March 20, Annually
Having its foundation in Zoroastrianism, Nowruz, Norooz, Norouz, Newroz, Nevruz or Persian New Year is a thirteen day celebration held annually by Iranians around the globe, marking the first day of spring (the Vernal Equinox) and the beginning of the New Year."O Majesty, on this feast of the Equinox, first day of the first month of the year, seeing that thou hast freely chosen God and the Faith of the Ancient ones; may Surush the Angel-messenger, grant thee wisdom and insight and sagacity in thy affairs. Live long in praise, be happy and fortunate upon thy golden throne, drink immortality from the Cup of Jamshid; and keep in solemn trust the customs of our ancestors, their noble aspirations, fair gestures and the exercise of justice and righteousness." ---Omar Khayyam, Nowruznama
The Haft Sin, or the Seven S's. is an important Persian New Year
tradition. Families create a ceremonial table bearing specific items
that symbolically represent spiritual values.
• Sabzeh: Rebirth - A dish of sprouted wheat, barley or lentils
• Serkeh: Patience Gained with Age - Vinegar
• Samanu - Affluence - A sweet, wheat germ porridge or pudding
• Somaq - Sunrise - Sumac berries
• Senjed - Love - Fruit of the lotus tree, dried
• Sib - Beauty and Health - Apples
• Sir - Health - Garlic
• Other elements may include a mirror (ayne), two candelabras (sha'am),
gold coins (sekeh), sweets (shirini), hyacinth (sonbol), flatbread
(sangak), goldfish (mahi), an incense made of wild rue (esfand),
decorated eggs (tokhme morgh), nuts (ajil), an heirloom embroidered
cloth, and Scriptures.
- Sabzi Polo ba Mahi -- rice tinted vivid green with herbs and served with fried fish. Served on New Year's day;
- Kookoo Sabzi -- an herbed omelet;
- Reshteh Polo -- chunks of lamb with rice and noodles;
- Dolmeh Barg -- grape leaves stuffed with a mixture of rice and ground lamb; and
- Shekar Polo -- a sweet rice pilaf.
The final day of Norooz is a time for families to drive to the countryside for day-long picnics. People revel in the fresh and warming air. Because the next day, it's back to work.