Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Nowrooz again

I love the idea of Nowrooz (numerous alternative spellings available: Norouz, Noe-Rooz, Norouz, Norooz, Noruz, Novruz, Noh Ruz, Nauroz, Nav-roze, Navroz, Naw-Rúz, Nevruz or Nowrouz and in Farsi نوروز). It's a celebration of life and vitality. This is represented by a display of seven things that all begin with the letter 's'. This is called the 'haft seen', and can include anything from this list:

sabzeh - wheat, barley or lentil sprouts growing in a dish (symbolising rebirth)
samanu - a sweet pudding made from wheat germ (symbolising affluence)
senjed - the dried fruit of the jujube tree (love)
seer - garlic (medicine)
seeb - apples, (beauty and health)
somaq - sumac berries (the colour of the sunrise)
serkeh -vinegar (age and patience)
sonbol - the fragrant hyacinth flower (the coming of spring)
sekkeh - coins (prosperity and wealth)
a bowl with two goldfish (life, and the sign of Pisces which the sun is leaving)
a bowl of water with an orange in it (the earth floating in space)
rose water for its magical cleansing powers

There's also a Holy Book knocking around somewhere.

Come the time, everyone jumps up and shakes hands/kisses everyone else, and nobody sings Auld Lang Syne. It's lovely. And the kids get presents - I guess this is like Christmas for an Iranian child...the ones last night certainly seemed to think so!

I think I'll adopt the Vernal Equinox as a reason to be cheerful in future - definitely an excuse for a party.

An interesting aside: the telly was on at this bash last night, tuned to various Iranian channels throughout the evening. Every third advert was for property in Dubai! There was even an ad for The Lodge. This is the promised (sand)land.


Blogger kaya said...

Thankyou for that. It brought back many memories of my childhood and the best times I have ever had living in any country.
Merci agha keefie.
dasté shoma dard na konn.

9:47 am  
Blogger moviemania said...

I love the haft seen, setting it up with my mother and family.. painting eggs, haha. It's a great holiday, and the symbolism is wonderful.

Most of my Iranian relatives are almost obsessed with Day to Day and the other stuff they advertise on the satellite channels 24/7

12:10 pm  

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