When talking to my friend Nigel whose whole family is Persian, he brought up a traditional ritual that is done during Persian new year, and touched on how his family does some things different and some things very traditional, namely, he talked about the Haft Seen Table.
I had Nigel talk about what this was because I never had heard of it, he explained that his family, “puts out a haft seen table, which is symbolic of the first day of spring. We put out different types of spices and objects such as garlic, wheat barley, lentil sprouts (that are growing in a dish to symbolize that spring is here), sweet pudding, dried Persian olives, as well as a gold fish in a glass bowl, these are all symbols of different things in the Persian culture. My grandparents usually use more of the traditional spices as the predominant parts of the haft seen table, and those are the things that I know of as very important just because that’s what my family has always followed. Every family usually does their own symbolic items on their table, as well as the traditional ones.”
Background Info: Nigel puts out a haft seen table every year during Persian New Year, and was explaining the symbolism of many objects on the table and how they are meant to celebrate the joy of spring. He learned this tradition from his parents and continues to practice this every spring.
Context: While walking to our class I talked to Nigel about the tradition of the haft seen table.
Analysis: I personally have very little knowledge about Persian New Year, so this was one part of the tradition that I was lucky enough to hear about. I continued to ask Nigel more about the basics of Persian New Year and I found out a lot about it. I am only personally familiar with Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year).
For another perspective on this tradition, as well as some explanations of the symbols, see