Haft Sin in Persian New Year

‘My family’s religion is called the Bahai faith, and most persians celebrate what is called Nowruz, which is the Persian New Year, and that’s in the beginning of March. And what you do, it’s a big tradition where you set up these seven plates on a table to celebrate the new year, and it’s called Haft Sin. And the seven items you put on the dishes are sabzeh, which is wheat or barley or lentil, samanu, which is sweet pudding, senjed, dried fruit, sir, garlic, sib, apple slices, somaq, berries, and serkeh, which is vinegar and you put that in a cup. But with the sabzeh, what you do is, they’re usually lentils, and you put them on a dish, and then you put a damp towel over the dish, and then over a series of ten days the sprouts will grow, and it’s this fun thing that you can see every morning as they grow. And Haft is seven, and sin is the letter ‘s’, so it’s called the seven S’s.

Haft Sin is an integral part of Nowruz, the Persian New Year holiday that is celebrated on the vernal equinox. The celebration represents the new life that awaits them in the year to come, as well as the rejuvenation of nature around them. Each of the seven items laid out for Haft Sin has it’s own particular symbolic meaning. Sabzeh, the plate of grains that sprout represents purity, opulence, and good fortune, as well as rejuvenation and growth; samanu, which is sweet and a favorite of kids, represents fertility and bearing many children; senjed represents love; sir, the garlic, is the medicine for recovering from evil; the apple slices, or sib represent health and natural beauty; the color of the berries  of the somaq symbolizes the sun at sunrise, awaiting a new day; and serkeh symbolizes age and patience, and wards off the bitterness that comes with old age. These seven items are very important because not only is seven a very mystical number in Iran, there is one item for every day of the week, and one item that represents every stage in the human life cycle.