A new year is beginning for Iranians in a week from today. Norooz is the most important, exciting and fun celebration in Iran. As children; we couldn’t wait for the first three weeks of Esfand (last month in Iranian calender) to fly away so the fabulous Norooz festivities along with the equally fabulous two and a half weeks school break could begin. To adults, Norooz is lots of work, but mostly the cheerful kind.
Norooz preparations start three to four weeks ahead by soaking a bowl of dry wheat or lentil to grow sabzeh (sprout), the centerpiece of the Haft Seen Spread.
Next,, the laborious Spring Cleaning consisting of relentless scrubbing of every corner of the house from bottom up, side to side and inside out would commence. Afterwards, everyone would get busy with baking the very special Norooz sweets or buying them from favorite bakeries, putting together all the essential participants for Haft Seen Spread and shopping for new clothes. Each element of Haft Seen Spread has a specific purpose and significance.
- Sabzeh (sprouts, usually lentil or wheat): fertility and rebirth of nature
- Seeb (apple): natural beauty.
- Samanu (a pudding in which wheat sprouts are given new life as a sweet, creamy pudding): reward of patience
- Somaq (somaq berry used as spice): the color of sunrise
- Senjed (the sweet, dry fruit of the Lotus tree): love
- Serkeh (vinegar): age
- Seer (garlic): health
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