Soraya Maleki, LAc.
Spring is almost here! On the heels of the Chinese New Year comes one last opportunity to celebrate the ushering in of 2015. Symbolic of the rebirth of nature, the Persian New Year, or Nowruz, is celebrated on the first day of spring. With Now meaning new, and ruz meaning day, the customs performed during this yearly celebration are representations of two opposing forces; end and rebirth/good and evil. This is a time of year to thoroughly clean and rearrange one’s home, make or buy new clothing, bake pastries and germinate seeds as a sign of renewal.
A ceremonial table setting, or sofreh-ye haft-sinn, is arranged in each home to display symbolic dishes representing rebirth, health, happiness, prosperity, joy, patience and beauty. The words sofreh-ye haft-sinn translate to “cloth of seven dishes.” Upon this cloth is placed sabzeh, or sprouts, to represent birth. Sib, or apple, represents health and beauty. Senjed, or sweet, dry fruit of the lotus tree, represents love. Seer, or garlic, represents medicine. Samanu, a creamy, sweet pudding, represents the finesse of Persian cooking. Somaq, or sumac berries, represents the color of the sunrise. It is said that “with the appearance of the sun, good conquers evil.” Serkeh, or vinegar, represents age and patience. Additional items are placed on the sofreh-ye haft-sinn to reinforce the intentions of the seven dishes. Items include two books of wisdom and tradition; the Koran and a volume of poems by the great Persian poet Hafez. Coins placed on the sofreh represent prosperity and wealth. A basket of painted eggs represents fertility. An orange placed in a bowl of water represents the earth floating in space. A goldfish, placed in a different bowl, represents life […]