is an all-night celebration. Everyone dresses in new clothing, and every house is graced by an intricately decorated table like this one. The "Haft Sin" table (or seven-"S's" table) at its most basic would have seven items, each beginning with the Persian letter "S" but my mother-in-law seems to outdo the previous year's display with each passing year. Here's a list of the symbolic items:

  1. sabzeh: wheat, barley or lentil sprouts growing in a dish - symbolizing rebirth
  2. samanu: a sweet pudding made from wheat germ - symbolizing affluence
  3. senjed: the dried fruit of the oleaster tree - symbolizing love
  4. sîr: garlic - symbolizing medicine
  5. sîb: apples - symbolizing beauty and health
  6. somaq: sumac berries - symbolizing (the color of) sunrise
  7. serkeh: vinegar - symbolizing age and patience
(source wikipidia)

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  1. Peace (Australia) on April 2, 2009 at 11:09 p.m.

    Wow, I always learn something new here! I'd never heard of Persian New Year. This looks like a great tradition to continue for your family.

  2. Bridget Smith on April 2, 2009 at 11:20 p.m.

    What a beautiful table! Your kids are lucky to share such a rich tradition with their grandparents.

  3. Mara Gorman on April 3, 2009 at 6:06 a.m.

    This is just about the coolest tradition I've ever read about. I absolutely love that it's on the first day of spring too. Tell you MIL that I'm impressed!

  4. Dominique on April 3, 2009 at 6:24 a.m.

    I've never heard of Persian New Year, either!

    What are the two blue items in the foreground? They look like glass bird surrounded by votive candles to interesting to hear how far off I might be on that :)

  5. Marina K. Villatoro on April 3, 2009 at 6:52 a.m.

    Hi, I've been to a No Ruz once. I had a friend in NYC who celebrated and invited me. It was delicious and a totally blast!!!

  6. Carolina on April 3, 2009 at 6:56 a.m.

    You're right, your mother-in-law prepares a beautiful table. Great tradition for the kids.

  7. Lucia on April 3, 2009 at 7:23 a.m.

    Beautiful table! I just finished reading "Funny in Farsi" and "Laughing Without An Accent"...very entertaining and interesting. Nice to see your post because she writes about No Ruz experiences in the States and in Iran. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  8. Beth Whitman on April 3, 2009 at 7:28 a.m.

    Debbie - What an incredible celebration with so much symbolism. I'm tempted to arrange my own No Ruz next year because it is such a beautiful tradition!

  9. Peter Carey on April 3, 2009 at 9:06 a.m.

    I learned something new today, thanks! That's a very beautiful display.

  10. Angela K. Nickerson on April 3, 2009 at 9:09 a.m.

    What a wonderful celebration!

  11. Madonnalisa Chan on April 3, 2009 at 12:55 p.m.

    Absolutely beautiful and what a great way to celebrate new years with family. Since we're a mixed culture family we're trying to create new traditions for our little one. It makes for a very interesing mix of foods and activities borrowed from many cultures.

  12. Samantha on April 3, 2009 at 1:59 p.m.

    The food looks so delicious! I love the presentation!

  13. Lorraine Akemann on April 3, 2009 at 2:30 p.m.

    I'm glad you shared this tradition with us, it's nice reminder of which priorities should be important in a world that is so fast-paced.

  14. Jen on April 3, 2009 at 5:03 p.m.

    Beautiful setting. Thanks for the lesson on Persian New Year. I had never heard of it....thanks for sharing the details of this special celebration.

  15. Gennaro on April 4, 2009 at 8:41 a.m.

    One things I love about holidays and celebrations is it brings our cultures out. Food is the last things we lose about our heritage.